I’ve been getting more and more .NET developers talking to me about my MapGuide Open Source move over the holiday. Seems like many ArcIMS developers are downloading and checking out MapGuide, trying to get away from the ArcGIS Server/Desktop conflict (they have to develop on 9.1, but their IT department wants to roll out 9.2). I’ve said this before, but every day I get more and more ESRI developers asking me for directions on how augment their toolbox with open source. Personally I’m beginning to see the power behind hit and the .NET integration is welcome. After my initial battle with PHP, I’m running very well and at least on this laptop MapGuide Open Source and AJAX Tile viewer. It seems to run faster than ArcIMS 9.2 and the Web ADF on my laptop, but I’ll be honest that isn’t a scientific observation.

Geoff Zeiss says that the MapGuide User Reception he attended was very interesting:

The most remarkable thing in my mind was that this meeting was unlike any other event of a similar type that I have attended at AU (Autodesk University) in the past, and I think the reason was that the focus was on open source, specifically MapGuide Open Source.

I think the move to open source MapGuide has been a great one, not only for Autodesk, but their users. The kicker here is how open source will direct the future of MapGuide and how that differs greatly from the traditional closed model that seems to be driven more by large clients (see PUG) and less by the small users like ourselves. This whole “Request for Comment” process is wonderful because you don’t need to know Jack Dangermond personally to get a say in the future development of products that directly affect your career. There are small companies doing great things with MapGuide Open Source so anyone can be successful at open source web mapping.

MapGuide Open Source just reinforces the idea that the future of web based applications will be based around the open source model that companies such as Autodesk have jumped on. Being at the front of this wave will benefit not only Autodesk, but the community that is built around MapGuide itself. Exciting times indeed Geoff!