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OK: [ Openlayers + ExtJS = GeoExt]

I am new to webmapping and still shopping around. I bumped into a Case Study with a gentle learning curve, matches my needs and it uses OpenGeoSuite. I got to learn of GeoExplorer and I found it to be a neat interface as I intend to serve geodata to gis novices-- some eye candy would be necessary.

I however have issues with the feel of the 'Identify' pop-up box.

My questions: Is it wise to adopt this 'interface'?

(i) does it have a future - future releases/development (need 2nd opinion after reading http://opengeo.org/technology/geoext/ )

(ii) easy of customisation -- little programming/ scripting experience [ remember 'Identify']

(iii) shall I instead focus on mastering OpenLayers as it is?

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3 Answers

There is probably no answer to such a question. Using or not using geoExt depends of your needs. For a couple of projects I would rather advice you to simply use openlayers + jQuery.

If your projects are more complexes, geoExt can be a great library and you probably should have a look on Mapfish project as well, since it also embeds ExtJS.

Since mapfish is base on geoExt and serious guys are behind that, I guess there is a future for geoExt.

By the way and for information, an alternative to geoExt is getting built based on top of jQuery, it's called mapquery. I don't really know whether it's an active project or not and if is yet operational. You may inquire...

edit : for my part, I like to use openlayers + jquery since they are two efficients and easy to manipulate libraries. I think it gives more freedom and creativity regarding UI and layout.

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+1 for a link to mapquery - it is new to me. Examples at gitorious.org/mapquery/pages/Examples –  geographika Feb 14 '11 at 22:08
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GeoExt is the primary UI wrapper that people use with OpenLayers. It is under active development, well-supported by a broad open source community, and based on a well-maintained UI library with commercial support. Commercial support also exists for GeoExt.

If you're going to build a complex UI, it is likely that you are going to, at some point, get to the point where you need the featureset of Ext or something like it. GeoExt provides that for you with reasonable integration with OpenLayers.

I would highly recommend using GeoExt for anyone building a complex mapping UI using OpenLayers.

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I'll just point that GeoExt builds on ExtJS which is under a dual licence model. GPL or a commercial licence. This may have an impact on your project. sencha.com/products/extjs/license –  Andrew Dwyer Feb 15 '11 at 6:15
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Mapquery is under active development but the active members are sporadic in contribution. The main core was completely overhauled about two-weeks ago but has yet to be pushed out to the main branch. Right now the branch is under review as it breaks some compatibility with the older base, however it is vastly improved.

If you are interested in helping or just wanna check out the latest branch I would check this branch as opposed to the main master

http://gitorious.org/mapquery/vmx-mapquery

We welcome anyone to come and help/contribute to the project our mailing list is:

Mailing List

We also have an IRC channel #mapquery hosted on Freenode

edit: fix typo

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hey, Thanks for keeping us up-to-date regarding your activity on this great project! –  simo Feb 17 '11 at 8:29
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