[GRASSLIST:3535] Re: GRASSLIST digest 1391

Michael Barton michael.barton at asu.edu
Fri May 28 01:40:42 EDT 2004


I agree 100% with you about this. That's why I took on the task of 
rewriting the GUI this year. It wasn't particularly complex 
technically, mainly grunt work that someone just needed to sit down and 
do. I started with GRASS 5.3. Amazingly, I found when I was done that I 
had added 200 commands to the GUI that had been in GRASS but only 
available from the command line--nearly doubling the items in the 
menus. Then I did the same for GRASS 5.7, which didn't have an 
overarching GUI at all at the time. This has made a big difference for 
me--and my students. The near-term plan is to move GRASS 5.7 to a Qt 
GUI environment (I believe that Radim Blazik is working on it 
currently). That environment will look like QGIS more or less 
<http://qgis.org/>. This would be great and I have offered to help if I 
can. The more people to work on it, the better it will be. The main 
problem is that the number of real developers is still quite 
small--especially for such a powerful and complex program. Fortunately, 
they are very dedicated and appear not to sleep much.

The installation issue still remains. It is helped by people who 
regularly compile binaries for various platforms and provide them to 
the user community. The best (IMHO) is by Lorenzo Moretti for the Mac 
OSX <http://wwwamb.bologna.enea.it/forgrass/>. It does a double click 
install and provides all the needed libraries. It is very nearly like a 
commercial application in terms of ease. I think something similar 
needs to be done for Windows users and major Linux platforms. Again, it 
just needs people to take this on.

Your interest and that of others, if followed up by contributions to 
the development and testing program will help to realize your wish 
expressed below. Having used several GIS programs over the years, I am 
convinced that this is close to (if not THE) most complete, versatile, 
powerful, and **STABLE** GIS system available--commercial or otherwise.

Michael Barton
C. Michael Barton, Professor
School of Human Origins, Cultures, & Societies
PO Box 872402
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ  85287-2402

Phone: 480-965-6262
Fax: 480-965-7671
www: <www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton>
On May 27, 2004, at 10:01 PM, Multiple recipients of list wrote:

> The functionality is all there -- hidden somewhere in an
> obscurely named shell script, a version 0.beta of
> some source code archive or an external software package
> like R that is immensely powerful but adds another
> completely different command-driven environment which
> a lot of users are intimidated by.
> -- Not a problem for myself and most of the people reading
> this list. But even I feel I miss a portion of GRASS capabilities,
> simply because I cannot locate it -- that's after having
> worked with GRASS since 1996.
> The average GIS user, however, has a certain functionality
> in mind and will turn away in frustration if he feels
> that 'It has to be somewhere in there but I can't find it!'
> Kriging is definitely one of those things.
> I summary, I want GRASS to become the biggest, most functional
> and most widely used GIS system in any scientific field.
> But this will only happen, if we ease access to its functionality.
> Everything that works in this direction will benefit.
> A good Kriging module that spans a bridge to R capabilities
> without the user having to learn R would be a fine start.

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