Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Announcing: mapguide-react-layout 0.11

Here's a long overdue release of mapguide-react-layout with a ton of new features.

GIFs and screenshots galore below. Brace yourselves!

Adding external WMS layers

A new component is available to easily add external WMS layers to your map.

As previously mentioned, you can access this component through a InvokeURL command that uses a component://AddManageLayers URI instead of a normal URL.

Partial Application State now encoded in URL

Through the use of react-url-query, we now have the ability to transfer part of our internal application state into the URL, allowing us to reload the browser window and be able to resume from where we left off.

The following bits of application state are now encoded into the URL:
  • Current view (x/y/scale)
  • Current active map (for multiple map configurations)
  • Shown/Hidden layer and group names
  • Current session id
Share Link to View

A new component is available to easily share this newly stateful URLs to other users.

Once again, you can access this new feature through an InvokeURL that has a component://ShareLinkToView URI instead of a normal URL. The session id is omitted by default, but you can tick Include Session ID to include your session id

Measure Segment Display

This was a feature missing from the equivalent Fusion widget that has finally been ported over. The measure tool properly displays individual measured segments.

Segments are only displayed for geodesic measurements. 

Drawing/Digitization improvements

Digitization now supports easily undoing the most recently drawn point by pressing the 'U' key.

This key and the key for cancelling the digitization (ESC) can be bound to different keys through new viewer mount options.

Template Improvements

The ajax-viewer template has been tweaked to look more like the original

This is possible because of the use of react-splitter-layout that gives us resizable panels.

The slate, maroon, limegold and turquoiseyellow templates also use this new component to finally give us resizable sidebars.

HTML property values in Selection Panel

Through new mount options, you can specify property values that are HTML to be presented as actual HTML, meaning property values that used to look like this:

Now looks like this:

This feature is disabled by default and you must opt into it (through new mount options). If the HTML content you're presenting is potentially un-trusted you can provide a sanitization function to clean the provided content (for example, with DOMPurify) to guard against possible cross-site scripting attacks.

Other Changes
  • Updated React to 16.2
  • Updated Blueprint to 1.35.5
  • Updated OpenLayers to 4.6.4
  • Updated TypeScript to 2.7.2
  • Debug viewer bundle (viewer-debug.js) now included
  • Added support for CenterSelection fusion widget. This marks the end of the Fusion widget porting work. No further Fusion widgets will be ported across. The list of Fusion widgets that will not be ported across can be found here.
  • Added support for extra extension properties in Redline and SelectPolygon widgets
  • Flyouts are now mutually exclusive, behaving more like their Fusion counterparts
  • Broke/404 toolbar/menu icons now gracefully show error icon as a placeholder.
  • Added support for manual feature tooltip toggling. This replaces click-based map selection if active and can be controlled through the Viewer Options UI.
  • Fix: Initial view of the map not using full viewport.
  • Fix: Commands now fall back to running in modal dialog if Task Pane is not present.
  • AJAX map frame viewer API is now fully emulated.

Project Home Page
mapguide-react-layout on npm

React-ing to the need for a modern MapGuide viewer (Part 20): It doesn't have to *specifically* be a URL

Wow! It's been 5 months since the last post related to mapguide-react-layout.

No I haven't stopped development. There's still plenty of things I want to achieve with this project before I consider it "done". It just had to take a back seat to other things that needed some attention:
Now that things have calmed down a bit, before I talk about the new release of mapguide-react-layout that will drop real soon, I want to talk about a capability of mapguide-react-layout that has been present for some time now, but I want to dedicate this entire post to because understanding this capability is the key in knowing how we can add new features to mapguide-react-layout yet retain the ability to use our existing Web Layout and Application Definitions to reference such new features.

I'm sure most of you should already be familiar with InvokeURL commands. You can define these commands in both a Web Layout and an Application Definition. They get represented in the AJAX/Fusion viewer as toolbar or menu items. When you click them, they invoke the specified URL into a given target (the Task Pane, a new window or a specific frame). InvokeURL commands is the basic gateway to custom MapGuide viewer functionality.

InvokeURL commands are also supported in mapguide-react-layout, except we can do extra things with such commands in mapguide-react-layout by leveraging the fact that a URL is merely a type of URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) and a URI ... does not necessarily have to start with http://. MapGuide resource identifiers (eg. Library://Foo/Bar.MapDefinition) are basically like URIs so this shouldn't be too much of a foreign concept.

So what does mapguide-react-layout do with this fact?

To demonstrate, here's a new feature that will be in the next release of mapguide-react-layout: A component to easily add external WMS layers

How can you access this new feature? Through an InvokeURL command.

Except, you don't invoke a URL you invoke a URI ... of our own custom creation.

As you can see from the above screenshot, we've invented our own component:// URI scheme to easily tap into new features in mapguide-react-layout without any structural changes required in the Web Layout or Application Definition schemas. We just leverage the existing InvokeURL command support and leverage the fact that whatever we're invoking in mapguide-react-layout ... doesn't necessarily have to be a URL. component URIs are structured as follows:

component://[component name][?query]

A component name refers to any component that's registered in the component registry. If a component can take parameters, you can pass them through the query string. Several components are available in the standard viewer bundle. The list of accessible components is available here.

If you use the npm module to roll your own custom viewer bundle, we provide APIs to allow you to easily create your own custom components. This is demonstrated in this example project.

The list of components available is small so far, that will grow over time as we add new features in future releases of mapguide-react-layout and the best thing about this is that to take advantage of such features, no changes to any authoring tools is required. You just have to enter a different kind of URI instead of a URL.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

One MapGuide/FDO build system to rule them all?

Before the bombshell of the death of Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server was dropped, I was putting the final finishing touches of making (pun intended) the MapGuide/FDO build experience on Linux a more pleasant experience.

Namely, I had it with autotools (some may describe it as autohell) as the way to build MapGuide/FDO on Linux. For FDO, this was the original motivation for introducing CMake as an alternative. CMake is a more pleasant way to build software on Linux over autotools because:
  1. CMake builds your sources outside of the source tree. If you're doing development on a SVN working copy this is an absolute boon as it means when it comes time to commit any changes, you don't have to deal with sifting through tons of autotools-generated junk that is left in your actual SVN wc.
  2. CMake builds are faster than their autotools counterpart.
  3. It is much easier to find and consume external libraries with CMake than it is through autotools, which makes build times faster because we can just source system-installed copies of thirdparty libraries we use, instead of waste time having to build these copies (in our internal thirdparty source tree) ourselves. If we are able to use system-installed copies of libraries when building FDO, then we can take advantage of SVN sparse checkouts and be able to skip downloading whole chunks of thirdparty library sources that we never have to build!
Sadly, while this sounds nice in theory, the CMake way to build FDO had fallen into a state of disrepair. My distaste for autotools was sufficient motivation to get the CMake build back into working condition. Several weeks of bashing at various CMakeLists.txt files later, the FDO CMake build was operational again and had some several major advantages over the autotools build (in addition to what was already mentioned):
  • We can setup the CMake to generate build configurations for Ninja instead of standard make. A ninja-powered CMake build is faster than standard make ^.
  • On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (the current Ubuntu version we're targeting), all the thirdparty libraries we use were available for us to apt-get install in the right version ranges, and the CMake build can take advantage of all of them. Not a single internal thirdparty library copy needs to be built!
  • We can easily light up compiler features like AddressSanitizer and linking with the faster gold instead of ld. AddressSanitizer in particular easily helped us catch some issues that have flew under the radar.
  • All of the unit tests are build-able and more importantly ... executable outside the source tree, making it easier to fix up whatever was failing.
Although we now had a functional FDO CMake build. MapGuide still was built on Linux using autotools. So for the same reasons and motivations, I started the process of introducing CMake to the MapGuide build system for Linux.

Unlike FDO, MapGuide still needed some of the internal thirdparty libraries built.
  • DBXML - No ubuntu package available, though we can get it to build against a system-provided version of xerces, so we can at least skip building that part of DBXML.
  • Apache HTTPD - Ubuntu package available, but having MapGuide be able to integrate with an Ubuntu-provided httpd installation was not in the scope of this work, even though this is a nice thing to have.
  • PHP - Same reasons as Apache HTTPD
  • Antigrain Geometry - No ubuntu package available. Also the AGG sources are basically wedded to our Renderers project anyways.
  • DWF Toolkit - No ubuntu package available
  • CS-Map - No ubuntu package available
For everything else, Ubuntu provided the package in the right version ranges for CMake to take advantage of. Another few weeks of bashing various CMakeLists.txt files into shape and we had FDO and MapGuide both build-able on Linux via CMake. To solve the problem of still needing to build some internal thirdparty libs, but still be able to retain the CMake quality of everything is built outside the source tree, some wrapper shell scripts are provided that will copy applicable thirdparty library sources out of the current directory, build them in their copied directories and then invoke CMake and pass in all the required parameters so that it will know where to look for the internal libraries to link against when it comes to build MapGuide proper.

This was also backported to FDO, so that on distros where we do not have all our required thirdparty libraries available, we can selectively build internal copies and be able to find/link the rest, and have CMake take care of all of that for us.

So what's with the title of this post?

Remember when I wrote about how interesting vcpkg was?

What is best used with vcpkg to easily consume thirdparty libraries on Windows? Why CMake of course! Now building MapGuide on Windows via CMake is not on the immediate horizon. We'll still be maintaining Visual Studio project files by hand (instead of auto-generating them with CMake) for the immediate future, but can you imagine being able to build FDO and MapGuide on both Windows and Linux with CMake and not have to waste time on huge SVN checkouts and building thirdparty libraries? That future is starting to look real possible now!

For the next major release of MapGuide Open Source, it is my plan to use CMake over autotools as the way to build both MapGuide and FDO on Linux.

^ Well, the ninja-powered CMake build used to be blazing fast until Meltdown and Spectre happened. My dev environment got the OS security patches and whatever build performance gains that were made through ninja and CMake were instantly wiped out and we were back to square one in terms of build time. Still, the autotools build performed worse after the meltdown patches, so while CMake still beats the autotools build in terms of build time, we ultimately gained nothing on this front.

Thanks Intel!!!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

RIP: Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server (2006-2018)

Prepare the burial plot in the Autodesk Graveyard, the news has come out which I had long suspected, but is now official: Autodesk has ceased development of Infrastructure Map Server, the commercial counterpart of MapGuide Open Source.

However unlike Autodesk's other ill-fated products, Infrastructure Map Server has the unique lifeline of being able to live on through the MapGuide Open Source project because AIMS is built on top of MapGuide Open Source. Just because AIMS has died does not mean the same fate has to apply to MapGuide Open Source. This project has been in existence for 12 years and counting. The future of the MapGuide Open Source project can be as bright as the community allows for it.

If you are an AIMS customer wondering what your options are in light of this announcement, you should subscribe to the mapguide-users mailing list (if you haven't already) and share your thoughts, questions and concerns.

If you provide support/consulting/development for MapGuide/AIMS you should also subscribe and advertise your services.

I'll make some announcements on the mailing lists about future plans for MapGuide Open Source.

Rest in peace Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server, formerly known as MapGuide Enterprise (2006 - 2018)

Sunday, 24 December 2017

MapGuide tidbits: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

In case anyone else might encounter this problem.

I had a copy of MapGuide Open Source 3.1 installed on my laptop running Windows 10. Recently it was upgraded to the Fall Creator's update and suddenly, the web tier (which was an IIS/.net configuration) of this installation stopped working.

The non-functional web tier would manifest as HTTP 503 errors when I try to connect with MapGuide Maestro

If you go into IIS manager and try to recycle the associated Application Pool, you may see an error like this

If we take a look at the Windows Event Viewer, we see log entries like this

It just so happens if we search online for "\\?\", we find a similar issue but relating to a completely different product (Team Foundation Server). Still, that link gives us a few useful leads.

Per that link, it appears to be some symlink issue regarding the Application Pool. So to verify this issue also applies to us, if we check C:\inetpub\temp\appPools we indeed see a symlink for our Application Pool name.

If we try to open it, windows throws an error

So with this confirmation of a broken symlink, we can fix the issue by following the prescription in that linked issue:
  1. Delete the broken symlink in question under C:\inetpub\temp\appPools
  2. Restart IIS and the Application Pool in question.
After this, I can connect to the Web Tier again with Maestro confirming the resolution of the issue.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

FDO road test: SQL Server 2017 on Linux

You can consider this post as the 2017 edition of this post.

So for some background. There's been several annoyances I've been personally experiencing with the SQL Server FDO provider that have given me sufficient motivation to fix the problem right at the source (code). However, before I can go down that road, I needed to set up a local dev installation of SQL Server as my dev environment is more geared towards MapGuide than individual FDO providers.

But just like my previous adventure with the King Oracle FDO provider, I didn't want to have to actually find/download a SQL Server installer and proceed to pollute my dev environment with a whole assortment of junk and bloat. We now live in the era of docker containers! Spinning up a SQL Server environment should be a docker pull away and when I no longer need the environment, I can cleanly blow it away without leaving lots of junk behind.

And it just so happens that with the latest release of SQL Server 2017, not only is running it inside a docker container a first-class user story, it is also the first release of SQL Server that natively runs on Linux.

So through the exercise of spinning up a SQL Server 2017 linux container we can kill multiple birds with one stone:

  • We'll know if MapGuide/FDO in its current form can work with SQL Server 2017
  • We'll also know how well it works with the Linux version of SQL Server (given its feature set is not at parity with the equivalent Windows version)
  • If MapGuide/FDO works, we'd then have a SQL Server environment ready to go which can be spun up and torn down on demand to then start fixing various problems with the FDO provider.

Spinning up the SQL Server 2017 linux docker container

This was easy because Microsoft provides an official docker image. So it was a case of just pulling down the docker image and adjusting some environment parameters to use a custom SQL Server sa login when we go to docker run the container and also define port mappings so we can connect to this container from the docker host OS.

The FDO Toolbox bootstrapping test

This was an easy way to determine if the SQL Server FDO provider works with SQL Server 2017. FDO Toolbox has the ability to:
  1. Create a SQL Server data store
  2. Bulk Copy spatial data into it
  3. Query/Preview data from it
If we can do all 3 things above in FDO Toolbox against the freshly spun up SQL Server 2017 linux container, that's a very good sign that everything works.

Creating the FDO data store

FDO Toolbox has a specialized UI for creating SQL Server data stores that is accessible by right-clicking the FDO Data Sources node and choosing Create Data Store - Create SQL Server

This gives us the UI to set up a new SQL Server data store

The first real test is to see if the FDO provider can connect to our SQL Server container, which is a case of filling in all the required connection properties and clicking the Test button, which gives us:

So far so good. Now that we know the FDO provider can connect to the container, we can fill out the data store parameters and click OK to create the data store, which gave us another good sign:

Now just to be sure that the FDO provider did actually create the database, I connected to this SQL Server instance through alternative tools (such as the new SQL Operations Studio) and we can see that the database is indeed there.

So now we can bulk copy some spatial data into it, which will be a nice solid verification that the feature and schema manipulation functionality of the FDO provider work in SQL Server 2017.

So I set up a bulk copy using a whole bunch of test SHP files. A few moments later, we got another positive sign:

Again, for verification we can look at this database in a different tool and can see that the FDO provider correctly created the database tables.

And that data was actually being copied in

Just as an aside: SQL Operations Studio doesn't do spatial data previews like its big brother SQL Server Management Studio.

A shame really. Oh well, at least we can do that in FDO Toolbox :)

Which is also confirmation that FDO is getting the geometry data out of our SQL Server 2017 linux container without any problems.

So based on all these findings, I feel comfortable in saying that FDO (and applications using it like MapGuide) works just fine with SQL Server 2017, especially its Linux version.

Now to deal with these actual annoyances in the FDO provider itself ...