[OpenLayers-Dev] OpenLayers Architect - GSoC 2008 Final Project Stats Report

Erik Hazzard enoex1 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 16 22:33:19 EDT 2008

This is my final status report for GSoC.  (I'm submitting it tonight
because I'll be moving tomorrow and I don't know if I'll have an
internet connection anytime soon).   Having started programming not
even a year ago, this project has given me the opportunity to
challenge myself and become more confident in my programming
abilities.  I still consider myself a novice programmer, but it would
have taken me ages to even get to the level I'm at now after GSoC.
This has been an invaluable experience, and I want to again thank
Chris Schmidt for the great help he's been and will (I'm sure)
continue to be - I'm greatly indebted to him.  I've made more progress
on the project than I thought I would, and I honestly feel that
overall, while I still have a ways to go for a finished, polished
product, this GSoC has been a phenomenal success.  I will most
definitely continue working on this project after the summer ends, and
I will occasionally post major updates to this list if anyone is
interested - I'll also be keeping my blog updated.
The past couple of days I've tied up the few loose ends I wanted to,
and while the application is not fully functional, it does provide the
basic map creation ability that I originally sought out to accomplish.
 I haven't been able to test every example and combination of
features, but I have not been able to find any bugs in IE or FF (there
are things that do not work yet - but I've fixed all known bugs).
Sebastian had suggested I implement a preview function, and although I
hadn't planned to do it until after GSoC, there is a preview button
once map code has been generated that will open a new window with a
preview of the map.  The following is a brief list of some of the
features that currently work

-Configuring Maps, Layers, Controls, and Panels
     -Configuring location of Panels and controls
     -Base layers are determined by the order of the layers in the
sortable layer list, default panel controls are specified by the order
the controls are sorted in the panel control list
-Generating Javascript code to create an OpenLayers map based on the
selected configuration
-Generating CSS code for panels / controls ( further explanation follows )
-Viewing a preview of the map generated directly from the code

CSS Generation
Currently, classes are created for most controls and panels (save the
editing toolbar for now).  Right now its main purpose to is to
position and size panels / controls.  When a control or panel is
created, the size and location scales based on the size of the actual
map div.  The next step I will take after GSoC is over is to begin
working on creating further theme customization tools, so no
stylesheet editing should be necessary.  The overview map provides a
good demonstration of how OLArchitect is currently generating and
using CSS.

Overall, I don't expect this to be able to and hadn't planned for it
to create a very robust map at the moment.  It does, however, provide
a very solid foundation and demonstrates an easy and quick way to
general OpenLayers maps.  (The "button" control don't do much
currently either).  However, nearly all the hard work is done, and the
code is as extensible as I could make it (albeit not great code) so
adding features won't be much of a hassle.  I look forward to not only
working on this project after GSoC ends, but hopefully start to get
involved with OpenLayers development as I've gained a fairly solid
understanding after spending so much time with it these past months.
I'll be posting a more detailed analysis on my blog within the week,
outlining what I plan to do next. Thanks again for giving me this
awesome opportunity to work on my project, and thanks to everyone who
has helped and supported me along the way.

URL - http://olarchitect.com/
Blog - http://vasir.net/blog/olarchitect

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