[GRASS-dev] some impressions on the wx interface

Helena Mitasova hmitaso at unity.ncsu.edu
Fri Sep 11 13:28:56 EDT 2009

Little bit of cosmetics to wxGUI would indeed help, especially for  
new users - see my comments below:

On Sep 11, 2009, at 11:01 AM, Carlos Grohmann wrote:

> 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?

yes, there is, we open GRASS using GRASS+MSYS icon (the one with  
grass and blue M)
and that opens wxGUI and shell. This makes the environment on linux, Mac
and WinGRASS very similar to each other and so far worked great for me.

The one very confusing thing is that when you try to run any d.* command
it says "not yet implemented" so it looks like unfinished thing which  
may be OK
for RC but not for the final release. I suggest to change the message  
to something
like "not applicable without X11 support, please use appropriate icons,
see wxGUI help" although people generally won't know what X11 is -
so maybe somebody has a better suggestion?

And as I said before - I am missing the d.* commands  sooo much!

> 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
> others.

I am not sure about this - I did not observe students using load map  
  - maybe you have shown
the students the load map layers first and they stick to it even  
after they find out
about add raster.
> 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.

YES!!! Everybody here complains that they cannot find the legend button.
Even if you read the wxGUI help - it is hard to remember.
> 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.

I would agree with this, although most students figured this out.

Given that wxGUI is completely new and minimally tested by broader
users community it is quite amazing how robust it is and I would vote
for releasing it as a default GUI for both Mac and linux, as it is
now for winGRASS. It may be worth to spend some time on polishing
it for GRASS64 final release, rather than having to maintain two GUIs  
- I found that some
people who learned TclTK GUI stick to it and are hesitant to switch.


> 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.
> cheers
> Carlos
> -- 
> Carlos Henrique Grohmann - Geologist D.Sc.
> a.k.a. Guano - Linux User #89721
> ResearcherID: A-9030-2008
> http://digitalelevation.blogspot.com
> http://www.igc.usp.br/pessoais/guano
> _________________
> Can’t stop the signal.
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