[Mapbender-users] Mapbender revisited (was: [Fwd: [OSGeo-Discuss] End of life for Community Mapbuilder])

Karsten Vennemann karsten at TERRAGIS.NET
Tue Jul 29 01:53:51 EDT 2008

Thanks Arnulf, I will less comment on the Mapbuilder project retiring but
instead look into the future...

I feel Mapbender will only get stronger if Openlayers is a option as a
viewer in future releases - 2.6 it is I've heard. It's true that Openlayers
seems to be everywhere and that's a good thing , it helps promote the open
source community as a whole. And anybody that is taking a closer look will
discover that it (OL) only does the client side ... Thus what better match
could be there as a complementary server side framework to build a complete
web mapping framework...
But I agree it needs to be communicated well (better than before) and will
enable the Mapbender community to grow and thrive in the mid and long term.
I would encourage to take a look at what alternatives (open source) are out
there and benefit from synergies and differences. Yes I think there could be
a bit more coordination what open source geospatial applications are
focusing on ...
Mapbender will be in friendly competition with Mapfish
(http://trac.mapfish.org/trac/mapfish) that is building a server side for
Openlayers (using Python (Pylons), and Java Script (ExtJs). There are also
alternatives for sites build on content management systems like Django
http://www.djangoproject.com/ . Since Geodjango http://geodjango.org/  is
available Openlayers can be built into Django easily and display vector
layers on top of Openlayers...Thus this might work for certain projects but
is not (yet) a full featured web mapping application. What I would take from
this fact and what I can imagine is that Mapbender would benefit if its
integration into a content management system like Django, Drupal or Plone
would be made easy (or easier) since "geospatial" is becoming more and more
mainstream people will want to have more than web mapping on a single web
And to talk about my specific experiences - I was working with Mapbender for
the last 7 month, starting off with Cartoweb3 (http://www.cartoweb.org)
before I determined that that wasn't performing as I wished and switched...
I am very pleased with Mapbender and can see a path where the community can
grow to be bigger and sustainable for a relatively long time.

Terragis Ltd Seattle

Arnulf Christl (OSGeo) wrote:
> Hello,
> this is interesting news from our sister project (see below). I would like
> to build on this (it is a "Community Builder" after all) and develop my
> perspective for Mapbender. As it is not really competing with Open Layers
> but they are complementing each other rather nicely I think that we should
> communicate this better to the outside community.
> Mapbender allows for the back end management of services, monitoring,
> subscriptions, user and role management, security, logging and a lot more
> stuff that are needed to set up and operate large scale geoportals. First
> Open Layers interfaces are already popping out of those Mapbender portals
> for example at http://www.geoportal.rlp.de - one of the most thorough
> Geoportal implementations based on Mapbender.
> We should start to collect the relevant bits of information so that we can
> come up with a differentiating point of view. There was a start back in 06
> in Lausanne at said BoF but it was not much further developed:
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Choosing_a_Web_Mapping_Platform#Where_the_projects
> This matrix puts Mapbender in the managed/client corner and there it is
> still alone. Mapbender has excellent bindings to the server side by
> thoroughly supporting all OGC standards and ideas for a close binding to
> Open Layers' OLON hav ebeen discussed at the Bolsena Hacking sprint with
> Andreas Hocevar (coming from MapBuilder, now GeoServer and OpenLayer).
> So I think we are as well positioned as ever and should start to
> commnuicate this a bit more. I am hearing way too many confounded
> Mapbender versus Open Layers stories, we should try to educate our
> communities a bit more.
> This as a first reaction from my side, I would be very interested in
> hearing other opinions.
> Best regards,
> Arnulf.
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] End of life for Community Mapbuilder
> From:    "Cameron Shorter" <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>
> Date:    Mon, July 28, 2008 13:02
> To:      "mapbuilder-devel" <mapbuilder-devel at lists.sourceforge.net>
>          "mapbuilder-users" <mapbuilder-users at lists.sourceforge.net>
>          mapbuilder-announce at lists.sourceforge.net
>          "OSGeo Discussions" <discuss at lists.osgeo.org>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         End of life for Community Mapbuilder
> We, the Mapbuilder Project Steering Committee, have agreed that the time
> has come for the Community Mapbuilder project to gracefully retire. We
> will release a final, stable 1.5 version of the software, and afterwards
> there are no planned enhancements to Mapbuilder. The web pages and code
> will be kept alive, a few bugs might be fixed and we will likely continue
> answering user queries, but we expect Mapbuilder will gradually fade away
> into history.
>  Why?
> Mapbuilder is a stable, feature rich, standards compliant, fast,
> webmapping framework with a strong developer community. Why has it come to
> the end of its life?
> The browser based webmapping space has become crowded and other webmapping
> clients have increased in functionality and attractiveness to users. In
> particular, Openlayers is simpler to use, has attracted an increabibly
> strong developer community, has good quality control and development
> processes, and has developed most of the webmapping functionality
> previously only offered by Mapbuilder. Basically Openlayers is attacting
> the majority of the users and developers that previously would have used
> Mapbuilder. One day someone will write a compelling paper on the history
> of the two similar projects and analyse the key differences and decision
> points which led to one project out shining the other.
>  But we are not crying
> Well, maybe we feel a twing of loss for the Mapbuilder project we started
> years ago, but in the bigger picture, we see the retiring of Mapbuilder as
> a good thing. It will allow the greater web mapping community to
> consolidate and rally around the remaining webmapping tools &#8211; in
> particular, around Openlayers.
> There has been significant collaboration between the Mapbuilder and
> Openlayers communities over the last couple of years. Mapbuilder has
> incorporated Openlayers as its rendering engine and fetures have been
> shared between projects. In many cases, developers from both projects
> worked together on the same codebase (in Openlayers), then ported up to
> Mapbuilder. This was a deliberate move toward the merging of the two
> developer communities and most of the Mapbuilder Project Steering
> Committee have contributed to the Openlayers codebase.
> So in essence, by changing our allegience from Mapbuilder to Openlayers we
> take with us some of our code, we replace some features with equivalent
> Openlayers features, we take our community with us, and we gain an
> existing, robust and welcoming community.
>  What should Mapbuilder users do?
> Users have a few options. You already own the source code, so you are
> welcome to continue maintaining and extending the Mapbuilder code for as
> long as you like. At some point, users will likely want to upgrade, and at
> that point we suggest considering Openlayers for your application. It now
> provides the majority of the fuctionality that was previously only offered
> by Mapbuilder.
>  What about Mapbuilder's standing with OSGeo?
> Having a graduated OSGeo project retire might be seen as an embarassment
> for OSGeo, however, I'd argue it is a strength. It shows two projects
> growing together under the OSGeo umbrella and evenually merging into a
> stronger, more focused community.
> However, it does raise a dilemma with regards to what should be done with
> a retired project. Some of the key OSGeo criteria, like &#8220;Community
> Backing&#8221; and &#8220;Best of Breed Software&#8221; will gradually be
> lost, so we should not continue to promote Mapbuilder. Still, we wouldn't
> want to erase Mapbuilder's history with OSGeo as our community has
> documented valuable lessons learned during the graduation process.
> I suggest a new &#8220;retired&#8221; category be created which keeps
> track of retired projects.
>  Thanks
> We, the project steering committee, have derived a huge amount of pleasure
> building Mapbuilder and working with the Mapbuilder Community. For many of
> us, Mapbuilder has been a launching pad into a fullfilling Open Source
> and/or Geospatial career. We'd like to thank all the users, developers and
> supporters of Mapbuilder we have met along the way.
> The Mapbuilder Project Steering Committee, (in order of appearance):
>          Cameron Shorter
>            Mike Adair
>            Patrice Cappelaere
>            Steven M. Ottens
>            Matt Diez
>            Olivier Terral
>            Andreas Hocevar
>            Gertjan van Oosten
> Linda Derezinski
>  --  Cameron Shorter Geospatial Systems Architect Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
> Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254  Think Globally, Fix Locally Commercial Support
> for Geospatial Open Source Solutions
> http://www.lisasoft.com/LISAsoft/SupportedProducts.html   
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> -- 
> Arnulf Christl
> http://www.wheregroup.com
> _______________________________________________
> Mapbender_users mailing list
> Mapbender_users at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapbender_users

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