[Mapserver-dev] Rewrites Considered Harmful
sgillies at frii.com
Sun Jan 18 11:19:29 EST 2004
On Jan 15, 2004, at 2:52 PM, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> I'm sure lots of you keep an eye on Slashdot and have seen this, or
> read discussions of the idea from other sources, but I thought it
> might be
> worth forwarding anyways. The artile is "Rewrites Considered
> The basic thesis is that we should carefully consider before embarking
> wholesale rewrites of software products. "Next Generation" software
> rewrites often cause far more pain then the gain they supposedly bring.
> I have personally seen this in a number of instances, including some
> rewrites I was responsible for myself.
> I bring this up here, because there is occationally suggestions made
> MapServer needs a complete rewrite. There might well be some
> benefits to such a thing. Lord knows parts of mapserver are pretty
> But at the end of the day, I imagine we would find a rewrite would
> huge compatibility, bug and performance issues. Furthermore, with an
> source project like mapserver, there is a very real danger we would
> just run
> out of steam to complete the overhaul before it was really completed
> On a smaller scale, I also take the point that changes between
> versions that
> break compatibililty have a higher cost than some might imagine.
> I think that is true of mapserver, and backward incompatible changes
> to the
> mapfile, or the various mapscript incarnations. I was pleased to see
> proposals for the new "time indexes" did seem to try and account for a
> backward compatibility mechanism.
> Anyways, food for thought.
> Best regards,
> I set the clouds in motion - turn up | Frank Warmerdam,
> warmerdam at pobox.com
> light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
> and watch the world go round - Rush | Geospatial Programmer for Rent
I really appreciate being reminded of these issues. Is anyone surveying
MapServer users in a way that would let us know if we bungled the
version 3 to version 4 change?
I don't remember having seen any discussion of a complete rewrite, but
I wonder if some of my ideas aren't perceived as being complete
When I've written about my interests in seeing a thread-safe MapServer
going away from the lexer towards thread-safe MapScript object
do you see this as requiring a complete rewrite of MapServer?
sgillies at frii dot com
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