After climbing Table Mountain yesterday, I’m somewhat beat, but was able to make it up at 0730 to give a GeoDjango workshop with Josh. After spending the first hour running around attempting to get power for everyone and get DVDs copied, we got started.
Overall, the workshop went well. We had a variety of users — including two people who were relatively successful with running GeoDjango from their own (mac) laptops. I’ve learned a few things about using VMWare — for example, I was reminded that there is no real VMWare option for PPC Macs, and that installing VMWare on Mandriva is not as trivial as it maybe should be.
I was able to get two of my machines working with the VMWare DVD we had and distributed (link later once I talk to Josh and we fix some of the missing things), and gave them out to people. With our 25 people, we had about 15 laptops running, with others sharing.
Learned a few key points: For one, our documentation on the workshop was insufficiently explanatory of how to do things like “edit files”, “open a terminal”, etc. A number of people were facing significant problems towards the start because of that. (Also, not installing vim on the VMWare image was problematic for me, and Erik had the same problem with emacs.) Due to the somewhat staggered start, we got a little bit lost in the weeds pretty quickly, and didn’t get a chance to really explain what GeoDjango was about to start, which I think was a lack in the workshop.
Overall, we got through setting up the VMWare image (though not installation from scratch), starting a project, creating a model, setting up the admin (with this being one of the more difficult parts, specifically because almost no one had internet access within the VM), generating KML, viewing the KML on an OpenLayers map, and using the GDAL tools (LayerMapping) to import polygon data from a shapefile and view/edit that. A couple people got ahead through creating a Ward view as well, which was nice.
There are a number of aspects of the workshop that need more polish, but overall, I think people who were interested got to see GeoDjango in admin, and see why it’s pretty cool. Hopefully we can clean up our workshop docs to make it smoother for the next person to walk through it, and get more people interested in GeoDjango and learning about Django in general through that.