This post isn’t in the NZ Rail Maps blog, nor is it tagged as NZ Rail Maps because it is not an official announcement for the project.
I do however expect NZ Rail Maps will last a few more years and then be mothballed. Exactly how many years I can’t say. But after a break of about a week for various reasons there are definitely some speed wobbles to consider.
One is that simply my personal interests are changing. Rail heritage used to be a big thing for me but hasn’t been for the best part of 20 years, and each year I get more and more distant from it. NZ Rail Maps has been my only interest in rail heritage for a long time. So my level of engagement with the rail enthusiast community is essentially declining.
The second consideration is that the Qgis software is getting more difficult to use. With the transition from Qgis 2 to 3 there seems to have been a significant drop off in the Qgis developer community activity level. The bug tracker for version 3 has hundreds of bugs that are not even being looked at let alone fixed. This all impacts on public perceptions of the software. Whilst I am not aware of viewpoints in the wider free software and Gis community I am perceiving in my own way that the engagement is just not there than there was with earlier versions.
For me this means I am not even bothering to engage with the Qgis developer community and go to the trouble of reporting new bugs or providing information for existing bug reports any more. Today I wasted a whole lot of time trying to pin down a new bug and have just put in a workaround although I may yet attempt to resolve it with a virtual machine for an old version of Qgis or perhaps running on mediapc if 2.18 is still available for Debian. The stuff I published on a couple of posts back about putting grids together to keep tiles at 4800×7200 is just an example of the extra work I am having to do in order to deal with problems in the software that are not being addressed by the developers.
I have new interests that I knew would vie for my time against NZ Rail Maps and this is what is starting to happen this year and will grow in momentum as we get further out. So right now I can’t put a time frame on what will happen beyond this year having put in place the priorities for 2019.