Posted by jive
on June 12, 2007 at 1:50 PM PDT
One interesting thing with open source development is the lack of comparisons with proprietary solutions. I just watched this happen in the geoserver developers IRC meeting - as we look toward content for the "Free And Open Source Software for Geoinformatics" conference.
What a silly situation performance (and benchmarks are) have put us in. As developers we really want to know how well things will perform - even if it is just so we can figure out how much hardware we will need at the end of the day.
I first ran into this problem with PostGIS (a set of spatial extensions for the PostgreSQL database). The oracle spatial license does not let you run benchmarks and publish. So the only thing I can do is tell you "it is really good". PostGIS is such a success that most spatial data wranglers check it out, and measure for themselves, before going further with Oracle.
Oracle does do somethings very well, the security model is awesome. With their "Free for Development" download they are even getting more open source love ... but until we can place that jdbc driver in a maven repository there will not be very many turn key open source oracle solutions.
FOSS4G Presentation Material
In todays GeoServer IRC meeting the subject of presentations for the Free And Open Source Software for Geoinformatics was on the agenda.
One thing the community is really proud of is how much GeoServer has improved in the last year. The community has been really brave, rewriting their raster support to the point it shines, and putting together a really nifty dispatch system in order to take on the monster that is WFS 1.1.
Of course all of that is technical and does not make a good presentation (except to other developers so it will be a good beer garden subject).
What does make a good presentation is performance. And this is where open source volunteers shy away from the legal mess that is benchmarking.
Specifically we can set up a nice chart comparing the usual open source subjects. This mostly means MapServer since we enjoy talking to Frank about GDAL performance.
But for the commercial offerings? Like a comparison with ArcIMS?
We did think of a couple of ways:
- Report the performance of some publicly available ArcIMS instance
- Run our performance test during the presentation (it would not be on the slides but the audience could see)
Sadly it will not make the cut, life is too short to figure out what we are and are not allowed to say.
So what can you tell me? How good is GeoServer?
So here is the best idea we can offer you - if you want to know how insanely great GeoServer has become download the (open source) tool we used for testing and measure it yourself.
And just because we want you to come to FOSS4G - please attend our presentation (fingers crossed that it will be accepted) and learn where to download said performance testing tool.
You could also engage one of several consulting companies to produce a report for you.
If you do find out how good GeoServer is keep it on the hush hush.