[Mapserver-users] XML Mapfile

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Fri May 28 12:44:54 EDT 2004

Paul Spencer wrote:

> Um.  This sounds a lot like Web Map Contexts ;)  Except that only works 
> with WMS data ... but how were you thinking that the client would 
> request the map remotely?

OK, this is not total thought through yet and there may be better ways 
of doing this. But the idea would be that you could make an xml service 
available that a user could request a mapfile and get it in xml, they 
could then modify colors, layers, min/max scales, and labeling 
(basically the symbology) but not the structure other than turning 
layers on/off.

A variant of this idea would be to create and abstraction of the 
symbology and return that as an xml document and when it is returned 
then regenerate a new mapfile based on the abstraction. When I create 
mapfiles I generate an excel spread sheet with with symbolic layers like 
"ROADS" and then describe the styling and data at the various zoom 
scales and do that for each virtual layer, then that gets expanded into 
a Mapserver mapfile and physical layers.

I kind of like the later option because it is more abstract and hides 
all the syntactic details of a mapserver mapfile which nobody really 
needs to know about.


> Stephen Woodbridge wrote:
>> Sean Gillies wrote:
>>> On May 28, 2004, at 5:16 AM, Stephen Woodbridge wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> There is a pretty extensive discussion on XML mapfiles in the 
>>>> archives, did anything come of this? Did anyone build any conversion 
>>>> tools?
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>   -Steve W.
>>> My XML project is not yet bearing any fruit.  Are you going to the 
>>> users meeting?
>>> Maybe we could see if any like-minded folks want to discuss it there.
>> MUM2 is still a question at this point for me.
>> I am interested in doing something with Perl.
>> One idea is to:
>> write a perl script to convert maplexer.l into a Parse::Lex script
>> and mapparser.y to a Parse::Yapp script. This would allow us to
>> generate perl code that could accurately read mapfiles based on the
>> mapserver grammar files. - this may be more trouble than it is worth
>> as I don't know much about these tools.
>> My goal would be to be able to read a mapfile and send it as xml to 
>> another client. They could make changes to it and request a map based 
>> on the modified mapfile. The modified mapfile would be validated and 
>> converted back to a Mapfile or would be dynamically instanciated in 
>> Mapscript. I don't think Mapscript supports all the functionality we 
>> need to do the later.
>> -Steve
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