[GRASS5] prototype new GIS Manager in TclTk

Michael Barton michael.barton at asu.edu
Wed Jan 11 12:56:19 EST 2006

Following up on the discussions on the next generation GUI for GRASS, I¹m
working with several people on an interim GUI in TclTk that will begin to
implement ideas in the UI roadmap. The idea is to enhance the current TclTk
GUI so that display functions can increasingly be built into the GUI system
rather than depending on d.* modules¹ interactions with an x-display. We
hope that this will encourage GRASS developers in general to modify GRASS
display modules so that they do not require an x-display, and can be
implemented in a wider variety of display/GUI systems.

My first step for TclTk has been to move GRASS map displays to a TclTk
canvas, and create display management tools in TclTk. I¹ve done this using
the PNG driver, so it doesn¹t depend on x11 for display. This has a number
of advantages for usability (easier zooming and panning, constant display of
geographic coordinates in an indicator window), seems faster for large maps,
and has several nice features for continued development. One is direct
printing to postcript (currently I¹ve got a very simple version of this
running with eps output). Another is the ability for each display to have
it¹s own layer tree and region settings (the next thing I¹ll try to

Basic raster querying is functioning, but vector query will need to await
modification of d.what.vect to accept xy coordinates. I think that nviz
displays in a canvas. If so,  it could be better integrated in the new
display system. To drop the xdriver completely would require changes to
programs that require it for display‹including v.digit and r.digit,
d.rast.edit, d.profile, and i.points at least. For now, these can run by
simply opening an x-display using d.mon. In the interim, we simply need to
create a set of scripts or TclTk procedures that will automatically open
(and hopefully close) the required x-monitor.

Please don¹t hesitate to give the new prototype GIS Manager a try. To
install, simply drop the gis.m script into $GISBASE/scripts and put the /gm
folder into $GISBASE/etc.  Then run gis.m & from the GRASS command line to
start it. You'll want to open a canvas display monitor, using the grey
monitor button on the left.

You can find it on my website at

Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts.

Michael Barton, Professor of Anthropology
School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ  85287-2402

voice: 480-965-6262; fax: 480-965-7671
www: http://www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton

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