Mapbender Report 2009

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  • Contact name: Christoph Baudson

Key Accomplishments

  • More transparent decision making on road map. Road maps are now created regularly for each quarter, with at most three items, devs vote up-front for items on mailing list and discuss via IRC
  • interweaving Mapbender client side with jQuery. This results in more stability, less and concise code, better performance and user experience (for example slippy WMS map)
  • relying on jQuery UI for creating widgets like datatables or or dialogs. Results in less code, easier development of new functionality, better user experience, better customization with jQuery UI CSS framework theme roller
  • creation of a core JavaScript API
  • created a foundation for technical documentation
  • two successful GSoC projects, one student is now a regular committer, a GSoC student from 2008 returned
  • a lot of great code sprints, like weekends with 10-15 devs!
  • regular IRC meetings, we meet Mondays and I believe we never missed a date last year! About 5 attendees average
  • Adoption of Mapbender has broadened. Focus is on large infrastructures and distributed SDI management. Some Examples:

Areas for Improvement

  • we didn't succeed in showing Mapbender's qualities to OSGeo or a wider audience in general. We need to be more confident in marketing, especially outside of Germany. Maybe FOSS4G in Barcelona will be an opportunity.
  • unit testing didn't take off as we hoped it would.
  • documentation is not as complete as we wanted it to be.
  • the installation and update process has been improved, but is still not as easy as we wanted it to be.
  • more consistent work flow of administration interfaces
  • due to large refactoring last year backwards compatibility suffered a little and updates were tricky. Be patient with us, we learned a lot and this year will be much smoother.
  • Redesign splash screen and portal front end
  • Modularize authentication code, potentially use GeoPrisma "Checkers".
  • Implement deployment of JavaScript code for inclusion into other web sites (Widgets/Apps/Mashups)

Opportunities to Help

  • volunteers to maintain documentation, user manuals, tutorials.
  • more community feedback, we are curious about what OSGeo folks think about Mapbender
  • we could need some input on client side (JS) unit testing.
  • people with UI design experience and advanced CSS knowledge
  • as long as we do not have enough unit tests, we need volunteers to do manual testing
  • we could use a financial boost to address technical debt.

Outlook for 2010

  • Rely more on other (OSGeo) software, reduce Mapbender core
    • we want to get closer to OpenLayers, we looked at Mapstraction and maybe this will be a good way to align our API to the OpenLayers API
    • maybe use server side code from GeoPrisma or MapFish
    • create interface to Geonetwork
    • integration of an SVG lib like RaphaelJS
  • Implement permanent portal as OSGeo service metadata library/repository/bucket back end
  • Reduce technical debt
    • rock solid documentation and stable API
    • unit testing
  • Enthusiasm in representing Mapbender at some international fairs