Monday, July 1, 2019

WhirlyGlobe-Maply 3.0 Is Feature Complete

WhirlyGlobe-Maply 3.0 is ready, it's working and you can have it in on January 1 2020!

If you're a sponsor, you can have it whenever you like.  That's why you're a sponsor.

I just fixed the last missing piece which was.... the Layout Manager.  It's always the Layout Manager.

What 3.0 Means To You

My bigger clients paid me money for 3.0.  Being completely funded from the start was nice.  Really nice.

The point of 3.0 was Metal for iOS & a better Android version.  And sure, I threw in a few minor goals of my own.  I'm very pleased with the results.

If you're a sponsor, this means it's time to think about upgrading.  The new Android version is very comfortable and the Metal support is just WOW!

But if you're not a sponsor, it's cool.  The toolkit has a future.  Use 2.6 on iOS knowing you won't fall off the OpenGL cliff.  Use it on Android knowing it's going to get so much better.

Performance & Optimization

I like to make graphics run fast.  This is all an excuse to feed my peculiar hobby.  The Metal version is faster than OpenGL, but there's another level beyond.

So I've saved dessert for last.  After I upgrade a few sponsor apps, I'm using that data to make the Metal version even better.  And, okay sure, there could be some improvements on the Android side.

The Island of Lost Features

A few features didn't make it to 3.0, either for Android or both versions.

I used to have a custom LIDAR format.  The only people who used it don't seem to any more.  I'd build this differently now, so they can stick with 2.6.

Elevation is used by a few people, but mostly in a way that's better served by something else.  So it's out for now.  I'll come back in a better way, I hope.

A bit of the model support, like the Geometry Builder, Shape instancing, that kind of thing didn't make it to Android.  Aviation apps use it, but they're not as big on Android.

What's Next

Most of you get 3.0 at the beginning of 2020.  There's that.  I'll be continuing to maintain and support 2.6 on both platforms, so don't worry.

I'm impressed with what I'm seeing devs doing already!  You'll see some sponsor apps come out with better graphics and lower power use on iOS.  On Android, you'll see more ambitious use of the toolkit.

Long term, I'd like to circle back and improve the 3D data support.  A native implementation of 3D tiles, for instance.  But not until there's money for it.  No customers, no money, not gonna do it for free.