[Mapbender-dev] GUI elements

Christoph Baudson christoph.baudson at wheregroup.com
Fri Mar 14 05:10:31 EDT 2008

In order to enhance the modular character of Mapbender, I propose to 
split the database table gui_element. The problem with the current table 
layout is, that there is no table for "element", just gui_element (From 
now on, whenever I speak of an "element" (as in "gui_element") I refer 
to it as a "module").

So if you have to change a module, the changes do not propagate 
throughout Mapbender. You have to edit the settings in every GUI 
manually, it is harder to track module changes.

Currently it's not possible to set a version number on a module. So you 
also do not know the compatibility status of a module. Some only work 
with specific versions, for example "set_locale" will require Mapbender 
2.5, it should not be possible to load it in an older Mapbender.

We need a centralised spot for keeping modules. Like an Eclipse update: 
You open your admin GUI and get a message about new available modules. 
Currently, you can only copy a GUI element from another GUI. Imagine, 
Mapbender could load it from mapbender.org. We would have enormous 
quality control over the modules in distributions.

Another problem is module IDs, the same module can have two IDs in two 
separate GUIs. IDs should be unique at all the time. If a user created a 
new module, we could do a remote check if there already is a module by 
that name.

Users would also be kept from editing a stable module and by this 
creating their own bastard modules that waste everybody's time.

For releasing, this approach would also make things easier. You could 
keep the SQL for a module within the file system, and construct the SQL 
data dump with a build process.

I would like to see this happen this year. Mapbender needs to change, 
things are growing to be more and more complex, yet there is no 
infrastructure. We need less overhead, I don't want to see Mapbender 
dead as a dodo.

Maybe we can discuss this face-to-face at FOSSGIS, but certainly up 
front here.

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