Until the new MapServer website comes online this summer, I will be hosting the most current mapscript API documentation here at http://www.sgillies.net/mapserver. Thanks to mod_rewrite, users should be diverted immediately from my old frii.com site and receive a notice when their browser fetches the rewritten URL. These HTML docs are generated (by docutils) from reStructured Text docs that I maintain in the MapServer CVS. Ideally, I'd prefer to generate documents from comments or docstrings in the module source itself using something like pydoc or javadoc, but since SWIG 1.3 emits neither documentation nor documentable wrapper modules this is not an option.
Looking back at email threads from February 2004 reminds me that I was very skeptical at first about the usefulness of an auxiliary API reference for mapscript in the style of the PHP mapscript README document; I thought it would satisfy neither a developer's need for precision nor an end user's desire for nicely-formatted and hyperlinked pages. Users of these docs are indebted to Daniel Morrissette for instigating the effort, Norman Vine for turning me on to docutils, and Howard Butler and Frank Warmerdam for helping with the drudgery of writing documentation.