I welcome the unveiling of the Mapserver Foundation, hopefully it will be a boon to the open source GIS community. However, I still think the key for success of any program is not necessarily open source, but open architecture, along with well-defined, practical and workable standards. It will be interesting to see how things work out with Autodesk's backing.
I do not wish to detract from the open source community, but in many instances it seems open source has become an almost religious movement, with many efforts appearing to be just for sake of promoting open source alone. I on the other hand am a pragmatic individual, I tend to not believe in reinventing the wheel until it needs reinventing. With the new directions heading toward Common Operational Picture (COP) and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), the landscape becomes an interwoven fabric of interoperable data, metadata, component-based and services-based GIS.
In this vision, as things progress the back end, which provides data, metadata, analytical functions, map rendering, and other services, becomes increasingly transparent and platform/vendor independent. I believe that this is the ultimate direction that should be pursued, to a point of mix-and-match, plug-and-play interoperability.
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