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

Yann Chemin ychemin at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 22:11:20 PST 2015

Hi MIchael,

Are we going to yet another branch from the original topic :-)

I believe the fundamental change you speak about is worth discussing for
I also believe that the on-the-fly reprojection on import is a feature we
all agree is (very) needed (GRASS 8).

Finally, I believe that Vaclav small changes to the welcome page are worth
agreeing upon.

On 23 January 2015 at 10:23, Michael Barton <Michael.Barton at asu.edu> wrote:

>  Hi Vaclav,
>  To be clear, I agree with you that GRASS should not start with a wizard
> and had did not intend anyone to think that.
>  The ‘step 1, step 2, step 3’ was simply to put this as text on the
> startup dialog, to help users know which step to do in what order.
>  The more radical suggestion that I made today involves fundamental
> change of how GRASS works. Change the file structure to
> GISDBASE/mapsets=working directories and get rid of locations as folders.
> Store projection information in a different way than as locations. Maybe
> store projection info in each mapset, or maybe some other way. Maybe each
> mapset still only contains maps from a single projection to keep maps of
> the same projection together. It may be necessary to do other things to
> make sure that users don’t try to combine maps of different projections.
>  This would make it possible to have a simpler startup. But it would take
> more thought and some programming to make it work.
>  Michael
>             ____________________
>  C. Michael Barton
>  Director, Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity
>  Professor of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution & Social Change
> Head, Graduate Faculty in Complex Adaptive Systems Science
>  Arizona State University
>  voice:  480-965-6262 (SHESC), 480-965-8130/727-9746 (CSDC)
> fax: 480-965-7671 (SHESC),  480-727-0709 (CSDC)
>  www: http://www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton, http://csdc.asu.edu
>  On Jan 22, 2015, at 8:22 PM, Vaclav Petras <wenzeslaus at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 12:16 PM, Michael Barton <Michael.Barton at asu.edu>
> wrote:
>> For this release, we need to focus on just tweaking the current startup
>> screen and doing better graphics for the splash. The other topic is a much
>> bigger issue.
>  Not everybody considers my suggestion as useful-enough change and there
> is the hard freeze (although the functionality changes are almost zero). As
> a result, I don't plan to commit it to release branch now. However, I
> consider it as a great improvement which I definitively want to use and I
> think it is very beneficial for beginners, so I will commit that to trunk
> when I get to it. Then we can continue in the other improvements.
>  To the other things. I also consider data in different projections as
> much bigger issue. GRASS has all the tools as described and also
> implemented by Markus Metz but it is too much for beginners. We should
> definitively make it more accessible (but it is also interesting business
> opportunity :-).
>  I still don't understand what the user could in the dummy/LL/XY/demo
> location besides looking to menus and being confused from wrongly imported
> data or no imported data at all because of projection issues.
>  Michael suggests to replace startup by some wizard and this is what QGIS
> is doing. So, is putting everything to wizard better then the window +
> optional wizard? We can go that way but note the difference between QGIS
> and GRASS, when QGIS is running the wizard, the app is already there,
> wizard is just an additional window. For GRASS, it would the window you get
> which might be strange. Even stranger if the window would be just some
> small one with "Will start in location xxx" and "Change" and "Continue"
> buttons.
>  It would be also useful to analyze why the thing which is done on MS
> Windows by the standalone installer is not enough. There should be a demo
> location already and set as last used. Also NC SPM can be downloaded,
> should it be checked by default?
>  Does somebody has a opinion on using "Location", "GRASS Location", or
> "GRASS location" consistently? You can see also "LOCATION" here and there
> in GRASS but I wouldn't go that way.
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