[kde-edu]: Marble 0.5: The Road ahead
torsten.rahn at credativ.de
Mon Aug 20 10:52:33 CEST 2007
Now that we (finally!) got Marble 0.4 out of the door, I'd like to offer my
thoughts on what features should be part of the Marble 0.5 release:
In my opinion Marble 0.5 should emphasize the work of the Google Summer of
Code students. All features need to get finished for the public (So the
features need to look finished and well integrated into the user interface,
work as expected and should be easy to use).
So to get into details:
* GPS/GPX support: Not too much left as far as I can tell.
- Make "File View" only appear if a document has been opened and further fix
- Do further tests for GPX file format compliance
Andrew: Anything I forgot?
* KML Support:
From what I have seen the following essential features on Murad's kml-tasks
list haven't been implemented yet (correct me if I'm wrong):
1. Show list view on the left that indicates opened kml/gpx files. List view
should only appear if there are more than one opened file:
This is partially done already:
- The "File View" has already been integrated by Andrew for GPX. We need to
add KML support to it now as well.
2. Initial support of KML style objects (icon style, label style)
The latter is rather unfortunate but I think we can live without it for the
There are two more show stoppers for 0.5 which are not on the kml-tasks list:
3. Translation of KML files which is pretty much needed for KDE 4. The idea to
solve this problem was to use Wikipedia's data as an online download and get
their individual language data of the cities for translation. So a user who
is from spain would have a database of cities downloaded in the background
which is compiled from the city data from http://es.wikipedia.org/ and
http://en.wikipedia.org/. That means: http://en.wikipedia.org/ has the
largest amount of cities among all languages (about 160.000) The data base
compiled for spanish would contain those city names from en.wikipedia.org
with the ones that also exist in http://es.wikipedia.org/ replacing the
entries from http://en.wikipedia.org/ to make sure that they get properly
translated. This is just the rough idea.
I'll take care of compiling the data needed (with input from Tim Alder from
4. Country support: For initial very basic country support it would be nice if
we'd just add countries as "invisible" placemarks (i.e. placemarks with no
- Where do we take the country data from (needs to have a Debian compliant
license)? This isn't too hard to solve though.
- The label for the country names needs to be specially aligned and layouted
to make it look like a country name. So in opposite to real placemarks there
will be only a single place tested (instead of 4), the label will have a
larger font, will be center justified and will probably be displayed
We need to adjust PlaceMarkPainter to either process the countries as a
different "layer" that gets rendered before the city data (seperate
KMLDocument). Or we need to change it to display city data and country data
from a single KMLDocument (I'd rather prefer the further).
Later on (for 0.6) this feature will get extended to make countries to
get "area support" (so the application is aware of each area/shape covered by
each single country.
Murad: is there anything I forgot?
* Flat Map:
There are three visible bugs in the implementation right now. I'm pretty sure
all of them can be fixed within the next week. Except for that further
cleaning up and performance optimizations are needed.
Furthermore there are two features that would be nice to have for the 0.5
1. Mercator projection (like Google Maps does)
2. Make texturemapper only update newly shown regions and reuse the parts on
the screen that got rendered already before. This didn't work for spherical
projection for obvious reasons so right now Marble still renders and updates
the whole screen for each frame. However this trick would work nicely for the
flat projection and would make moving around in Marble much smoother and
faster than for the flat projection (in fact as fast as scrolling in khtml
The latter would be something that we can live without (however I'd really
like to see it in 0.5).
Carlos: Is there anything I forgot?
Also we need to solve the remaining "Known issues" of the 0.4 release no
latter than for 0.5 (Especially: fix the embarrassing Wikipedia browser).
None of the features we need for Marble 0.5 require further translation string
changes as far as I can tell (and if there should be a few left then please
add them before the string freeze on August 26).
We also need to make sure that work on all the features left still gets
started before August 26, so we are still in accordance with the feature
freeze. Except for the country feature I think all of the other essential
features have been worked on to some degree. So that's the only issue left of
Apart from beginning work on country support there is another feature high on
the wish list: OpenStreetMap support: However I think we should declare this
feature "optional" for Marble 0.5. It really should need only little work on
Marble's source code to get this implemented (most work being to setup the
server with the right settings for the tile render software). However 0.5 is
meant to focus on the work of the students and I'd like to see 0.5 released
within the next 4 weeks.
So that's my thoughts on Marble 0.5. Are there any things I've been missing?
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