Expanding GRASS - Questions

George Chou gchou at gpz.com
Fri Aug 29 11:14:29 EDT 1997

Here is a section of FAQ from the upcoming GRASS-XMI web page
(http://www.gpz.com/grassxmi.htm).  The best way to see the difference is
to try it.  It is FREE for 30 days. 

George Chou 
GPZ Technology


Q. Is GRASS-XMI another XGRASS for sale?
A. No, GRASS-XMI is a commercial product developed to run GRASS through
X/Motif graphic user interface.

Note: "XGRASS is a X/Motif interface that was developed for GRASS around
1992 and is available with the current release. Development and support on
this version has been discontinued by CERL. Newer versions of Motif require
a compile flag for backward compatibility and some newer versions of Motif
don't allow backward compatibility at all." -- Bill Brown,
brown at gis.uiuc.edu 

Q. What are the benefits to use GRASS-XMI?
A. You can benefit from using GRASS-XMI because

1. GRASS-XMI is a commercial product with full support from GPZ Technology.

2. GRASS-XMI was compiled with the standard X/Motif libraries distributed
along with operating systems, and the compatibility is not a problem

3. GRASS-XMI supports some and will support all programs that require to be
executed in GRASS shell when the programs are invoked from the XGRASS
environment. Suggestion: Try "Mask" in the raster program group to see for

4. GRASS-XMI is intuitive and does not introduce new concepts and
terminology to users. In the simplest cases of executing a GRASS program,
you can click on the icon button corresponding to the program group then
choose the program from the sub-menu for the group. Afterwards, a dialogue
pops up showing parameters required to execute the program. You enter the
parameters and program starts execution. In more complicated cases, we have
replaced some programs that requires many keyboard entries with more
user-friendly programs.

5. GRASS-XMI is easy to learn and to use. For new GRASS users, it
alleviates the burden of memorizing a tedious command line syntax, thus
shortening the learning curve. The average time that a new user spent to
learn the software is less than half an hour without assistance. For an
experienced user, it increases productivity by minimizing keyboard entries,
and by allowing the user to repeat a GRASS program with varying parameters
or data.

6. GRASS-XMI does an exhaustive check on the data you entered. If an error
is detected, the erroneous entry will be flagged for re-entry. In this way,
you would not have to re-enter all input because of a single wrong entry.
When an input file name is required, GRASS-XMI provides a list of the files
available, all you have to do is "point and click".

7. GRASS-XMI provides on-line help for each dialogue as well as this
general help file. There are three levels of help files. This file is the
top-level help providing general information about the software. The second
level of help can be activated from a sub-menu for each program group. Each
help file at this level has a brief description about the program group as
well as a list of programs available for that release. The third level of
help is provided in each pop-up dialogue to assist you to use the specific

8. GPZ Technology provides customization on top of the general version. If
your organization requires certain functionality that is not offered by
GRASS, we can add new programs to the general version at an affordable
cost. GPZ can also help you with system integration and project

> From: Thomas Foster <htf1 at psu.edu>
> To: grassu at cecer.army.mil
> Subject: Re: Expanding GRASS - Questions
> Date: Friday, August 29, 1997 3:55 PM
> how is grass-xmi different from xgrass from cerl?
> >The answer to Alastair Duncan's "Expanding GRASS - Questions" is
> >a software product that allows you to run GRASS through a user-friendly
> >X/Motif graphic user interface in the Solaris networking environment. 
> >are the highlights of its most important features.
> Thomas Foster
> Penn State University
> Department of Anthropology  
> 409 Carpenter Bldg.
> University Park, PA 16802
> 814 865 1231

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