Chris Holmes, GeoServer’s lead developer, writes in with details about GeoServer 1.4.0, now fully released:
From the perspective of Google Earth, the improvements we’ve had since 1.3.x with KML are a few fixes for better styling, and better naming of files when one downloads KML from GeoServer.
But although there’s not a ton that’s Google Earth specific, the rest of the push for 1.4.0 was to migrate to Spring for the core. This is the first step in making it easier for programmers to build interesting services on top of the core functionality (ability to read from Shapefiles, PostGIS, Oracle Spatal, ArcSDE, ect. in to a common programming model, and output that to different formats), any of which will be available as streaming KML/KMZ.
The next release (1.5.x) will add some very good raster support, and we’re going to be looking in to doing super overlays from rasters with no additional configuration (including caching them for great performance). And eventually vectors as well, but they are a bit more challenging if you’re doing anything more interesting than just turning all the vectors in to a raster.
I love it when a post writes itself.