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Active Developers?

spatialminds
I'm looking for an honest appraisal of the current state of the MapGuide OS community.  My "seat of the pants" evaluation is that the project had a great entrance into the OS Geo community but hasn't really gathered much steam since then.  The online resources for getting started are almost all dated in the 2007-2009 time period, and the roadmap indicates that releases have been small, incomplete, and/or missed entirely.

Is MapGuide OS growing and maturing?  If not, why do you think that is?  It's clearly a great product with both a lot of features today and a solid architecture for growth/scalability in the future.

As a former Autodesker, I'm considering using MG Open Source as the basis for the server side piece of an upcoming app.  I'm a bit reluctant though, and am looking for re-assurance that the project is active, lively, and moving forward.

Craig


Craig Miller
http://spatialminds.com



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Re: Active Developers?

zspitzer
are you volunteering to join the project and contribute?

On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM, Craig Miller
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'm looking for an honest appraisal of the current state of the MapGuide OS community.  My "seat of the pants" evaluation is that the project had a great entrance into the OS Geo community but hasn't really gathered much steam since then.  The online resources for getting started are almost all dated in the 2007-2009 time period, and the roadmap indicates that releases have been small, incomplete, and/or missed entirely.
>
> Is MapGuide OS growing and maturing?  If not, why do you think that is?  It's clearly a great product with both a lot of features today and a solid architecture for growth/scalability in the future.
>
> As a former Autodesker, I'm considering using MG Open Source as the basis for the server side piece of an upcoming app.  I'm a bit reluctant though, and am looking for re-assurance that the project is active, lively, and moving forward.
>
> Craig
>
>
> Craig Miller
> http://spatialminds.com
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> mapguide-internals mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals



--
Zac Spitzer
Solution Architect / Director
Ennoble Consultancy Australia
http://www.ennoble.com.au
http://zacster.blogspot.com
+61 405 847 168
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Re: Active Developers?

spatialminds
I'm a developer, I'll contribute any changes I make to MapGuide.

So, back to my question??

Craig

Craig Miller
http://spatialminds.com



On May 13, 2012, at 8:55 PM, Zac Spitzer wrote:

> are you volunteering to join the project and contribute?
>
> On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM, Craig Miller
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I'm looking for an honest appraisal of the current state of the MapGuide OS community.  My "seat of the pants" evaluation is that the project had a great entrance into the OS Geo community but hasn't really gathered much steam since then.  The online resources for getting started are almost all dated in the 2007-2009 time period, and the roadmap indicates that releases have been small, incomplete, and/or missed entirely.
>>
>> Is MapGuide OS growing and maturing?  If not, why do you think that is?  It's clearly a great product with both a lot of features today and a solid architecture for growth/scalability in the future.
>>
>> As a former Autodesker, I'm considering using MG Open Source as the basis for the server side piece of an upcoming app.  I'm a bit reluctant though, and am looking for re-assurance that the project is active, lively, and moving forward.
>>
>> Craig
>>
>>
>> Craig Miller
>> http://spatialminds.com
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> mapguide-internals mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals
>
>
>
> --
> Zac Spitzer
> Solution Architect / Director
> Ennoble Consultancy Australia
> http://www.ennoble.com.au
> http://zacster.blogspot.com
> +61 405 847 168
> _______________________________________________
> mapguide-internals mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals

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Re: Active Developers?

Jackie Ng
In reply to this post by spatialminds
Hi Craig,

You want an honest assessment of the MapGuide Open Source project? Well then ...

I personally think the MapGuide Open Source has stagnated. Not in terms of users (the -users mailing list still has healthy activity, and there seems to be a sizable group of knowledgeable users answering questions)

But rather, the project has stagnated due to the very small number of non-Autodesk developers (like myself) knowledgeable about the architecture and internals of MapGuide. With such a small community brains trust, it's very hard for us to move the MapGuide project forward. Even after 5 years, there's still parts of the MapGuide stack that I'm not intimately familiar with and do not dare to touch as a result.

My theory as to why 2009 seems to be the year that things started to grind to a halt? It's probably because of that thing called the GFC. I'd imagine Autodesk was not immune and had to layoff a sizable chunk of their staff like every other major corporation at the time and so you essentially had a skeleton crew looking after the MapGuide product. That's my 2c on the matter anyway.

Another major problem is the lack of users championing MapGuide. When was the last FOSS4G event where someone talked about MapGuide or FDO? Besides my own blog and ones from Autodesk, do you see anybody blogging or talking about MapGuide on semi-regular basis? Gordon Luckett blogs stuff on an occasional basis. Jason and Zac seemed to have problems writing things longer than 140-characters :-)

I'd like to think blogosphere activity as a useful barometer of how alive and popular a particular project/product is, and going by this metric you would have to say that MapGuide is either a dying project or a pretty obscure one. My blog seems to be the defacto source for anything MapGuide/FDO-related because I seem to be the only one outside of Autodesk talking about it!

But we can change this state of affairs, the community just has to step up to the plate. Not gonna lie here, monetary investment helps. One of the major pain points of MapGuide Open Source (a performant and stable GDAL raster provider) is solvable if there is community interest in funding it (http://www.otxsystems.com/community-initiatives/gdal-provider-initiative.html). I get this impression that the lack of monetary funding is due the "free lunch" mentality associated with most Open Source projects. Well someone has to get paid to make that lunch one way or another.

But it's not just monetary investments, but also investments of knowledge and developer resources. Submit patches (I can review and submit on your behalf if need be), improve the documentation, blog about MapGuide (even simple things like how to do XYZ), talk about MapGuide at your next GIS/Geospatial conference, get people interested in MapGuide. There's many things that we as a community can do that does not involve writing code.

So the TL;DR - Not enough community effort/resourcing/advocacy. The community can move MapGuide forward if they are willing to invest in it (not just monetary). We can't (and shouldn't) have to rely on Autodesk.

- Jackie
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Re: Active Developers?

Ivan Miličević-3
It's a little OT.. But does anybody besides me realize how dead MG would be without Jackie's contribution?

Personally, Mapguide is a good product a solid platform for building GIS apps. It's true that development has stagnated but major contribution cannot be made without real requirements. Honestly, only ADSK can made that this product move ahead because of the complex codebase and integration with Infrastructure Server and let me to be a clear, ADSK should do more than sit and watch. They initiate to open this product to OpenSource and they must continue to push it up. The first step would be to open DWG file format trough FDO. Editing, people what's to edit their dana online. ADSK made so many tools for editing online but nothing has been "donated" to this project. I understand that a current viewer has some specific limits but let0s suppress them. Acad online have a very nice GUI and editing capabilities.

And on the very end, Mapguide internals should ask and listen current users what they want to see in the future releases. Let's make a pool.

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jackie Ng
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 1:30 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [mapguide-internals] Re: Active Developers?

Hi Craig,

You want an honest assessment of the MapGuide Open Source project? Well then ...

I personally think the MapGuide Open Source has stagnated. Not in terms of users (the -users mailing list still has healthy activity, and there seems to be a sizable group of knowledgeable users answering questions)

But rather, the project has stagnated due to the very small number of non-Autodesk developers (like myself) knowledgeable about the architecture and internals of MapGuide. With such a small community brains trust, it's very hard for us to move the MapGuide project forward. Even after 5 years, there's still parts of the MapGuide stack that I'm not intimately familiar with and do not dare to touch as a result.

My theory as to why 2009 seems to be the year that things started to grind to a halt? It's probably because of that thing called the GFC. I'd imagine Autodesk was not immune and had to layoff a sizable chunk of their staff like every other major corporation at the time and so you essentially had a skeleton crew looking after the MapGuide product. That's my 2c on the matter anyway.

Another major problem is the lack of users championing MapGuide. When was the last FOSS4G event where someone talked about MapGuide or FDO? Besides my own blog and ones from Autodesk, do you see anybody blogging or talking about MapGuide on semi-regular basis? Gordon Luckett blogs stuff on an occasional basis. Jason and Zac seemed to have problems writing things longer than 140-characters :-)

I'd like to think blogosphere activity as a useful barometer of how alive and popular a particular project/product is, and going by this metric you would have to say that MapGuide is either a dying project or a pretty obscure one. My blog seems to be the defacto source for anything MapGuide/FDO-related because I seem to be the only one outside of Autodesk talking about it!

But we can change this state of affairs, the community just has to step up to the plate. Not gonna lie here, monetary investment helps. One of the major pain points of MapGuide Open Source (a performant and stable GDAL raster provider) is solvable if there is community interest in funding it (http://www.otxsystems.com/community-initiatives/gdal-provider-initiative.html).
I get this impression that the lack of monetary funding is due the "free lunch" mentality associated with most Open Source projects. Well someone has to get paid to make that lunch one way or another.

But it's not just monetary investments, but also investments of knowledge and developer resources. Submit patches (I can review and submit on your behalf if need be), improve the documentation, blog about MapGuide (even simple things like how to do XYZ), talk about MapGuide at your next GIS/Geospatial conference, get people interested in MapGuide. There's many things that we as a community can do that does not involve writing code.

So the TL;DR - Not enough community effort/resourcing/advocacy. The community can move MapGuide forward if they are willing to invest in it (not just monetary). We can't (and shouldn't) have to rely on Autodesk.

- Jackie

--
View this message in context: http://osgeo-org.1560.n6.nabble.com/Active-Developers-tp4974289p4974401.html
Sent from the MapGuide Internals mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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Re: Active Developers?

zspitzer
Jackie has made an amazing contribution to the project, we (Ennoble)
do a lot of work
for the project via client funding and testing as we develop client
solutions at Ennoble,
then Jackie goes home and does even more development work at night.

Don't ever expect Autodesk to provide a free FDO for DWG, that's their
commercial
advantage, like their FDO raster provider, which is fair enough.

It's a complex code base to work with, which does make it challenging for new
developers to get involved.

Pretty much all new features which have been added are driven by people
who are using the product for commercial projects and they put money up
to fund development of those features.

Sadly, our user base seems to be very happy to use the product and very
reluctant to support it financially or in kind with new features,
despite their own often large investments in using the product for projects

z


On Tue, May 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM, Ivan Miličević
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> It's a little OT.. But does anybody besides me realize how dead MG would be without Jackie's contribution?
>
> Personally, Mapguide is a good product a solid platform for building GIS apps. It's true that development has stagnated but major contribution cannot be made without real requirements. Honestly, only ADSK can made that this product move ahead because of the complex codebase and integration with Infrastructure Server and let me to be a clear, ADSK should do more than sit and watch. They initiate to open this product to OpenSource and they must continue to push it up. The first step would be to open DWG file format trough FDO. Editing, people what's to edit their dana online. ADSK made so many tools for editing online but nothing has been "donated" to this project. I understand that a current viewer has some specific limits but let0s suppress them. Acad online have a very nice GUI and editing capabilities.
>
> And on the very end, Mapguide internals should ask and listen current users what they want to see in the future releases. Let's make a pool.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jackie Ng
> Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 1:30 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [mapguide-internals] Re: Active Developers?
>
> Hi Craig,
>
> You want an honest assessment of the MapGuide Open Source project? Well then ...
>
> I personally think the MapGuide Open Source has stagnated. Not in terms of users (the -users mailing list still has healthy activity, and there seems to be a sizable group of knowledgeable users answering questions)
>
> But rather, the project has stagnated due to the very small number of non-Autodesk developers (like myself) knowledgeable about the architecture and internals of MapGuide. With such a small community brains trust, it's very hard for us to move the MapGuide project forward. Even after 5 years, there's still parts of the MapGuide stack that I'm not intimately familiar with and do not dare to touch as a result.
>
> My theory as to why 2009 seems to be the year that things started to grind to a halt? It's probably because of that thing called the GFC. I'd imagine Autodesk was not immune and had to layoff a sizable chunk of their staff like every other major corporation at the time and so you essentially had a skeleton crew looking after the MapGuide product. That's my 2c on the matter anyway.
>
> Another major problem is the lack of users championing MapGuide. When was the last FOSS4G event where someone talked about MapGuide or FDO? Besides my own blog and ones from Autodesk, do you see anybody blogging or talking about MapGuide on semi-regular basis? Gordon Luckett blogs stuff on an occasional basis. Jason and Zac seemed to have problems writing things longer than 140-characters :-)
>
> I'd like to think blogosphere activity as a useful barometer of how alive and popular a particular project/product is, and going by this metric you would have to say that MapGuide is either a dying project or a pretty obscure one. My blog seems to be the defacto source for anything MapGuide/FDO-related because I seem to be the only one outside of Autodesk talking about it!
>
> But we can change this state of affairs, the community just has to step up to the plate. Not gonna lie here, monetary investment helps. One of the major pain points of MapGuide Open Source (a performant and stable GDAL raster provider) is solvable if there is community interest in funding it (http://www.otxsystems.com/community-initiatives/gdal-provider-initiative.html).
> I get this impression that the lack of monetary funding is due the "free lunch" mentality associated with most Open Source projects. Well someone has to get paid to make that lunch one way or another.
>
> But it's not just monetary investments, but also investments of knowledge and developer resources. Submit patches (I can review and submit on your behalf if need be), improve the documentation, blog about MapGuide (even simple things like how to do XYZ), talk about MapGuide at your next GIS/Geospatial conference, get people interested in MapGuide. There's many things that we as a community can do that does not involve writing code.
>
> So the TL;DR - Not enough community effort/resourcing/advocacy. The community can move MapGuide forward if they are willing to invest in it (not just monetary). We can't (and shouldn't) have to rely on Autodesk.
>
> - Jackie
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://osgeo-org.1560.n6.nabble.com/Active-Developers-tp4974289p4974401.html
> Sent from the MapGuide Internals mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> _______________________________________________
> mapguide-internals mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals
> _______________________________________________
> mapguide-internals mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals



--
Zac Spitzer
Solution Architect / Director
Ennoble Consultancy Australia
http://www.ennoble.com.au
http://zacster.blogspot.com
+61 405 847 168
_______________________________________________
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Re: Active Developers?

Crispin_at_Linknode
In reply to this post by spatialminds
Craig,

>> I'm considering using MG Open Source as the basis for the server side piece of an upcoming app.
>> I'm a bit reluctant though, and am looking for re-assurance that the project is active, lively, and moving forward.

I have worked for and with a number of organisations that use MapGuide.  For us, the server provides a robust (when managed well), flexible and high quality medium.  My development days are pretty much gone, but where we have needs and recognise shortcomings we sponsor development in the community.

If MapGuide meets your needs now then I would recommend it as a platform.  The more who join help to reinforce that "active, lively" base that already exists.

An update on the roadmap and ongoing PSC minutes would certainly help to show the project has not stagnated - for evidence see:
 http://trac.osgeo.org/mapguide/timeline
 http://trac.osgeo.org/fdo/timeline
 http://trac.osgeo.org/csmap/timeline

 Regards - Crispin
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Re: Active Developers?

spatialminds
In reply to this post by Ivan Miličević-3
Thanks for being honest about the state of things.  I know that can be hard to do sometimes.

I'm hearing a few things:

1.  Complex code base w/ very little documentation to help new developers get involved.

Ive experienced this myself when trying to understand MapGuide for the first time.  Ace, multiple services, C client lib, SWIG bindings, multiple viewers, ... it gets confusing and can be hard to get setup for debugging/testing.


2.  There may have been a tendency to wait for Autodesk to lead the way.  Autodesk doesn't seem to be leading anymore (?), so it's time for the OS community to start moving forward on its own.

What's the status of the weekly board meetings?  Do they still happen?  Is Autodesk still actively involved?

3.  It might be worthwhile to encourage folks to champion MapGuide.

Traditionally, I believe most MG users are Windows users and as such may not be as involved in local Open Source Geo user groups.  It might be worthwhile to encourage folks to get involved, give presentations on their MG setups, etc to some of these groups, at URISA meetings, and other GIS meetings.

4.  There seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for new features that people want to pay for.
This is interesting... Can I ask what features have been proposed to the User base that aren't getting funded?  Where would you guys like to see MG go?

Thanks again for the honest feedback.
Craig

 
Craig Miller
http://spatialminds.com



On May 15, 2012, at 12:46 AM, Ivan Miličević wrote:

> It's a little OT.. But does anybody besides me realize how dead MG would be without Jackie's contribution?
>
> Personally, Mapguide is a good product a solid platform for building GIS apps. It's true that development has stagnated but major contribution cannot be made without real requirements. Honestly, only ADSK can made that this product move ahead because of the complex codebase and integration with Infrastructure Server and let me to be a clear, ADSK should do more than sit and watch. They initiate to open this product to OpenSource and they must continue to push it up. The first step would be to open DWG file format trough FDO. Editing, people what's to edit their dana online. ADSK made so many tools for editing online but nothing has been "donated" to this project. I understand that a current viewer has some specific limits but let0s suppress them. Acad online have a very nice GUI and editing capabilities.
>
> And on the very end, Mapguide internals should ask and listen current users what they want to see in the future releases. Let's make a pool.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jackie Ng
> Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 1:30 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [mapguide-internals] Re: Active Developers?
>
> Hi Craig,
>
> You want an honest assessment of the MapGuide Open Source project? Well then ...
>
> I personally think the MapGuide Open Source has stagnated. Not in terms of users (the -users mailing list still has healthy activity, and there seems to be a sizable group of knowledgeable users answering questions)
>
> But rather, the project has stagnated due to the very small number of non-Autodesk developers (like myself) knowledgeable about the architecture and internals of MapGuide. With such a small community brains trust, it's very hard for us to move the MapGuide project forward. Even after 5 years, there's still parts of the MapGuide stack that I'm not intimately familiar with and do not dare to touch as a result.
>
> My theory as to why 2009 seems to be the year that things started to grind to a halt? It's probably because of that thing called the GFC. I'd imagine Autodesk was not immune and had to layoff a sizable chunk of their staff like every other major corporation at the time and so you essentially had a skeleton crew looking after the MapGuide product. That's my 2c on the matter anyway.
>
> Another major problem is the lack of users championing MapGuide. When was the last FOSS4G event where someone talked about MapGuide or FDO? Besides my own blog and ones from Autodesk, do you see anybody blogging or talking about MapGuide on semi-regular basis? Gordon Luckett blogs stuff on an occasional basis. Jason and Zac seemed to have problems writing things longer than 140-characters :-)
>
> I'd like to think blogosphere activity as a useful barometer of how alive and popular a particular project/product is, and going by this metric you would have to say that MapGuide is either a dying project or a pretty obscure one. My blog seems to be the defacto source for anything MapGuide/FDO-related because I seem to be the only one outside of Autodesk talking about it!
>
> But we can change this state of affairs, the community just has to step up to the plate. Not gonna lie here, monetary investment helps. One of the major pain points of MapGuide Open Source (a performant and stable GDAL raster provider) is solvable if there is community interest in funding it (http://www.otxsystems.com/community-initiatives/gdal-provider-initiative.html).
> I get this impression that the lack of monetary funding is due the "free lunch" mentality associated with most Open Source projects. Well someone has to get paid to make that lunch one way or another.
>
> But it's not just monetary investments, but also investments of knowledge and developer resources. Submit patches (I can review and submit on your behalf if need be), improve the documentation, blog about MapGuide (even simple things like how to do XYZ), talk about MapGuide at your next GIS/Geospatial conference, get people interested in MapGuide. There's many things that we as a community can do that does not involve writing code.
>
> So the TL;DR - Not enough community effort/resourcing/advocacy. The community can move MapGuide forward if they are willing to invest in it (not just monetary). We can't (and shouldn't) have to rely on Autodesk.
>
> - Jackie
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://osgeo-org.1560.n6.nabble.com/Active-Developers-tp4974289p4974401.html
> Sent from the MapGuide Internals mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> _______________________________________________
> mapguide-internals mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals
> _______________________________________________
> mapguide-internals mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapguide-internals

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Re: Active Developers?

Jackie Ng
Some inline responses below.

> Ive experienced this myself when trying to understand MapGuide for the first time.  Ace, multiple services, C
> client lib, SWIG bindings, multiple viewers, ... it gets confusing and can be hard to get setup for
> debugging/testing.

I guess it's just another case of too much coding, not enough documenting.

Our wiki starting point for MG internals is somewhat lacking in detail: http://trac.osgeo.org/mapguide/wiki/MapGuideArchitecture

> What's the status of the weekly board meetings?  Do they still happen?  Is Autodesk still actively involved?

We haven't had one of those in a long time. In my time as PSC member, I've only attended one meeting.

> Traditionally, I believe most MG users are Windows users and as such may not be as involved in local Open
> Source Geo user groups.  It might be worthwhile to encourage folks to get involved, give presentations on
> their MG setups, etc to some of these groups, at URISA meetings, and other GIS meetings.

It shouldn't really matter that most of the users are Windows users. This is more about the software we're using (MapGuide) and not the platform we're running it on (Windows).

Of course MapGuide's Linux street cred could always do with some improvement. We had to pull MapGuide out of the OSGeo LiveDVD due to inexperience with the Linux platform, and inability to consistently produce usable Linux builds. It's somewhat better in 2.4 (we have a working Ubuntu release! yay!)

> This is interesting... Can I ask what features have been proposed to the User base that aren't getting
> funded?  Where would you guys like to see MG go?

As already mentioned. GDAL stability and performance is the immediate one. You are almost guaranteed a post about the GDAL provider in -users almost every week, yet there isn't any interest in funding a solution.

Where I would like to see MG go personally, is for MG to become a more workable web service platform. GeoREST plugs some of these deficiencies, but there's still some way to go.

- Jackie
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