[GRASS-dev] GRASS and QGIS on Win32, testing etc.

Michael Barton michael.barton at asu.edu
Tue May 22 10:59:13 EDT 2007

On 5/22/07 12:22 AM, "Hamish" <hamish_nospam at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I can't help with negotiations with afraid-of-the-unknown IT staff, but
> the Cygwin 6.2.1 package should be much easier to install than previous
> versions, so try again if you haven't in a while. It's nothing like a
> grass_setup.exe, but it is much smoother than it was.

I agree with your sentiment about making a useable, stable version availble
to people. GRASS under Cygwin is indeed a complete Linux version running
under Windows.

However, in addition to the problem of Lab IT managers (not insubstantial if
I want to use a university computer classroom to teach GIS), Cygwin seems to
run into repeated permissions issues under  Windows. It is especially
difficult if it is on a machine that more than one person uses (i.e.,
multiple accounts). I've worked with very cooperative IT people who have yet
to be able to solve this sufficiently.

Another issue is that the installation is fairly easy for a single user
(though it remains complicated), but does not lend itself to installation on
a bunch of lab workstations. If Cygwin and GRASS could come as a single
*.exe file on a CD, it would be a LOT better for many users and lab

Finally, using GRASS under Cygwin, puts the user into an unfamiliar
environment. This is understandably confusing for many Windows users. GRASS
may work just fine, but it is working under Linux/Unix, which simply offers
a different user experience than stock Windows.

We definitely need to keep the Cygwin installation because it IS a
full-featured version of GRASS that is EXACTLY the same as the *nix
versions. However, there are a number of important reasons to place a high
priority on getting a Windows-native version out the door too.


Michael Barton, Professor of Anthropology
School of Human Evolution & Social Change
Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity
Arizona State University

phone: 480-965-6213
fax: 480-965-7671
www: http://www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton

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