Maps and Semantic Maps 1.0 released

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July 19, 2011

Maps 1.0 and Semantic Maps 1.0 are now available for download.

It's been almost exactly 2 years since the original, 0.1, release of the Maps and Semantic Maps extensions, which have with this release, now finally hit 1.0. As the version number suggests, this is the most significant release so far, containing many new features and significant internal improvements focusing on performance and extensibility.

Changes in Maps 1.0

New features

  • Added full Google Maps v3 support and set it as the default mapping service.
  • Added new geocoder making use of the new GeoNames API.
  • Added support for the auto-documentation features for parser hooks introduced in Validator 0.4.3.
  • Added resizeable parameter to all mapping services except OSM.

Removed features

  • Removed compatibility with pre MediaWiki 1.17.
  • Removed overlays parameter for Google Maps v2.

Internal improvements

  • Usage of the Resource Loader for all scripts and stylesheets.
  • Rewrote all the map JavaScript to jQuery plugins.
  • Rewrote the way parameters are translated to JavaScript. Now one big PHP object is json_encoded.
  • Improved KML formatter.
  • Use of Google Maps geocoding service v3 instead of v2.
  • Completed coordinate and distance parser/formatter unit tests and made them compliant with the MediaWiki unit testing support.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed geocoding service overriding based on mapping service (merged in from Maps 0.7.5).
  • Fixed fatal error occurring when running maintenance/refreshLinks.php.
  • Fixed DMS coordinate parsing issue (bug 29419).
  • Fixed coordinate normalization issue (bug 29421).

Other tweaks

  • Improved default width of maps (merged in from Maps 0.7.5).

Changes in Semantic Maps 1.0

  • Added geocoding capability to the OpenLayers form input when having a GeoNames API account.
  • Added 'update map' button to all form inputs.
  • Improved map query parameter support in the Special:Ask GUI
  • Fixed fatal error occurring when running maintenance/refreshLinks.php.
  • Rewrote all the form inputs to jQuery plugins.
  • Rewrote the map printers to use the SMQueryHandler class.
  • Fixed PostGres support for distance queries.
  • Use of the DataItems introduces in Semantic MediaWiki 1.6.

This new version of Semantic Maps requires Semantic MediaWiki 1.6 or above, which has not been released just yet, but a release candidate is already available, and the actual release will be made in about two weeks.

Legacy support for 0.7.x

As an extension developer and MediaWiki consultant, I'm quite aware that a lot of people are not in positions to update their MediaWiki to 1.17 just yet, preventing them from upgrading Maps and Semantic Maps. For this reason I decided way back when starting the development of version 1.0 to continue limited support of version 0.7.x for a while. Versions 0.7.4 to 0.7.7 have been released especially for this purpose, and I'll continue to backport important fixes. Don't expect any new features to show up for 0.7.x though.

How stable is it?

A lot of internal changes have been made, but at the same time, most of these have been made about 3 months back. Several wikis have been using alpha versions of 1.0 ever since, and a release candidate was made a few days back. Since there are no known issues at this point, I decided to release 1.0. So yes, it should be pretty stable, although you might run into minor issues with less frequently used components. If you do, please report it, so they can be addressed quickly in a 1.0.1 release.

Future plans

Although the current set of functionality is pretty solid, there are many other geographical features one can imagine. Features such as marker clustering, static maps, route plotting (without the use of KML), ect, have been on the wishlist practically since the inception of the Maps extension. There is nothing really standing out for me enough to go ahead and implement it in my free time. If any such feature is important to you and you can fund it's development, definitely contact me. Of course I'll continue to support the extension and make fixes where needed.

--Jeroen De Dauw 18:03, July 19, 2011 (EDT)