This is language agnostic documentation for the MapScript interface to MapServer generated by SWIG. This document is intended for developers and to serve as a reference for writers of more extensive, language specific documentation located at Mapfile


Language-specific extensions are described in the following appendices

Python Appendix

Documentation Elements

Classes will be documented in alphabetical order in the manner outlined below. Attributes and methods will be formatted as definition lists with the attribute or method as item, the type or return type as classifier, and a concise description. To make the document as agnostic as possible, we refer to the following types: int, float, and string. There are yet no mapscript methods that return arrays or sequences or accept array or sequence arguments.

We will use the SWIG term immutable to indicate that an attribute’s value is read-only.


A paragraph or two about class fooObj.

fooObj Attributes

attribute : type [access]
Concise description of the attribute.

Attribute name are completely lower case. Multiple words are packed together like outlinecolor.

Note that because of the way that mapscript is generated many confusing, meaningless, and even dangerous attributes are creeping into objects. See outputFormatObj.refcount for example. Until we get a grip on the structure members we are exposing to SWIG this problem will continue to grow.

fooObj Methods

method(type mandatory_parameter [, type optional_parameter=default]) : type
Description of the method including elaboration on the method arguments, the method’s actions, and returned values. Optional parameters and their default values are enclosed in brackets.

Class method names are camel case with a leading lower case character like getExpressionString.

Additional Documentation

There’s no point in duplicating the MapServer Mapfile Reference, which remains the primary reference for mapscript class attributes.