[GRASS-dev] Making start of GRASS GIS easier for newcomers

Yann Chemin ychemin at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 21:09:59 PST 2015

Just copying my last comment from the source thread...
I can concur on the feeling of being lost but most students. What about a
grass70 -b flag for "beginner" or something like this. That means we can
work through the discovery straight "out of the box". It would be even
easier to have a MSWin Icon using that option installed on the desktop
directly, if we are looking at lowering the entry/discovery level. It could
have a "beginner' infographic to direct new users to this one first.

What about creating a mechanism where the beginner version (as you point
out Vaclav) be made always in the /tmp/random_name on opening GRASS, with
say lat/long parameters. From Inside GRASS, one can launch the "welcome
screen" and make a new Location/mapset, hook to it, or hook into an
existing set. <- This will make the "starting use" of GRASS look like a
common GIS, with the whole Location/project management (already there but
not in one dialog) right available at any time in the software.

On 22 January 2015 at 10:05, Vaclav Petras <wenzeslaus at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 5:15 PM, Vaclav Petras <wenzeslaus at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> To satisfy everybody, I suggest to provide a buttons with something like
>> "Take me to LL", "Take me to default location" and "Take me to XY". What do
>> you think about that?
>> But the real improvement should be the messages which would guide you
>> through the process.
> So, here is screenshot and diff for new layout of the window together the
> description what the things are useful for. The descriptions can be easily
> changed, they are wrapped texts, so they will work well with translations.
> So, feel free to suggest different ones. We can also make them "gray" as
> suggested earlier.
> I used GRASS Location and Location. I though that GRASS could help to
> emphasize that it is something GRASS-related and few people were using
> Location and Mapset with capital letter which could say that it is a
> something like files format or spatial database name. I aimed to address
> the things I considered confusing. I'm not sure about the GRASS GIS data
> directory as I mentioned earlier.
> Now it is higher then the old one but with removal of the image it will be
> smaller. If a small-enough image is used, it could be the same. I would
> like to not include the image to have more space for the error messages
> (currently one line between GISDBASE and Location boxes), so messages can
> be longer and perhaps some what to do next tips can be shown as well. The
> position of this text can/should be changed, now middle of the window
> (usually these are at the bottom or at the top). However, without image it
> might be actually a little boring.
> I reorganized the buttons to manage the (list of) Locations and (list of)
> Mapsets, so now it looks like any other lists, e.g. in Simple Layer Manager
> or in Cartographic Composer. In future we can add buttons, for example
> unpack a zipped location or download sample datasets in case of Locations
> and show existing maps button in case of Mapsets.
> A "Skip" button can be added next to Start button, once implemented. I
> think that XY location in /tmp/grassdata would be appropriate.
> http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/grass-dev/2015-January/073268.html
> http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/grass-dev/2015-January/073266.html
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