[GRASS-dev] some impressions on the wx interface

Carlos Grohmann carlos.grohmann at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 11:01:51 EDT 2009

Dear devs,

Recently we had a workshop on SAGA+GRASS+R at the Geomorphometry2009
conference (www.geomorphometry.org). Before the workshop I was using
the old tcl/tk interface (pretty much because of laziness, I'm used to
it), but during the workshop most students were using Windows, so the
WX interface was the default. Besides some bugs with the Windows
version of GRASS, it went well. Some of the issues I observed during
the workshop follow, so we can discuss ways to improve GRASS.

One thing is that the WX interface doesn't open a terminal (at least
in Windows), so if one is thinking about running GRASS+R, with GRASS
on top of R, there is no way. Or is there?

I noticed that the students were using most the "load map layers into
workspace" icon, instead of "add raster" or "add vector". I don't know
if this is because "load maps" is more to the left of the toolbar, and
if you read from left to right, you see it before the others. I think
that it would be better if the three "workspace" icons were at the far
right of the toolbar. Also I would put the "add raster" and "add
vector" icons  with a different image, to highlight them from the

In the Map Display, the "overlay" icon doesn't really mean much, I
think that a different image would help, or even three buttons, one
for legend, one for north arrow and on for text.

In GIS manager, it looks to me that the "maps for each display" and
"command output" are tabs, right? using a wx.notebook? in this case, I
have to say that they don't look like tabs, and this always got me a
little confused. If they had a real tab-like appearance, it would be
better to understand the way the GUI works, because anyone that's new
to the interface would know that there are two tabs with different
contents. Also it would be very nice if instead of "maps for each
display", we had "maps for display 1", "maps for display 2", etc.

Also, using the mouse scroll wheel to navigate between tabs, IMO, is a
must-have. That includes all tabs, the display tabs in gism and the
options tabs in the commands dialogs. I also noticed that one can
"close" tabs in the command dialog. why? the arrows to scroll to tabs
that may not be visible is OK (although I would prefer to have all the
tabs shown, even if that meant two rows of tabs), but closing tabs
shouldn't be an option. Maybe we can save some space using regular
"square" tabs instead of the tabs with that triangular ending.

The dialog name for r.shaded.relief is "raded.relief". Didn't check
other dialogs.

And I noticed that I can't change the HTML browser (Ubuntu 9.04,
latest GRASS SVN). It always call Konqueror. I tried changing
GRASS_HTML_BROWSER to firefox or chromium-browser, but unsuccessfully.

that's it for now. I'll use only the WX interface now, so I might come
back with more feedback soon.



Carlos Henrique Grohmann - Geologist D.Sc.
a.k.a. Guano - Linux User #89721
ResearcherID: A-9030-2008


Can’t stop the signal.

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