[Qgis-developer] QGis fTools

Carson Farmer carson.farmer at gmail.com
Sat Mar 26 08:02:51 EDT 2011

Hi All,

> Documentation - Improve the ftools_help.xml files by filling in the 'inputs, parameters and additional information'.
Yes please, fTools documentation is definitely in need of
improvements. However, I would prefer to 'leave behind' the
ftools_help.xml file in favor of the more integrated help system that
QGIS uses (see comment about help button below).
> Plugins - Develop a plugin for fTools, based on suggestions from the fTools developers regarding what is currently needed/wanted.
This is also a great opportunity to add some of the features that
users have been requesting. It might also be nice to have a vote, and
simply build the most sought after tool (within the parameters of your
(or whoever ends up building it) interests of course)
> Vector Menu - Integrate existing plugins so they can become part of the core qgis plugins, included in the 'Vector' menu.
This is always something people are looking for, but we always need to
make sure we are only explicitly adding plugin that have a strong-ish
track record for stability, are general enough that most everyone will
want to have them as part of their vector arsenal, and that someone is
willing to maintain/bug fix the tool(s). Because the Vector menu is
installed by default, I would recommend only stable and/or extremely
useful/universally applicable tools make it into this menu as part of
the QGIS core plugins. However, I don't see a problem with making it
easier to 'add' plugins to the Vector menu as additional 'add-ons'
that users can install themselves after the initial QGIS install.
> Help Button - Add help buttons to each tool vector tool UI which link to the fTools help file.
Again, yes please! Help buttons on all the tools would be excellent.
However, as I mentioned above, a proper integration with the existing
QGIS help system would be much better, and would facilitate
translations etc, which simply isn't feasible with the (very basic)
XML file I am currently using. As an additional note, the XML file and
about dialog have been removed from trunk in favor of the main QGIS
about dialog. So this is obviously a good time to re-implement the
help in a more integrated fashion.
A short help page for each tool, with a simple diagram, explanation,
parameters and their uses, plus links to relevant cites (wikipedia
atticles, OGC for each tool would be great. See
http://jaspa.forge.osor.eu/ST_Buffer.html for a nice simple example of
what could be done within the QGIS help framework.

> Carson, would you be interested in mentoring Jackie for GSoC to work on
> adding more stuff to ftools and improving things. Since ftools is your
> baby you're probably the best qualified and this might be a good chance
> to get your wishlist taken care of in addition to things mentioned in
> the previous thread.
I would be more than happy to mentor Jackie for a GSoC project, and
fTools/Vector menu could really use the attention :-)
Please also see my comments to the suggestions/points above.


Carson J. Q. Farmer
ISSP Doctoral Fellow
National Centre for Geocomputation
National University of Ireland, Maynooth,

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