MapServer Foundation

The good news is that nobody is threatening to take their ball and go home, but some conflict continues. It's going to be painful, as someone said, for Autodesk and DM Solutions to walk back their big brand-name announcements, but the majority of active MapServer users seem to want their program to be the sole owner of that name within the new foundation. Some of the founders feel that the opinions of these vocal folks are outweighed by the needs of another silent majority, the potential new users attracted by a capital F Foundation and the name Autodesk. Is this pie in the sky? We'll see soon enough.

Update: It looks like the community will be accomodated. Great news to end a tumultuous week.

Hobu's Take

Every time I ask myself why Howard hasn't yet posted about the Autodesk-MapServer foundation announcement, I have to remind myself that he already did.

Howard was disclosed about Autodesk's intents, and it was really tough to not be able to talk about it with him. Clearly, his concerns were not shared to the same degree by the rest of the group.

Arglebargle or Fufurah?

My reference to Gabbo was my biggest hit ever. In another shameless attempt to pander to Simpsons fans out there, here is an image that, for me, sums up the whole Autodesk-MapServer episode.



Re: Arglebargle or Fufurah?

Author: Brian Flood

once again, perfect Simpsons clipart. I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about what's going on in the MapServer world but it does seem like AutoDesk is co-opting the MapServer brand. Then again, if they both spit out WFS/WMS, I'm happy. I'll be sure to check it out some more in the future. cheers brian

Re: Arglebargle or Fufurah?

Author: James Fee

So which one is Homer and which one is Mr Burns? ;)

Re: Arglebargle or Fufurah?

Author: Sean Gillies

Homer is the original MapServer, of course! BTW, sorry about the lack of email notification on comment threads. I'm still shaking the bugs out.

Re: Arglebargle or Fufurah?

Author: Cornbread

As someone who has been on two projects that were given a cease and desist order from Autodesks lawyers I would say I am very nervous about what is going on with this Foundation thing. Then add on top of that I watched a friend get sued by them for some work he did to open up their dwg format and I am not only nervous but sceptical that Autodesk has anything but their bottom line on their mind with this thing.

Autodesk and MapServer

It's a bit over the top to write:

Today, this week, we are simply adjusting to a space/time warp in the continuum of our geospatial marketplace. Processes, products and relationships are all changing in ways with which none of us have experience.

but this is certainly the beginning of an interesting experiment.


Re: Autodesk and MapServer

Author: Mark

While I sort of understand using "MapServer" as part of the foundation name I was quite surprised about "MapServer Enterprise"! Talk about re-branding! I would point out that Apache http server 2.x is built upon the Apache http server 1.3 - a user upgrading to the newer series version would discover that many of the configuration directives have not changed although there are certainly differences including new and improved capabilities. In effect, version 2.0 was a major re-write of the code base but still incorporating many of the features of the 1.3 version. "Mapserver Enterprise" and "Mapserver classic/cheetah/whatever" are completely different software products - and pedigree. Sort of like Sun labeling all of their software products "Java" because the brand name was recognizable even though they often didn't involve the Java programming language in any way. Marketing and Sales people are always obsessed with branding issues - I am not so sure that open source projects should be quite so obsessed. While important, a project name/logo/symbol is really just a way to unify and identify a community around a particular project. And don't forget - it is ultimately all about the communities. Note that while the Apache Foundation's name is derived from its original web server software, all subsequent projects have different names ("Tomcat", "Geronimo", "Gump", etc) - only the original http server still goes solely by the name "Apache", and it is now a relatively less active project. My understanding is that the various Apache projects get to decide upon their own name when they start up. If another geospatial company donates code to the MapServer Foundation, can they call it "Mapserver Galactic Enterprise 2.0" or is that only a benefit of being an original founder ;-)

Not Getting It

Adena writes:

Here at AU it's pretty much a MapServer lovefest, but Ed McNierney of TopoZone has posted his letter pointing to a bad start for the foundation. Read it; we on the outside need to hear what both sides are saying.

Adena sees a divide in the MapServer community. She doesn't get it. There are as yet two separate communities. At AU, people are high on their first sip of open source, and filled with a sense (if a bit scary) of the endless possibilities. On the other hand, members of the original MapServer community have woken up to find a stranger in bed.


Re: Not Getting It

Author: James Fee

It is interesting to read many of the posts today. I think there was some shock yesterday where people couldn't put to words what they were feeling but today you see that coming out. I'm not personally involved with Mapserver, but the more I'm learning about "Enterprise", the more I have to question allowing Autodesk to use the name Mapserver with their product. Is the need for a foundation, greater than the need for a community? You have to wonder.