A new mapnik release from Artem showed up on freshmeat right ahead of PCL 0.10.0. Mapnik sure does make an attractive map.
We're waiting until people get back to work to announce on Freshmeat, FreeGIS, and plone.org, but there is now a new PrimaGIS 0.5 release, supported by releases of ZCO 0.7 and PCL 0.10. This first release from the new project site features integration with the MochiKit AJAX library, compatibility with Plone 2.1, a users manual, and a host of other improvements.
Regarding the proposed MapServer-Autodesk Foundation, here are a few things I'm wishing for in 2006:
- A reality check. Some parties need to pull their heads out and begin to acknowledge that MapServer and Tux are competing for users and mind share whether they are under the same umbrella organization or not. Insisting that there is no competition is either naive or disingenuous.
- No name churn: conserving the MapServer project name would provide a core of continuity and stability during a big Foundation move.
- Disclosure of financial ties between parties to the open letter would help reassure members of the MapServer community that these representatives do not have conflicts of interest. Or maybe it would do the opposite ;) Whatever, let's get this out in the open.
- Focus on software. There is yet no common user or developer community between the MapServer and Tux projects, and, for all we know, there may never be one. The only sure common ground (let's drop the anti-ESRI nonsense) is made of mutual software dependencies: GEOS, PROJ.4, GDAL, GD, and SWIG. Looking after these could be a great way for a foundation to start.
What has been proposed to date appears to be more of a business association than a software foundation, with an undue emphasis on branding and publicity. I'll assert right here that putting marketing ahead of the software will be the end of our happy open source geospatial run.
Update: Howard has a response.
Howard asked me if I had a sense of the cost of antialiased lines. I set up a few tests using the timeit and mapscript modules, and found that the cost of polygon filling still outweights the cost of antialiased polygon stroking. Without fill, antialiasing is at least twice as costly, and increases in cost with the width of the line.
Some people still don't get the difference between open source (ala MapServer) and open standards (ala OGC). Clearly, people were clamoring in the comments on Spatially Adjusted for the benefits of open source, particularly attention to bugs. Nobody was complaining about open standards.
After a couple late nights by Steve Lime, pretty much any line or polygon outline can now be antialiased in MapServer 4.8-beta3.
There have been way too many press releases, recycled and regurgitated press releases, and pages of pure nonsense about the MapServer Foundation. Today, Howard Butler takes us inside the teepee for a look at the process.
Kevin Flanders has a new editorial in Directions on the MapServer Foundation brouhaha. Like me, he's ready to give Autodesk a fair shot at joining the community. Unlike me, he blames the blowback not on missteps by the Foundation founders, but on the small-mindedness of Joe six-pack MapServer user. That's disappointing. I think a little more openness from the start would have been sincerely appreciated by the community.