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

Margherita Di Leo diregola at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 01:45:22 PST 2015


On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 4:55 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 understand that for some users GRASS looks strange at first sight,
because I'm aware that nearly nobody reads the manual *before* trying to
start a new software. Because humans work like this, at first they want to
try, and later, if the process of natural curiosity is supported by
positive feedback of experience, they keep on going, learn new stuff, read
the manual etc.
What I don't understand here is how an empty lat lon location would help in
If the purpose is to allow the user to explore the software without any
previous knowledge (well actually something can be done also here, we could
create a "getting started" video) why not allowing the user to double click
on their map and open grass from it. This would not need any change in the
grass structure itself, it could just be a "demo". I think to a script in
python that reads the info from a file (gdalinfo), creates a demo location,
opens grass and import the file.

Just thoughts


Best regards,

Dr. Margherita DI LEO
Scientific / technical project officer

European Commission - DG JRC
Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)
Via Fermi, 2749
I-21027 Ispra (VA) - Italy - TP 261

Tel. +39 0332 78 3600
margherita.di-leo at jrc.ec.europa.eu

Disclaimer: The views expressed are purely those of the writer and may not
in any circumstance be regarded as stating an official position of the
European Commission.
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