[GRASS-dev] Re: first users main trouble

Ivan Shmakov ivan at theory.asu.ru
Fri Mar 14 23:11:59 EDT 2008

>>>>> Yann Chemin <yann.chemin at gmail.com> writes:

 > Hi all, just though to say one thing that first users have trouble
 > with.  In itself it is not a problem for half of them after few days
 > of GRASS GIS, but the remaining part just cannot get used to it.

 > When processing is done, they think their new map is going to be
 > displayed automatically (it is part of the processing to display
 > output).

 > linked to this, they have hard time imagining that two-three windows
 > make one software (I know, Windows users they are), I have to
 > expelain that most GIS/RS software work this way, and that it has
 > strong advantages (dual monitors for example, one for processing and
 > one visualizing), and I prefer it that way as many of us I guess.

 > Just adding a little bit on what wall very first GIS users are
 > banging...

	Because of such difficulties, I've tried a reversed approach.
	First of all, I've explained:

	* what's GIS software, what it's used for? (the audience was
	  supposed to have no prior experience with GIS);

	* what's GRASS? the basics of its design, with a particular
	  emphasis put on using an ``embedded language'' -- the POSIX
	  Shell (a historical decision due to the GRASS' UNIX origins);

	* how to start Bash? (the classroom computers were running

	* how to start GRASS from the Shell? namely, I've recommended:

$ grass63 -text 

	Then, we've been playing a little with a few basic GRASS
	commands (g.list(1), r.info(1), g.region(1), r.what.rast(1)) to
	get some ``feel'' of the CLI.  (Depending on the amount of time
	given it may be advisable to mention Shell functions and, if the
	environment variables are also introduced, Shell scripts.)

	Finally, there was a bit of `gis.m'.  (BTW, it seems that it
	runs quite well with Tcl 8.5.1, Tk 8.5.1, as of GRASS 6.3rc4.)

	The second half of the GRASS-related part was focused mainly on

	Since the GRASS-related part of the course is quite small, I've
	made extensive use of pre-created locations (i. e., there were
	no need to get through the location creation process, nor the
	need to `r.in.*' or `v.in.*'.)

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