[Mapbender-dev] Roadmap

Arnulf Christl (Seven) seven at arnulf.us
Fri Oct 30 18:40:37 EDT 2009

thank you for taking this up, it is a very good suggestion. I cannot
contribute as much as I would like to yet but I believe that all your
points are good and probably also come iin the right priority.

I would like to see some REST-oriented ideas come up, for example
submitting WMS and WFS service capabilities Links or documents to
Mapbender without having to log in and open a web administration
interface. Mass-create accounts in the same way and enhance notifications,

I am pretty unsure what this would involve technical-wise and will
unfortunately not be at the next sprint (at least I did not check yet).

Good too see this happening.

A side question: If something is broken on
mapbender.telascience.org/current - should that also be reported using the
general Mapbender ticket system?


> We don't really have a roadmap. We talked about creating one a lot, but
> we never came         around to actually doing it. I think it's time we
> should create a roadmap, follow it, and make it transparent to our
> users. We should make retrospectives at least every three months to see
> what we have accomplished.
> Please allow me to show you a roadmap that is guided by my impressions.
> (1) Improve visual appearance
> Mapbender looks just like it did five years ago. Users out there don't
> know that the technology under the hood has improved tremendously in
> these five years. It seems like Mapbender is a GIS antique shop from the
> good old Web 1.0 days. I propose we improve the appearance by these steps
> (a) rely more on the jQuery library
> it has a lot of interesting plugins, like tablesorters. It also offers a
> lot of unobtrusive effects. jQuery UI has a lot more of these plugins we
> should use, for example use their tabs module instead of our own. By
> this we remove code from Mapbender and make it leaner and easier to
> maintain.
> (b) adopt the jQuery UI style conventions
> I've written about this in a previous mail. We should use their class
> definitions and map them to our existing modules. People could create
> themes with the jQuery UI theme roller. Again, this will also make
> Mapbender easier to configure, and easier to maintain.
> (c) a new logo
> it's already in the make, but it should be finished soon. Could be used
> in a nice default splash screen.
> (d) possibly implement the pseudo slippy map. The Mapbender map is
> considered old-fashioned as well. It could be updated to a pseudo slippy
> map, a proof of concept exists. The OpenLayers viewer for untiled WMS is
> not spectacular either.
> (2) Allow other map clients
> we should be able to allow other mapping clients, in order to allow
> tiled maps as well. I see these options
> (a) map Mapbender API to Openlayers API. By this, the Mapbender and the
> OL client could be made interchangable. However, the OpenLayers API is
> huge and the question is where to stop. I assume this would be the hard
> way.
> (b) use Mapstraction. The Mapstraction library comes with a code
> template you have to fill with an adapter to your map client for each
> API function. The set of functions is not so big, and could be finished
> in reasonable amount of time. However, not all functionality is covered
> (like adding map services). But we would also be able to display other
> maps like Google or Yahoo without the OpenLayers overhead. Which could
> be nice for smaller apps.
> I've omitted other important things like update script or installer,
> basically because I think we should focus on marketing and show what
> Mapbender is capable of, without hurting the eyes of potential users.
> I would recommend we create a new folder for modules that have been
> refactored. By this, we would maintain the current status, and still be
> free to make huge changes. I think the Mapbender core is quite stable
> and will not be subject to severe changes.
> Storing the modules at another location will allow us to address the
> modules we think most important, and be able to create a stunning new
> application within the next three months. This new application should be
> made public and linked to intensively, in order to attract attention to
> the Mapbender project.
> I propose we create the roadmap before the next dev sprint, so we can
> focus on our top prioritiy and not get lost in discussion. We should not
> plan too much and only address the topics we deem most important in
> order to gain momentum and make good progress.
> Please contribute to this discussion. This is just my roadmap and maybe
> the project would benefit more from other improvements. Let's talk about
> it and vote before the dev sprint.
> Have a nice weekend
> Christoph
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Arnulf Christl

Exploring Space, Time and Mind

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