[GRASS-dev] Feedback from a FOSSGIS course

Glynn Clements glynn at gclements.plus.com
Wed May 23 04:23:49 EDT 2007

Hamish wrote:

> > 1. GRASS GUI
> > 
> > Peoples felt that GRASS GUI is least user-friendly and is confusing.
> > Major issues where the tcl/tk style, and many windows. So majority of
> > things, including digitisation was introduced through QGIS. I hope
> > that upcoming Wx-python GUI shall solve this issue.
> I too find it ugly and a pain to have 4-6 windows cluttering the
> desktop. IIUC in the new wx GUI the output window is a tab on the GIS
> Manager window, and if the command prompt window is minimized, then
> there is usually just the display and control panel to deal with.

One option would be to use wxAUI, which allows the user to move panes
around within a window, or detach them into separate top-level

The wxPython demo includes two AUI demos (AUI_DockingWindowMgr and

> > 7. GRASS startup
> > 
> > First time use of GRASS is confusing, as we need to a location to
> > start with. I suggest to copy the spearfish location and use it as a
> > base. It is better if GRASS provides a demo location by defult, even
> > without any data.
> Package download size. Probably the startup text could be more helpful
> explaining where to get data and what to do with it.

I disagree with the "default location" idea; there is no sensible
default. You cannot use GRASS without having read at least an
introduction, and trying to trick the user into believing otherwise
wouldn't be doing anyone any favours.

A more reasonable solution would be to have a prominent HELP button on
the startup screen which takes the user to an introduction describing
database, location, mapset, projection, region. This could be
especially prominent (e.g. large, flashing, bold, red text) if $GISRC
doesn't exist or no existing locations are found.

Glynn Clements <glynn at gclements.plus.com>

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