[geos-devel] ABI/API status and future development thougths

Artem Pavlenko artem at pavlenko.uklinux.net
Thu Apr 21 12:12:16 EDT 2005

HI strk
Great to see GEOS is moving at last
I'll have a look at new changes over this weekend. I'm really into 
having GEOS3 as new effort, and maybe keep GEOS2 as a compatibility 
It looks like *a lot* can be done even after you apply Dale's  patches. 
One thing that keeps popping out, is a different
'geometry models' in use, and it is a clearly  'slow-down' factor in 
GEOS (clients need to convert their geometries into geos ones and 
possibly back). There might be a smart way to address all that, but it 
will need radical changes. Shall we have a discussion about 'geometry 

Anyway, good news!


strk at refractions.net wrote:

>I just updated the NEWS file and made a simple
>test to inspect compatibility between 2.1.1 and
>current CVS.
>Well, ABI is broken already. Probably due to
>inlining of some functions aimed at improving
>On the other hand, the part of API used by
>postgis is still intact (ie. requires recompilation
>but then works fine). Postgis uses about all of
>Geometry methods and many CoordinateSequence methods.
>With the help of ChangeLog I might attempt at taking
>the ABI back to compatible with 2.1.1. That might allow
>us to release a 2.1.2 slightly faster then 2.1.1 but not
>significantly as inlines made the big difference.
>Alternatively we can give the ABI break for granted and
>go on with optimizzation continuing with inlines.
>This is for ABI.
>About API. Breaking that means you won't be able to build
>old packages using GEOS using new relese of GEOS.
>For example, postgis-1.0.0 won't be able to use a new GEOS
>iff it will throw exceptions by ref instead of by pointers.
>This is just an example, and is the wider one, as the GEOS
>interface is pretty big and brokage can happen at different
>levels of "deepness". For example current GEOS CVS has a
>different interface on BufferSubgraph, but 'simple' clients
>won't use BufferSubgraph directly, nor is its interface
>documented (I had care to cut-down documentation specifically
>for this purpose in previous releases). This means that simple
>clients will continue to work with this change but more
>complex ones will need to be modified to support new API and
>introduce some kind of compile-time switch based on GEOS version
>to support multiple GEOS interfaces.
>Sorry if I'm being long and boring but I think having this written
>helps everybody taking a decision. I'm bound to good quality but
>I know the hassles of ever-changing interfaces (instability).
>Whatever we decide to do I think a good approach would be providing
>some form of simplified interface to GEOS for use by clients, aimed
>at giving the hard-to-maintain stability of both API and ABI.
>This could be a shared library shipped with GEOS and acting as
>an 'adapter' between the always-moving GEOS lib and the client code
>keeping the ->GEOS interface in sync with GEOS and the ->user interface
>as stable as possible.
>I've made a first implementation of such an adapter for JTS, providing
>JTS access to C/C++ code in a stabler fashion (reduced API, abstract
>datatype and garbage collector basically). I envision the GEOS
>counterpart to follow that effort, althought garbage collection would be
>harder to do (it's there for free with libgcj - the GNU java lib).
>So what I'm saying is that next GEOS release could provide this wrapper
>and client code willing to stop this annoyances could link against the
>wrapper instead of against the main lib. One other advantages of this
>would be that choice between GEOS and JTS would be a matter of a single
>define to change function prefixes.
>Implementation costs in this direction would be:
>	- porting the WKB parser 
>	- intergaring the boheme garbage collector
>Enough noise, I hope someone will actually read this :P
>Every contribution on the topic is highly apprieciated!
>geos-devel mailing list
>geos-devel at geos.refractions.net

More information about the geos-devel mailing list