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

Vaclav Petras wenzeslaus at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 18:35:35 PST 2019

On Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 3:42 PM Huidae Cho <grass4u at gmail.com> wrote:

> Vaclav,
> 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?

There is a workaround: Change GRASS database directory to /tmp. Then, you
can download a sample location and work with it.

Perhaps a state GRASS could detect and switch to /tmp automatically.

> Thanks,
> Huidae
> 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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>> grass-dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/grass-dev
> --
> Huidae Cho, Ph.D., GISP, PE (MD), CFM, M.ASCE
> Open Source GIS Developer, GRASS GIS Development Team
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