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

Nikos Alexandris nik at nikosalexandris.net
Thu Jan 29 03:52:50 PST 2015

Vaclav Petras 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.

Hi Vaclav, and all.  Thanks for the continuous hard working.

>>     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.

>> Done in r64345.
>> Now the change of minimal height is needed to actually make it work 
>> on
>> small screens.
>> Please, read the previous message and commit message for a 
>> discussion
>> and description.

Moritz Lennert wrote:

> Generally, I like what I see, but I also have to admit that
> personally, and apparently contrary to many others, I do not really
> see as much need to change much in the GRASS startup.
> I just have two reactions:
> "Location represents a project."
> I'm not sure I like this restriction to location=project.

Me too.

> For my part
> I often use location=projection and mapset=project, but this depends.

If it is any worth, I use single directories for projects.-  Then 
Locations for projections and Mapsets to organise everything as I think 
is necessary underneath/inside.

> I'm afraid that such a semantic limitation in the startup screen will
> strongly influence users to go into just one direction...

Yes, please be more cautious here.

Vaclav Petras wrote:

>> A "Skip" button can be added next to Start button, once implemented.
>> I think that XY location in /tmp/grassdata would be appropriate.

> I'm very strongly opposed to this idea. You can be sure that many
> people will abuse this horribly without knowing what they are doing.
> In my eyes, GRASS should continue to impose a choice of projection
> system before working with data.

I use an XY location for various quick-tests. It's in my generic 
"grassdb" directory, along with the other "projects".

> If we want to give people the opportunity to test GRASS, I prefer the
> option of a button that downloads and unpacks a very light demo
> location.


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