[ka-Map-users] Future of ka-map?
pspencer at dmsolutions.ca
Tue Jan 8 22:42:11 EST 2008
Hi ka-Mappers ... sorry for the delay in my response, I was taking a
I feel, as the original author of much of ka-Map, that I should
provide some sort of statement on this subject :)
As some people have mentioned in this thread, and in other
discussions, ka-Map has not changed in more than a year, and was
pretty stable before that for quite some time. Folks are wondering
whether it is going to receive any more attention from the developers
and if they should consider it for an upcoming mapping project.
Originally, ka-Map was built as an example of how to solve a specific
type of web-mapping problem, specifically to provide a more
interactive navigation experience for applications which could live
with the limitations of rendering tiles into a cache. We made it
available under an open source license in the hopes of attracting a
community of users and developers who could move the project forward
in a cooperative way. Early on, we did succeed in gaining the support
of quite a few users and some key developers, including Lorenzo,
Andreas, Tim, and others. However, we never did succeed in
establishing an effective community-driven mechanism for controlling
the vision and direction of the project. So once the project reached
a point where it solved the pains of the developers involved, it
stopped progressing. A lack of leadership, vision and direction in
the project has essentially stopped further development.
When OpenLayers was released, the surface similarity between
OpenLayers and ka-Map seemed to indicate that some sort of merger
between the projects would be desirable. In the end, though, the two
projects had sufficiently different goals and design principles that a
direct merger didn't seem to be the right way to go. Instead, it was
felt that ka-Map could incorporate OpenLayers to manage the client-
side tiling stuff, while retaining the relatively simple configuration
stuff that makes it very easy to use with mapserver to set up new
applications ... and retaining the UI developed by Lorenzo. While a
great idea in principle, this never actually got done. Why? Well, to
be honest, I don't think that making this change was important to any
of the developers on the project. First of all, ka-Map already did
everything that they needed it to do for its developers, so there was
no incentive to make the change. Second, most of the developers of ka-
Map had already become involved in OpenLayers separately and were
starting to use and develop it independently of ka-Map ... again, no
incentive to work on ka-Map when they had a workable alternative.
Active open source developers are a rare commodity, usually with
limited time, and they tend to gravitate to projects that both
interest them and provide a healthy environment for them to contribute
in. I think OpenLayers has done a much better job of setting up this
type of environment, and so it is attracting a lot of development
For me personally, OpenLayers solves my problem as an application
developer because I can use ka-Map tiles or TileCache or WMS or any
number of other data sources easily, and I am comfortable doing a bit
'cool' stuff is happening in the OpenLayers project, and it has an
active, supportive development community that I enjoy being a part
of. So I'm spending my time trying to support and advance that
project rather than ka-Map.
The future of ka-Map really depends on whether someone with some
energy and vision assumes some leadership for the project and is able
to generate some enthusiasm to move it forward in some way. At this
point, I really don't see much happening with it. And I can't really
imagine a situation where it would be significantly easier or more
advantageous to use ka-Map over OpenLayers, although ka-Map may have
some quite minor advantages due to its server-side pieces that
OpenLayers does not directly have. But there are projects like
MapFish that are providing the server-side links and building on
OpenLayers on the client side, so that it starting to change too.
If there are folks out there that are really interested in ka-Map and
want to be involved, I encourage you to come forward and take a
leadership role in the project.
On 8-Jan-08, at 6:02 AM, Roman Meier wrote:
> The first time I saw a ka-map application, I was very much
> impressed. To
> navigate a map "continuously" is definitely one of the main reasons,
> why I have
> decided to develop my prototype based on ka-map.
> I share your opinion that ka-map is quite cool. That’s why I don’t
> understand why the code is not moving “forward”. I still miss
> functions like
> “SmartZoom” and “International Character Support”. Are there plans
> to add
> Quoting Alessio Di Lorenzo <alessio.dilorenzo at gmail.com>:
>> Hi Roman,
>> I share your own worries about the developing of new ka-map versions
>> (and interfaces). While similar project (but, imho, less
>> interesting...), like pmapper, are continuing to release new
>> ka-map appear to be freezed to the 1.0 by months...
>> I'm quite sure there's a good reason. Ka-map is for me, actually, the
>> best mapserver php-mapscript framework. Fore example, nore of the
>> frameworks I saw, even if using ajax, offers to the users the
>> possibility to navigate a map "continuosly" like in google maps (open
>> layers gives this possibility... but ol is another thing...) and it
>> is a
>> very appreciated possibility by the end-users. I know it for sure...
>> Some months ago I read something about the idea to merge OL and Ka-
>> but at the moment I have no new information about (my fault). In the
>> last days I read also something about the integration of routing
>> functionalities thanks to pgroute, but I don't know if this could be
>> related with the releasing of new ka-map versions.
>> Roman Meier ha scritto:
>>> Hi list
>>> I developed a prototype based on ka-map about one year ago. At
>>> that time I
>>> very much convinced that ka-map is a great product with a great
>>> future. I’m
>>> that sure again.
>>> A few days ago I did some research on ka-map and I’m a little bit
>>> the future of ka-map. It seams, that ka-map is not developed
>>> again. Since
>>> almost one year we still have the same first release. I also found
>>> about the merge of openlayers and ka-map.
>>> Some days ago, a client asked me, if I could do some changes to the
>> prototype I
>>> developed. Before I do that, I must know, if the ka-map project
>>> has come to
>>> end or not. Should I better switch to another similar project?
>>> Thanks in advance for your opinion!
>>> ka-Map-users mailing list
>>> ka-Map-users at lists.maptools.org
>> ka-Map-users mailing list
>> ka-Map-users at lists.maptools.org
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|Paul Spencer pspencer at dmsolutions.ca |
|Chief Technology Officer |
|DM Solutions Group Inc http://www.dmsolutions.ca/ |
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