[ms4w-users] Customizing MapLab

expander at mail.com expander at mail.com
Wed Apr 6 06:44:27 EDT 2005


Dear Sirs,

I want to congratulate for good work you made with MS4W - MapServer for 
Windows, version 1.0.3; I came from early version of MapLab and I confess, 
some year ago, to have renounced to use this product because too complex to 
configure and to make working: on one hand MapLab (early version) had some 
little critical bug, on the other my Apache, PHP and MapServer configuring 
ability was, perhaps, a little poor.

Anyway, now I really appreciate your efforts to make a preconfigured product 
with all needed components working inside...

As already said, I use MS4W for Windows, version 1.0.3, and it works with 
no problems if one doesn't need a too much custom tool; problems start when 
you decide to make this product a little more sharpen.

For example, 

a) I need to work with a custom legend different from which generated by 
   traditional behaviour.

For every map layer, or only for specific ones, I need to use "static" small 
gif images rather than ones automatically generated by MapServer so to 
produce a final Map page with a specific graphic layers legend rather than 
one based on "generic" Esri/ArcView symbols set.

Furthermore I need to show or to hide different layers by group with a legend 
that gives me capacity to select or deselect both entire group or, inside it, 
every single layer.

In "MapServer HTML Legend HOWTO" document I was not able to find a valid help: 
this document describes many things but it doesn't pratically say which files 
to modify but assumes only a certain ability to set MapServer templates.

This opens next question, that is 

b) how does really templates work?

Problem is every time I try to modify layout of final map including custom 
components (like buttons, links), or to change manually original layout or to 
translate contents in another languate than english, GMapFactory restores 
original template. 

Searching in published documentation I have found exhaustive references on
how to set a template mapfile (.map), but not where MapLab stores GMapFactory 
settings; I think this is a crucial question because from GMapFactory depends 
layout definition of final map application and it makes possible to specify 
which mapping interface components to include or exclude...

Certainly a great work has been done both in terms of programming both in 
making of detailed documentation but what I think is still weak is absence of
a comprehensive description of entire working process of MapLab applications.


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