[OSM-dev] Merkaator port to Android

Josh Doe josh at joshdoe.com
Fri Dec 2 13:26:07 GMT 2011

On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 8:13 AM, Ian Dees <ian.dees at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 6:56 AM, Jaak Laineste <jaak.laineste at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>  as you may now, during GSoC QGIS was ported to Android tablets
>> (http://hub.qgis.org/projects/quantum-gis/wiki/QGIS_Mobile_GSoC_2011).
>> Merkaator has technically same base elements: Qt, GEOS, PROJ.4 etc, so
>> based on this experience porting of Merkaator could be also possible
>> with much smaller fuss. It should be even smaller work than getting
>> JOSM working under Android.
>>  Question: do you know anyone who really would need and use it?
> Jaak,
> Porting JOSM to Android would be an interesting academic task, but several
> problems lead me to believe it would not be useful for general use:
> - java.awt is nowhere to be found on Android. JOSM's rendering engine would
> have to be completely re-written.
> - javax.swing is nowhere to be found on Android. JOSM's UI system would have
> to be completely re-written.
> - JOSM's UI is based on menus and keyboard shortcuts. These don't have good
> analogs in Android and would have to be re-thought.
> I'd much rather see the time spent solving these problems put towards a
> general purpose editor that is specifically designed for a tablet. Maybe
> something general enough that an iOS and Android developer could use the
> same design with platform-specific tweaks.

All valid points, however it may be useful to reuse much of the
non-GUI code for handling file loading, validation, search, etc. Or
perhaps it may be more worthwhile to write a nice HTML5 app that can
work on iOS, Android, and the web.

I think the hardest thing is coming up with a design that works well
on tablets. I think first and foremost it should offer a simple and
robust way to edit POIs. A good preset system is a must (share with
Potlatch2 or JOSM, don't create a new one!). Allow ways to be created
both by tapping nodes and drawing (with simplification algorithm). And
definitely have online and offline modes.

I'd encourage you to create a wiki article to try and define what
should go in to a tablet app.


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