[Proj] Coming releases of PROJ.4

Howard Butler howard at hobu.co
Mon Jul 10 21:10:19 EST 2017

> On Jul 10, 2017, at 3:59 AM, Kristian Evers <kreve at sdfe.dk> wrote:

> A simple change to 4.10.0 would probably be "just another version" to most users of the library, whereas a release of PROJ.4 version 10.0.0 should get the attention of the developers that rely on PROJ.4. Once we have their attention we can explain to them that the library is very much alive, that we've have made a bunch of cool stuff over the past year and let them know what is on schedule for the next couple of years. 

That same effect would happen if the name were Proj.4 5.0.0, and the name increment wouldn't so strongly signal that things are drastically different in a way most people will care about. The improvements, API stabilization, and housekeeping is exciting, but people like libraries in niches such as Proj.4's to be as boring as possible. None of the work you or Thomas has done disrupts things, and it will certainly help to keep the train running on time. This time the ride includes some new clean API carpets and much less macro vomit, so cheers for that!

I think Frank never ++'d the version to 5 because of the .4 nomenclature and the fork's relationship to the original, but only we know that anyway. The fork has supplanted the original, naming things is hard, and version numbers are cheap, as they say.

> So yes, we could just continue on the path we are already on but why not use this opportunity to highlight that the project has been revitalized after a long period of stagnation?

We will do that with release notes. Anyone paying attention to this list or searching for things over the web is going to find the recent activity too. The website is a clear indication that stuff has been improving (and it is starting to look really nice too!).

The week before FOSS4G, I am making a trip to Woods Hole to interview Gerald Evenden's wife, Phyllis, and a few of his past colleagues at USGS for some retrospective about how he ended up writing a coordinate system library in the 1980s/90s that ended up underpinning a significant portion of the geospatial software in use today. It's a story that needs to be told, and one for which Gerald deserves more credit. Frank is obviously in the story here too, but PROJ was the starting point. 

Gerald's son also mentioned finding some latex files, which I am hoping will be useful material to backfill the website. There might also be some working notes and the like. I will report on all of it at my FOSS4G talk, so please catch it if you can.

See you in Boston!


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