Monday, May 9, 2011

Open Source!

[Yeah, it's another article about my SwitchList software, rather than about San Jose in the 1930's. History buffs will have some interesting reading in a bit.]

Woohoo! SwitchList is now an open-source project, with source code and bug database available at

For those gentle readers who aren't computer geeks, what does this mean?

Open-sourcing means making the source code of a program - the actual commands the programmer types - available to others so they can use and modify the program themselves. More concretely:

  • If you're curious what it takes to make a modern Macintosh application for moving freight cars around, you can look at the computer instructions that do all that work.
  • If you don't like SwitchList as-is, you can download the source files, modify it, and make your own version to your liking. Want better ways to import your freight cars out of a spreadsheet? Download the code and change it as you want!
  • If you've got ideas about improvements that others might like, you can try changing SwitchList yourself.
  • Check out the upcoming features. Work's started on keeping track of siding and train capacity!

James McNab's 1980's-era PICL report feature is the first contribution to the project. Look at the sources and see what you might do with SwitchList!

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