[Incubator] New Application: GeoToolkit

Martin Desruisseaux martin.desruisseaux at geomatys.fr
Tue May 26 10:06:15 EDT 2009

Hello all

I was encouraged by the discussion started Saturday, and feel very sorry that it 
slipped recently... Adrian has exposed some general context. I will try to reply 
to a few questions that I saw on the archive (I just registered to the list a 
few minutes ago).

Daniel issued that DVCS would be like SVN sandbox except that they are private 
instead of public. Actually it can be one or the other, at the DVCS user choice.

It has also been pointed that it would make release management more painful 
since we would have to merge from several repositories. But merging experience 
on DVCS is different than SVN, because of the history presents on every DVCS, 
which tecnically allows a repository "A" merged with repository "B" and "C" to 
know that repository "B" has been merged with repository "C" at some point of 
its history. To make a long story short, we can intuitively imagine that when 
the full history is available, there is information that a DVCS can exploit for 
applying the merge in a more sophesticated fashion than what a SVN having only 
the latest version locally can done.

Anyway back to the talk about Geotoolkit

Given that this fork is a precedent, I understand Frank's questions as 
definition of what would be the criterion OSGeo should apply in such situation, 
both in the Geotoolkit case and (possibly) in future cases.


1) Does it really have a sufficient community to flourish for some time?

Today it is Geomatys and a few parteners and institutions outside Geomatys. I'm 
tempted to answer "yes", or "it will be", but this is based on my own faith. Our 
hope is to get as much community as we can, but maybe a different community than 
the GeoTools one. We are focusing more on scientifics - myself I'm not really a 
computer man, my schollarship is all in science (physic, oceanography) and this 
is reflected in the library design. It was also one reason of disagrement (to me 
a Coverage is a matrix of measurements, while other GeoTools PMC were more 
interrested by the imaging aspect - those two visions lead to different 
technical choices).

2) Is it really going to be able to operate in a community based
    manner or is it essentially a geomatys fork?

Today it is a Geomatys initiative. However in order to answer the question about 
how we would behave with the community, the most reliable answer would be (like 
Adrian suggested) to look at the 7 years of emails archive, especially the first 
5 years before the discussions became more difficult. To summarize I believe 
that I made a lot of effort on my own free time for adressing Geoserver and uDig 
requests on referencing, and for integrating community contributions (except the 
"threaded authority factory" contract, but it would be an other discussion on 
its own).

3) Does it have technical strengths that make it appropriate for
    OSGeo to promote it?

I'm well aware that this is a very prententious statement from me, but I think 
that not many in the GeoTools community put as much effort on documentation and 
rigor than me. I claim that Geotoolkit has the best referencing module, with a 
long list of bugs fixed (http://jira.codehaus.org/browse/GEOT-2117 contains only 
a fraction of them) - some of those bug fixes are difficult enough that they 
can't be fixed by the current GeoTools community unless someone is willing to 
spend a lot of energy on them. I believe that it also have strenght of metadata 
handling, coverage and renderer.

4) Is it going to be able to work within a governance model that is
    going fit with OSGeo's concept of prudent management?

I'm not sure to understand what "prudent management" means?

	Best regards,


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