[GRASS5] Mac OS X Patches and Additions

Jeshua Lacock jeshua at OpenOSX.com
Mon Nov 8 15:08:59 EST 2004

On Nov 8, 2004, at 11:47 AM, Michael Barton wrote:

> Thanks Jeshua for your efforts for Mac.

Thank you Michael.

> However, we need to make sure this works well with the distribution 
> that
> Lorenzo Moretti has developed for Mac OSX. One big issue is that 
> Lorenzo's
> version of GRASS is now installed into the /Applications folder. This 
> is the
> standard location for applications under OSX rather than the Unix/Linux
> standard of /usr/local/. While one can debate the merits or 
> disadvantages of
> this from a standardization perspective, it is where most Mac users 
> look for
> applications and overcomes the annoying reality that Apple chose to 
> hide the
> /usr directory from normal Mac users, while the /Applications 
> directory is
> accessible without dropping into the terminal or specifying a special 
> path
> to the Mac GUI.

IMHO I think that it is best _not_ to put GRASS in the Applications 
folder, as GRASS really requires a terminal, and I think it is in the 
users best interest to start and use GRASS from a terminal. I think it 
is valuable for the user to know how to do this.

Remember GRASS is not exactly Microsoft Word.

> Using Aqua would be desirable if it were difficult to get and xwindows
> version of tcltk installed (This was the case about a year ago). 
> However,
> Lorenzo has developed nice *.dmg versions of needed GRASS libraries,
> including x11 standard tcltk. If this is not moving all of GRASS to 
> Aqua and
> out of x11, I'm not sure what is gained now by patching it for a
> non-standard tcltk. Perhaps Glynn or others could speak to this.

I really can not disagree with you more. The average Mac user would 
pick the Aqua version over the Unix version, _anyday_; I am sure,

With Apple's version of X11 and the Aqua version of TCL/TK, it offers 
much more of a true "Mac Experience". You would hardly ever know you 
where in a X11/Wish environment instead of a fully native Mac OS X 
Cocoa application.

For example, the choose file dialog is a native Mac OS X cocoa "Choose 
File" dialog, which offers the user far more connivence and familiarity 
than the Wish/X11 choose dialog box. The Mac version allows you to sort 
by date, drag files and folders to select them, has all of the users 
shortcuts and recently used files. This reason alone is more than 
enough to justify WHY one would prefer to use the Aqua version of 

Of course, suite your self. My customers demand more.

> Mac preferred browser support already works for GRASS 5.7, but it would
> certainly be nice to have this for 5.4 too.

Hmm - that is odd, because it seems that I still had to patch the same 
file the same way that I did with Grass 5.0-5.4.

> This may just need a bit of
> tweaking to tcltkgrass for 5.4 or it might need something more complex.

Its done. It works. It is simple. Look at the patches. It's worked 
since Grass 5.0. I also explained it on this list when I first 
submitted the patch. See "[GRASS5] More Mac OS X Tcltkgrass Tweaks", 
April 27, 2003, from me.

Though rather than using "launchURL", I now just call "open".

> Support for spaces and other non alphanumeric characters is also nice, 
> but I
> think that there is no longer a problem with this in either 5.4 or 5.7.

Hmm, again that is weird, because I had to patch the same bits of the 
tcltk interface as I did with Grass 5.0.

> Finally, I'm not sure what is meant by automatically bringing the GUI 
> to the
> front. Currently, I can bring it to the front like any other 
> application by
> clicking on it with a mouse, or hide it as needed. Perhaps I 
> misunderstand.

When you execute "tcltkgrass &", the GUI starts, but you have to click 
on the "Wish" icon to bring it to the foreground so that you may use 
it. Our solution brings it to the front, like you might expect it to.

> Perhaps Lorenzo, Kirk, or other GRASS Mac users will be able to offer
> additional clarifications. I am not trying to be negative and welcome 
> anyone
> who can help make GRASS more useable on the Mac or any platform. There 
> are
> indeed places where Mac support for GRASS can be improved. But I'm not 
> sure
> that the 4 items listed here are ones that need to be fixed (preferred
> browser support for 5.4 being the primary exception to this). I guess I
> would be cautious about altering the source code for these items 
> without
> more information.

They have been fixed. They work. They have been tested. They have 
worked since Grass 5.0. I have provided more information in the past. 
Look at the patches. They are extremely simple. Its not rocket science 
or anything.

My users and myself appreciate the changes.

We will continue to use them, I am just contributing what we develop 
and will continue to do so.

You may not know me, but I was the first person to get GRASS working on 
Mac OS X Public Beta, and I have professionally lived and breathed Mac 
OS X since then.


Jeshua Lacock __________________________
Programmer/Owner            Phone:   877.240.1364
http://OpenOSX.com           Fax:        415.462.6211

More information about the grass-dev mailing list