Taking it to “the man”

Paul has graciously asked people to send him some queries to raise before the OGC technical meeting in Ottawa. In somewhat of an irony, it has been exactly 7 months to the day that my rant on client support was first posted.

Unfortunately my post still stands. To reiterate my point,

While i understand the importance of server compliance using tools such as CITE, if the subsequent clients consuming these services are poorly implemented, the end user surely has to question the point of it all.

It should be all about the clients baby! Unfortunately outside of the OWS-X and other demonstrator projects around the globe (where arguably the roles are clearly defined), vendor support is more or less a waste of time. What can be done in one application can’t be done in another. Seemingly simple items of the specs are broken, poorly implemented or simply forgotten. Vendors are all to quick to leap to the conclusion that their *insert propriety acronym here* could solve the problem, even though its entirely feasible to use the standards if their product simply supported it better. Oh and lets not forget that the product leaf-let clearly states that the protocol is supported … but by how much? Who knows!

I think the following image sums up my feelings nicely, we need one of these …


Whether or not WMS/WFS/WCS/CSW (…) client support is caused by a lack of motivation, client demand or vendor negligence, i won’t go so far as to guess. Certainly if OGC put as much emphasis on broadening the consumption of its standard’s as it does jumping through hoops to get certified, I would have a lot less grief at work!

“I’m sorry “Frustrated-Consumer-of-OGC-standards”, what you have requested is entirely possible with the standards and server however your client does not support that manner of request. Can i advise hand-coding a *insert language here* script to post a request, parse the response, convert the format and then drop it into your GIS so you can do what you have asked??”

“Can you just send me the file? That will be easier …”

I hope the horrible analogy of build it and they will come will hold true. Otherwise, we’re in trouble …