GRASS as GNU Projekt ?

Rainer Trusch trusr000 at
Sun Nov 7 10:39:07 EST 1999

Hi Rich,

I'm not desperatly struggling for a GNU Projekt, but I can't agree with some of
your points.

>  GRASS is specialized software and probably of no use to 80% of computer
>users. Within the user community it fulfills a need which cannot be met with
>any other available software. 

The GNU incorporates other projekts that are of no use for the majority
of users, but they are more likely to attract other people.

Just finding GRASS on the GNU Page, could make a few programmers curious about
GRASS, even if they aren't into this subject. GRASS is touching a lot of other
computer subjects, like database, visualisation, etc. GRASS is a good Programm,
but I'm sure most of the developers would appreciate to see more people taking
part in it or am I wrong?

>  Would you suggest that statistical software should be made more
>popular, too?

Would you suggest that comercial statistical software should be made more
popular than free one?

>  I think that GRASS is in the right place. 

I agree with you, because the most important point in terms policy is the GPL
and GNU is a nice feature, but it could be a useful one.

 >Those who need it will find it and the rest of the world will rightly ignore

How can I ignore somthing I don' t know about. Just a few people heard of GRASS
at our Department and no one used it before (hope I can change it a bit). We
are not at the edge of GIS, but I'm sure that sounds quite familiar to others as

Many people start at university with GIS and they are basically taught the
standards, which means mostly ESRI. Once you got into it, you are not so likely
to learn a new thing, even if it has better features. Try to convince people, to
change their MS Word against another wordprocessor or even LaTeX. This is like
trying to break a stonewall with your head.

The popularity of a product has not always to do with its qualities. In my view
GRASS deserves a higher interest, because of its qualities and the effort
people are spending on it. In the end everybody using GRASS, would have a
profit from this.

We shouldn't underestimate the factors of creating awareness and GNU could be
one, but it's surely not the final solution. Attracting awareness at university
and companies is a lot more important, but a different pair of shoes.

Best wishes,


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