[gdal-dev] Re: [mapserver-dev] Design/Re-Design consideration

William Kyngesburye woklist at kyngchaos.com
Thu Apr 17 11:52:50 EDT 2008

On Apr 17, 2008, at 9:41 AM, Frank Warmerdam wrote:

> Stephen Woodbridge wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I really like gdal and ogr. I can't say I use them all the time,  
>> but they work and do the job when I need them and I would be lost  
>> without them on some jobs. So Thanks and keep up the good work.
>> I want to toss out an idea that I think would make gdal/ogr better.  
>> This comes from my frustration with the fact that as more formats  
>> are supported, the more system library dependencies that are  
>> required to install it. I was horrified when I went to build  
>> mapserver with wfs support and I only use shapefiles on postgis  
>> layers that I had to install gdal and that pulled in some 20-30  
>> other system packages!!!!
>> This is insane from my perspective. I don't need any of those  
>> packages for the work I'm doing, maybe mapserver should not require  
>> gdal for wfs, but I'm sure there is a good reason for that choice.
> Stephen,
> Note, that you can build a minimalist GDAL if you want. I do it all  
> the
> time to keep size and complexity down.
> Also, GDAL already supports runtime loadable plugins for formats, so  
> this
> can be used in packaging systems to reduce the number of  
> dependencies of
> the core libgdal.  This plugin mechanism is often used for stuff like
> SDE, Oracle, MrSID and ECW dependencies.  It could be applied more  
> widely.
> PS. rather than a config.ini, we normally just determine which plugins
> to load based on which ones are in the gdalplugins directory.

Indeed, I use GDAL plugins on my OSX binaries for MrSID, ECW and  
Kakadu (SDE and Oracle not possible on OSX).  And the occassional new  
format driver from SVN, for testing.

One thing that would need work if more formats are built as plugins is  
load order, there are some formats that are sensitive to this (don't  
remember which).

And for the formats (currently just JP2) that have multiple drivers  
for them there needs to be a better way to choose which to use.  Easy  
when used from CLI programs, using GDAL_SKIP and '-of', but some other  
programs don't do this, like Qgis (yet).

William Kyngesburye <kyngchaos*at*kyngchaos*dot*com>

"I ache, therefore I am.  Or in my case - I am, therefore I ache."

- Marvin

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