Tuesday, 26 May 2009

MapGuide Open Source 2.1 beta released

It's been a long winding road up to this point, but it has finally arrived. MapGuide Open Source 2.1 is now in beta!

Get the MGOS 2.1 beta 1 installer here

So what's new in this release?

Brand New Installer

Here is main reason why 2.1 took so long to get out the door.

The first thing you will notice when installing MapGuide Open Source 2.1 is the new wix-based,OSGeo-branded installer, developed with the combined efforts of Jason Birch, Kenneth Skovhede and myself.

There is no more separate Server and Web Extensions installers, they are now both integrated into the same installer. It functions just like the old one, but with more extras. You should get a much better and more flexible installation experience than with previous releases.

Unfortunately for this release, a reboot is mandatory after installation completes. We are looking at ways to avoid this in the next release.

A side-benefit of this new installer is that we now have the infrastructure in place to produce more frequent releases, once that build server is up and running at full operational capacity, we can start to see nightly/weekly MapGuide builds for testers or those who like to live on the edge.

Also the installer is localization-ready. Translating the installer is a piece of cake.

Please note that the installer will require at least 1.5 GB of free space during installation.

Fusion 2.0

MapGuide also comes with the latest release of Fusion, which has undergone major architectural changes to not only simplify the codebase but to also have better performance. The 5 mapguide templates have also undergone a makeover in the visual department. IMO, Slate 2.0 looks damn hot!


MapGuide now uses the CS-Map library, instead of Proj.4 for handling coordinate systems. This library has previously only been available in Autodesk's geospatial product line (AutoCAD Map, MapGuide Enterprise). Incidentally, this is also the reason for the vastly inflated installer size, because we had to pack in 350MB of coordinate system dictionaries (around 4000 different coordinate systems).

AJAX Viewer Fixes/Enhancements

The AJAX viewer has also undergone some fixes and enhancements which although minor in the grand scheme of things, actually improve the end user experience immensely.

  • The task pane url now supports parameters. In previous versions, if your task pane url is like (mypage.php?foo=bar), the query string part would've been lost. Now those query string parameters get properly passed down. This was a bug that had annoyed me for quite some time now and I am glad to see it got fixed.
Site Administrator Enhancements

There are also some small enhancements to the MapGuide Site Administrator.
  • Packages now show file size, useful for determining how long a package would take to load.
  • The package list can now be refreshed. Before, you would've had to go to another page and then back to Package Management. Very cumbersome to say the least.

The 2.1 release also has the improvements already found in the just released MapGuide Enterprise 2010. These include:
  • Greater legend flexiblity
  • Raster Re-Projection
  • Better performing schema description APIs
And from what our testers have been saying, raster stability in this release has been greatly improved as well.

Also a mountain of bug fixes have landed since the previous release (2.0.2)

So in all, this is a very solid release. I know personally that some of my long standing pet peeves have been resolved (being able to do something about them directly kind of helps :-)). So if you haven't already, download a copy and take it for a spin. This is a beta release, so bugs (if any) should be reported.