XML Mapfiles... are we looking to far?

Julien, Heryk hjulien at NRCAN.GC.CA
Fri Jul 14 12:56:34 EDT 2006

Hi to all,

I know that there have been discussions a while back on replacing text mapfiles with an xml format. There are many advantages to using an xml mapfile format... schema validation being one of the major ones.


Initially I thought that making MapServer xml aware would be rather complicated since we would have to make major modifications to the application. However, I think I was looking too far. I was wondering if we could add an xml parser to MapServer that would just apply a simple stylesheet (xslt) to an xml mapfile and convert it on the fly to a text mapfile that MapServer could use? So Mapserver would continue to work as it did with simple text mapfiles. Is this realistic?


I'm presently considering making a mapfile schema to create xml mapfiles and then use an xml parser (Cocoon server) to create static text mapfiles in my mapfile directory. However, it would be very cool and useful if MapServer could directly parse xml and create its own text mapfiles.


My two cents





Héryk Julien

Research Officer

Natural Resources Canada

490 rue de la Couronne

Québec, Qc, G1K 9A9



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