Hi all,

(Deep breath)

I'm delighted to unveil a test version of Potlatch 2, the all-new, completely rewritten version of OpenStreetMap's online editor.

You can play with it at http://www.geowiki.com/ . It talks to the main OSM server and you can make real edits with it.

This is a public alpha. This means it's an early version of the software and there are lots of bugs in it. Performance leaves a whole lot to be desired. It _will_ eat your memory, and it may freeze up or crash. Presets for ways don't generally have icons - either that or they're a bit sketchy. There's no documentation.

It's an experimental release for people who already have experience using Potlatch and know what they're doing. It's not for newbies - yet!

But here's some of the cool stuff it does:
- super friendly tagging system
- WYSIWYG map display with names on roads and the like
- powerful editing tools like 'make right-angled', 'create parallel line' and so on - vector backgrounds so you can manually bring in .osm files, shapefiles and so on
- dedicated turn restriction and route editors
- really good relations support

It's not just a general-purpose editor: you can use it to create your own editor with your favourite presets, icons, backgrounds and rendering. Everything is in easily configurable files, and it talks OAuth so people can log into the OSM server securely from outside. We hope that people will use it to build cycle-specific editors, public transport editors, "fix unnamed roads" editors... all of that. It's a foundation for people to do more cool stuff with OSM.

Potlatch 2 has only been possible thanks to the contributions, in particular, of Dave Stubbs and Andy Allan. Dave has built a terrific architecture for the program in general, way beyond anything I could ever think up, and in particular for the tagging system. Andy has given it a relation editor so much more powerful than P1 ever had, niggled away at a zillion little bugs, and given the project the impetus it needed. Lots of other people have helped as well: Twain47 (Mr Nominatim) contributed some excellent icons, Matt wrote the superb quadrilateralise function, Shaun added Big Concrete Blocks et al to the presets, and loads of others have helped. I'm delighted to only be one of the cast and think it augurs really well for the future.

So what now?

You _will_ find a really obvious bug about five seconds into using it. I guarantee it. Please use the wiki pages to report it: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Potlatch_2 . There's three pages for filing bugs so we can prioritise which to fix first.

It's all open source (obviously) in a proper language (ActionScript 3) with a real framework (Flex) and an open source compiler (Flex Open Source SDK). If you would like to get involved with coding it: \o/, woo and yay.

If you'd like just to improve the presets and the stylesheets, \o/ woo and yay too - you don't need to program for that. We have a mailing list, potlatch-dev (http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/potlatch-dev) to talk about development of whatever stripe. And the stylesheet language, MapCSS, is racing on - but more of that anon.

Hope you enjoy it. Look forward to the feedback.


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