[osgeo4w-dev] [Board] Writing up OSGeo priorities

Matt Wilkie matt.wilkie at gov.yk.ca
Tue Mar 5 13:24:36 PST 2013

> efforts that have already demonstrated
> community interest amoung users and contributors.  I think
> OSGeo4W has done both.


> I must admit I'm not absolutely certain what the best way is
> to move OSGeo4W forward.  Given the right person interested
> in working on the project full time (or a substantial part time)
> at a "scrappy" price, I'd push for funding but I'm not sure that
> such a person exists.

For myself, the limiter on participation is mostly available time. My 
work priorities make osgeo4w a very distant poor cousin, and at home 
family life consumes most everything. Funding would not change this. 
(Unless of course Osgeo4w /was /my job! A delightful prospect which I 
would embrace fully and gladly, however there even if such a thing were 
available there are many others much more qualified than I. So for the 
foreseeable future it's status quo for me.)

> My original point to the board was that I hesitate to fire money at 
> OSGeo4W as long as we are having trouble building a vision of how to 
> proceed with it.

Without a clear idea of what we might be done with an influx of 
resources the most likely result would be a bigger and more exaggerated 
version of what we have now.

> Certainly my view of Debian-like packaging has not got universal 
> acclaim, nor has the current approach of haphazard hand building of 
> packages always worked out well.

Some of the packaging woes could be solved, or at least eased, if the 
many and growing python addons leveraged the standard installers, as 
decribed in http://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo4w/wiki/ExternalPythonPackages. I 
believe that issues like dll-hell and incompatible compiler 
configurations which have been causing trouble with QGIS and friends in 
the last couple of years are side-stepped with python. (I'm not certain 
of this though, the idea needs more testing.)

For the non-python packages I'm very much in favour of a debian-like 
package system (and wish there was one for all of Windows).

> we could probably make it more reliable if we don't let the users to 
> create their packages by hand. ... a build environment (a dedicated 
> server) to provide the builds and the users should just author their 
> build scripts which would check out the sources and compile it regularly

I think this would go a long way to strengthening o4w, especially if the 
build server/environment also built and tested the install packages. 
Often it takes me twice as much time and headscratching to verify the 
packaging than it does to construct it in the first place.


matt wilkie
Geomatics Analyst
Information Management and Technology
Yukon Department of Environment
10 Burns Road * Whitehorse, Yukon * Y1A 4Y9
867-667-8133 Tel * 867-393-7003 Fax

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