[OSGeo-Discuss] Would you be concerned if the "GeoServices REST API" became an OGC standard?

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Sat May 4 09:27:14 PDT 2013

On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM, Cameron Shorter
<cameron.shorter at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm wanting to hear whether people in the OSGeo community have strong
> opinions regarding this proposed standard, and whether we as a
> collective OSGeo community should make statements to the OGC, and voting
> OGC members, stressing our thoughts.

My current concern is that the standards documents are in a bunch of
Microsoft Word files. And a bunch of Microsoft Word files that *crash*
my current version of OpenOffice.... Oh the comedy of open standards
being written using non-open file formats[1]

The ironic comment of "standards are great - lets have more of them"
possibly applies here.

In terms of open source implementations, the google search
"geoservices rest api github" doesn't find much, so I suspect the open
source community is happy with its web APIs already. These guys:


 appear to be implementing a GeoServices REST endpoint for their
system, maybe they'd be willing to refactor their code out and develop
it as a reference server implementation? But oh dear it seems to be
written in C#.

 I'm not sure what the term 'reference implementation' means here. Any
difference in behaviour between an implementation and the spec is a
bug with the implementation, yes? For that I don't think it matters if
the "reference implementation" is open source or a black box - that's
irrelevant to its compliance with the standard.

However, a freely-available implementation does make it easier (and in
some cases, possible) to write code that works practically. I wouldn't
like to write a GeoServices client without a server to test it
against. Without it my option is to check my client request is correct
by comparing it with the standards document (in that unreadable Word
document).  Imagine if the authors of the first web browsers hadn't
had http servers to actually test against?

 The advantages of an open source reference implementation are also
the usual advantages of open source that we've been banging on about
for years. Mismatches between open source implementations and
standards docs can be fixed in minutes and released, and users don't
have to wait six months for the next product update release, for

Is there an open-source reference implementation of code to work with
every aspect of the KML file standard? The situation seems analagous -
a proprietary standard pushed to OGC and opened up.


[1] yeah this is probably wrong and MS got their file formats
certified 'open' somehow... blah blah court case blah blah ISO voting
blah blah

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