We have always taken a somewhat frustrating approach to making a GIS ... otherwise known as a safe approach. To that effect we do not load information into memory!
Our reasoning is that that should always be under developer control (when making a custom app) as we don't want to speak for them .. they may have other uses for their memory at runtime and we don't want to limit there options.
Today we bring this idea a bit further .. allowing user control of Caching as an experiment.
The CacheStyleConfigurator adds a single page with a toggle you can check to turn caching on or off.
If on the feature content is wrapped in a "CachingFeatureSource" (which Andrea kindly donated to GeoTools recently) using a JTS Spatial Index to hold on to feature content. The index is populated in a lazy fashion.
Thus far this functionality has been tested with:
- Shapefile - faster but not amazing (simply because shapefile is already local and indexed)
- WFS - amazing so good it is tempting to make this the default
Because the content is wrapper you are no longer able to edit the content; thus we really do need to let users remain in charge of this experience.
The same configurator should be used to control if a raster is being loaded into memory or not ...)