[mapserver-dev] FW: MapServer enhancements/refactoring project

Paul Ramsey pramsey at opengeo.org
Wed Apr 1 17:03:57 EDT 2009

No Mapscript... well that's one upside, at least.
Nonetheless, I remain a solid -1.


On 1-Apr-09, at 3:02 PM, Stephen Woodbridge wrote:

> Another problem is how to deal with mapscript!!!!!
> Somehow I can not see running a JVM in PHP to get PHP/Mapscript
> and what about all the other languages.
> -Steve W
> Paul Ramsey wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 1:42 PM, Kralidis,Tom [Ontario]
>> <Tom.Kralidis at ec.gc.ca> wrote:
>>>> Daniel Morissette
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, 01 April 2009 16:20
>>>> Subject: Re: [mapserver-dev] FW: MapServer
>>>> enhancements/refactoring project
>>>> Then the MapServer Enterprise gets its real meaning!
>>>> Hoping that you'll see the light soon.
>>> I think this would call for a complete analysis of cost/return on
>>> investment on a change like this.  And what the problems are (in  
>>> detail)
>>> that are driving this proposal.
>> Sometimes it's not problems that drive things, it's plain old  
>> money. I
>> said it before, and I'll say it again (because I really like saying
>> it): rebuilding Mapserver in Java is like tearing down Notre Dame and
>> rebuilding it in Jello.  By extension, wrapping the Mapserver core in
>> Java is like wrapping Notre Dame in Jello.
>> Re-factoring only leads to tears. Porting leads to suicide pacts.
>> Let's not go there.
>> P
>>> ..Tom
>>>> Daniel
>>>> Kralidis,Tom [Ontario] wrote:
>>>>> -dev: see thread below.  I have no choice but to bring in -dev  
>>>>> here.
>>>>> Daniel: you have got to be kidding me.
>>>>> Coming from a non-Java environment, this would represent a major
>>>>> showstopper and end of use (and commitment) to MapServer
>>>> from myself
>>>>> and over 100 install bases.  A change as drastic as this
>>>> will no doubt
>>>>> crush confidence in foss4g to those I have been working
>>>> with so hard
>>>>> to build MapServer and foss4g.
>>>>> For the last 10 years.
>>>>> Thanks a lot!
>>>>> Regardless, I think this thread is best discussed with the
>>>> community
>>>>> who should be involved in this discussion.
>>>>> ..Tom
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Frank Warmerdam [mailto:warmerdam at pobox.com]
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, 01 April 2009 15:37
>>>>> To: Daniel Morissette
>>>>> Cc: Paul Ramsey; thomas bonfort; jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com;
>>>>> yassefa at dmsolutions.ca; Kralidis,Tom [Ontario];  
>>>>> hobu.inc at gmail.com;
>>>>> pnaciona at gmail.com; szekerest at gmail.com;
>>>> umberto.nicoletti at gmail.com;
>>>>> hobu at hobu.net; woodbri at swoodbridge.com
>>>>> Subject: Re: MapServer enhancements/refactoring project
>>>>> Daniel,
>>>>> It's funny that you mention this.  I recently had an expression of
>>>>> interest from a client to rewrite GDAL (but not OGR yet)
>>>> completely in
>>>>> Java.  My first reaction was to take a pass but such an
>>>> effort would
>>>>> be a good match with a MapServer rewrite in Java.  If my
>>>> client will
>>>>> pay for the GDAL rewrite into Java, would you be able to
>>>> set aside a
>>>>> man-year or so of funding for me to also rewrite OGR in Java?
>>>>> Luckily we can use the GeoTools coordinate system implementation  
>>>>> in
>>>>> place of PROJ.4, so we shouldn't need to rewrite all of that.
>>>>> This level of funded work should take me comfortably through the
>>>>> economic meltdown!
>>>>> PS. Paul, tell us what you really think!
>>>>> Paul Ramsey wrote:
>>>>>> I've head enough great potential to last a lifetime. I'll
>>>> stick with
>>>>>> things that actually work. Re-writing Mapserver in Java is like
>>>>>> tearing down Notre Dame and re-building it in Jello. You
>>>> and the rest
>>>>>> of the Jello-heads stay away from my church.
>>>>>> P.
>>>>>> On Apr 1, 2009, at 12:10 PM, Daniel Morissette wrote:
>>>>>>> Paul Ramsey wrote:
>>>>>>>> Daniel,
>>>>>>>> That's quite a big change you're proposing. Not that I have
>>>>>>>> anything
>>>>>>>> against Java per se or XML (well, maybe I have something  
>>>>>>>> against
>>>>>>>> XML) but I don't want to see either taking over the Mapserver
>>>>>>>> project, money or no money. If it's not written in
>>>>>>>> high-performance,
>>>>>>>> highly-painful C I don't want any part of it! Perhaps
>>>> you ate some
>>>>>>>> bad  > poutine, because the whole idea is off the rocker.
>>>>>>> C'mon Paul... of all people I would have thought that you
>>>> would have
>>>>>>> been the first person to see the great potential in this move!
>>>>>>> As I wrote before, you pick your camp, but others have made the
>>>>>>> right
>>>>>>> decision already.
>>>>>>> Daniel
>>>>>>> Daniel Morissette wrote:
>>>>>>>> The baby has grown, it's an adult now, and getting quite
>>>> mature, so
>>>>>>>> I wouldn't call that selling the baby but actually letting it
>>>>>>>> explore new grounds.
>>>>>>>> Think of it this way: the power and simplicity of
>>>> MapServer's core
>>>>>>>> algorithms combined with the modern architecture of the Java
>>>>>>>> language and development tools.
>>>>>>>> Isn't it about time that we move away from the command-line
>>>>>>>> debuggers and malloc's? It's the 21st century guys...
>>>> let the IDE
>>>>>>>> and the garbage collector do it all for you. It's been proven
>>>>>>>> several times that the performance is no longer an issue
>>>> with Java
>>>>>>>> now so why stick with an old language from the 70's when
>>>> we can do
>>>>>>>> 10 times as much with a modern toolkit?
>>>>>>>> We'll probably go ahead whether you're on board or not
>>>> (I got one
>>>>>>>> private reply from a MapServer dev who says he's on
>>>> board already),
>>>>>>>> so you choose your camp... continue to pull your hair
>>>> with the old
>>>>>>>> stuff or have fun taking the MapServer name to the next
>>>> level with
>>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>> modern architecture.
>>>>>>>> Daniel
>>>>>>>> thomas bonfort wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Daniel,
>>>>>>>>> Seeing you are the "mother of MapServer" I would have
>>>> hoped that
>>>>>>>>> you were not so keen in selling your baby to the first
>>>>>>>>> deep-pocketed java crackhead, even if I now that times
>>>> are rough
>>>>>>>>> right now and that it's probably more difficult to turn down  
>>>>>>>>> an
>>>>>>>>> offer that will keep you fed for a confortable amount of time.
>>>>>>>>> I would also have preferred that my first vote as a PSC
>>>> member was
>>>>>>>>> not a veto, as I cannot imagine myself going the java way with
>>>>> mapserver.
>>>>>>>>> regards,
>>>>>>>>> thomas
>>>>>>>>> On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 20:14, Daniel Morissette
>>>>>>>>> <dmorissette at mapgears.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Guys,
>>>>>>>>>> I've been contacted by a potential client who would be
>>>> willing to
>>>>>>>>>> fund a complete refactoring of MapServer. It seems
>>>> that they got
>>>>>>>>>> wind of our discussions at the TO Code Sprint and
>>>> would like to
>>>>>>>>>> help with some of that, more specifically:
>>>>>>>>>> - XML mapfiles
>>>>>>>>>> - performance work driven in part by GeoServer which
>>>> is getting
>>>>>>>>>> very close to MapServer in both performance and map rendering
>>>>>>>>>> quality
>>>>>>>>>> - rendering plugin architecture that Thomas is working on
>>>>>>>>>> - WFS-T support
>>>>>>>>>> They've got enough budget to get about 20 devs working on  
>>>>>>>>>> this
>>>>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>>>>> a year, but there are two big issues in my mind: they have a
>>>>>>>>>> tight
>>>>>>>>>> deadline, they need this done within a year, and they are
>>>>>>>>>> currently a Java shop so they require that we deliver a Java
>>>>>>>>>> solution (I know, I know). They considered GeoServer
>>>> but they got
>>>>>>>>>> turned down by the guys at OpenGeo who would not let
>>>> them get the
>>>>>>>>>> architectural changes they wanted for any amount of money, so
>>>>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>>>>> figured they might have more luck with us. Oh, there is a 3rd
>>>>>>>>>> thing:
>>>>>>>>>> they would require that the code be closed for at least a  
>>>>>>>>>> year
>>>>>>>>>> after the final deliverable before they let us release
>>>> anything
>>>>>>>>>> publicly...
>>>>>>>>>> something
>>>>>>>>>> related to their own internal policies and business
>>>> plan... not
>>>>>>>>>> ideal but at least in the end the code should be opened up.
>>>>>>>>>> I'm not too keen on a switch to Java, but it seems that the
>>>>>>>>>> performance is no longer an issue as the GeoServer guys have
>>>>>>>>>> demonstrated with their benchmarks, and this would
>>>> solve many of
>>>>>>>>>> our issues dealing with XML and Web Services (isn't
>>>> XML the way
>>>>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>>>> the future anyway?). If the money is there it's hard
>>>> to turn it
>>>>>>>>>> down, and it could be fun to take over GeoServer on its own
>>>>>>>>>> ground... Java!
>>>>>>>>>> So far I have 4 Java dev's on board. I am writing this
>>>> to you to
>>>>>>>>>> seek an expression of interest since I'd need at least  
>>>>>>>>>> another
>>>>>>>>>> 4-5
>>>>>>>>>> experienced MapServer devs to undertake this project.
>>>>>>>>>> Who's interested?
>>>>>>>>>> Daniel
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Paul Ramsey
>>>>>> pramsey at cleverelephant.ca
>>>>>> +1 250 885 0632
>>>> --
>>>> Daniel Morissette
>>>> http://www.mapgears.com/
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