[GRASS-dev] New welcome screen

Markus Metz markus.metz.giswork at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 00:49:39 PST 2015


continued in

Making start of GRASS GIS easier for newcomers

On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:40 AM, Markus Metz
<markus.metz.giswork at gmail.com> wrote:
> [moving to a new thread]
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 10:55 PM, Markus Neteler <neteler at osgeo.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 8:16 PM, Moritz Lennert
>> <mlennert at club.worldonline.be> wrote:
>>> On 21/01/15 19:35, Markus Neteler wrote:
>>>> In my opinion we should not have the location selection dialog at all.
>>>> Revolution!
>>>> We should start GRASS right away in latlong like most GIS in the world.
>>>> Then let the user open the dialog to change projection if desired from
>>>> inside.
>>>> This would avoid a lot of questions right away.
>>> Please don't do this !
>> OK, now being back from phone to a real keyboard, I can write a few more lines.
>> I am thinking about this issue for seeral years meanwhile (hint: I
>> started in 1993 to use the software, getting stuck at the text start
>> screen not having a manual :-).
>> So my full suggestions are
>> - beautify the actual screen (hence my recent suggestion which is
>> lively discussed here),
>> - optionally (!) allow to start GRASS without welcome/loc/mapset
>> screen but to open it in LatLong as described above. Again, as an
>> option. We could implement that in trunk and see how it goes. All the
>> tools to select locations, projections and such are there.
>>> I find the fact that GRASS does not provide a default
>>> projection system, but forces the user to think about projection from the
>>> start, one of its strengths, both for work and for teaching.
>> On of it strenghts, yes. But I have been teaching GRASS a lot to GIS
>> professionals who got trained on different systems. And many asked
>> "why this screen? why cannot you just start like the other GIS"? And I
>> tend to agree (again: optionally). The point is that we, on the
>> contrary to many other GIS, still have all the control mechanisms in
>> place which avoid that the user mixes projections. So that's all fine.
>> Also in Portland at the FOSS4G conf (where I showcased GRASS GIS 7)
>> people suggested to let 'em get into the system right away. They
>> explained to me that a newcomer wants to see the menu to understand
>> how powerful the system is. But they would get stuck at the welcome
>> screen... Yes, and they don't want to think before they open the
>> program but "just try", out of curiosity.
> A suggestion for a compromise:
> Have a minimal welcome screen that says something like
> "Starting GRASS GIS in location X, mapset Y"
> nothing else, no list of all the available locations and mapsets
> Only two buttons: OK, Change
> Make OK the default, Change will bring up the current welcome screen.
> The user has then just to hit enter and GRASS is running. This would
> reduce the (confusing) amount of information on the current welcome
> screen. It would also give more space for a little graphic ;-)
> Location and mapset can be taken from GISRC, if that does not exist,
> create a new GISDBASE in the user's home, put the demolocation in it
> and use this (I think the wingrass installer is already doing that).
> Markus M

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