Kurt Buehler kurt at zorro.cecer.army.mil
Wed Jun 3 09:52:16 EDT 1992

> Date: Wed, 3 Jun 92 07:58:54 +0200
> From: Gunnar.Bostrom at sundsvall.trab.se (Gunnar Bostr|m)
> To: grassu-list at amber.cecer.army.mil
> Subject: XGRASS
> What is XGRASS? Is it a X-windows version of GRASS and if so what will
> the differences be compared to GRASS with the XDRIVER?


XGRASS is a set of software tools providing *an*  X  Window/Motif
graphical  user  interface  for GRASS. It consists of three major
programs (xgrass, xclip, and xgen). And *later*, it will  provide
new   interactive   display   functionality   (with  support  for
monochrome, grey scale, 8 and 24-bit color).

xgrass is a user configurable  pulldown menu system with built-in
support for:

  1. database, location, and mapset changing

  2. a replayable history of GRASS commands executed

  3. it introduces the idea of a session
     (i.e., saved  database,  location,  and  mapset  information
      along with a saved history, all  basically  reflecting  the  
      status  of your xgrass session)

  4.  a  hypertext-like  interface  to  the   g.help   (modified)

  5. a glossary tool for looking up GRASS related terminology.

  6. built-in support for xclip interfaces (see next section)

  7. capability to override the  default  menu  configuration  by
     providing a menu specification of your own.

  8.   capability   to   override   default   color   and    font

  9. capability to provide additional databases (an  initial  set
     of user databases is created  at  installation time and  can
     only be modified  by a  "database administrator",  but  this 
     list can  be augmented by any user for personal use), create  
     locations,  create  mapsets,  and create sessions.

NOTE: We have  not  created  interfaces  for  all  of  the  GRASS
functionality, yet. Many programs will need to be upgraded and/or
changed a  bit for the final release which is slated to  coincide 
with  the  release  of GRASS 4.1

xclip is an X Window/Motif-based tool  for  generating  GUIs  for
*one*  command-line  program.  It  "knows"  about all GRASS "data
types", and has links into the help system. It is intended to  be
used  to  provide  many of the GUIs for GRASS commands. It uses a
very simple language to  describe  an  interface,  that  is  then
executed by xclip.

xgen is a tools for  use  by  non-programmers  wanting  to  build
applications  to  consist  of  a  series of calls to command-line

We have tried very hard to create reusable software  and  have  a
library of interface utilities that are  usable by you programmer


version 1.1 of xgen is on the moon as we speak, it  includes  all
source  code, a set of test scripts, a few examples (that are not
guaranteed to work...), a  man  page,  and  a  FrameMaker  3  and
PostScript version of a Users Guide).

An alpha release of  the  rest  of  the  XGRASS  software  (*not*
including  display  functionality)  will be available by mid-next
week. The  hold  up  has  been  documentation,  but  Jim  W.  has
convinced  me  to  release  it  without  documentation other than
installation instructions. We will provide a source code  release
that  requires  the  existence  of  OSF/Motif 1.1.x libraries for
compilation.   We  will  also  provide  a  binary   release   for
SPARCStations  running SunOS4.1.1, because many of you don't have
Motif. You don't *need* Motif for the  binary  release,  but  you
might  experience  some  difficulties  until OpenWindows provides
better support for this software (we hope that you will  help  us
define the problems). Documentation will follow as soon as we can
pull it all together.  We have done compilation  testing  on  Sun
SPARC  (SunOS), Control Data (EPIX, which includes a pretty plain
BSD OS), Data General (SysV 3.2),  DEC  5100  (Ultrix  4.2),  and
Okidata Microsystems (SVR4).

I'll post to this list again when it is actually on the ftp site.

The display code will be out for alpha as soon as possible...

Please don't send me mail concerning this until *after* I get the
stuff up on the ftp site, it will only slow down the process.


Kurt Buehler,  Spatial Analysis and Systems Team
USACERL, P.O. Box 9005, Champaign, IL 61826-9005
1-800-USA-CERL x449,   kurt at zorro.cecer.army.mil

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