[GRASS-dev] Try GRASS GIS online: rollApp - rollapp.com

Huidae Cho grass4u at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 12:39:35 PST 2019


rollApp looks good, but it's read-only without a plan. I can start the GUI,
but I cannot create a new location, which means no GRASS session. Is there
a sample location there so I can actually try it in a read-only mode?


On Fri, Dec 20, 2019 at 10:48 AM Vaclav Petras <wenzeslaus at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> Following posts on Binder - mybinder.org [1] and CoCalc - cocalc.com [2,
> 3], I would like to introduce also rollApp - rollapp.com, another
> alternative for "Try online" link. It is a freemium service providing
> access to many (mostly) open source applications through a web browser
> (i.e., in cloud). You need to log in (e.g., with Google Account) to access
> it and you can't save data without purchasing a plan, but you can run
> applications and access the Internet. (With a plan, you can connect
> different storage such as Drobox or Google Drive.)
> It can run GRASS GIS for couple years already. You can try it here:
> https://www.rollapp.com/app/grassgis (page with a Launch button)
> https://www.rollapp.com/launch/grassgis (direct link with possibly
> sub-optimal results)
> [1] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/grass-dev/2019-August/093053.html
> [2] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/grass-dev/2019-August/093058.html
> [3] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/grass-dev/2019-December/093910.html
> Right now, it would not work well as a "try online" tool, but it could.
> Continue reading if you want to know details.
> I worked with them in the past I bit and made some fixes in GRASS GIS
> which helped rollApp to start GRASS GIS.
> https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/changeset/70461
> https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/changeset/70335
> https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/changeset/70336
> https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/changeset/70450
> https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/changeset/70357
> Some additional commits since then (for example, removal of tput) also
> improved start in environments such as rollApp.
> https://github.com/OSGeo/grass/commit/5c46b130ea50df148ebc73699974c2a621e15e4b
> One ongoing issue (which is possibly relevant to CoCalc, too) is that
> GRASS GIS can start only with terminal. You can reproduce the issue locally
> on Linux using `nohup grass` or, at least on Ubuntu with Unity, by pressing
> Ctrl+F2 and typing "grass".
> https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/ticket/3295
> Nevertheless, you can start GRASS GIS even with free account, in the
> startup screen change the database directory to /tmp, download a sample
> location, and start GRASS GIS. I think the GUI is little bit faster than in
> CoCalc. The command line is worse than what you have in CoCalc (fixed size
> xterm versus in-browser one).
> There is couple things which can be done in GRASS GIS or in rollApp to
> make this a great "try online" option (even perhaps as a secondary one in
> case we want to favor an open source platform). In any case, I would like
> to find a place on the new website to have rollApp listed as one option for
> using GRASS GIS online.
> Let me know what you think,
> Vaclav
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Huidae Cho, Ph.D., GISP, PE (MD), CFM, M.ASCE
Open Source GIS Developer, GRASS GIS Development Team
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