[GRASSLIST:6651] Advice for a GRASS newbie

Paul A. Levine palevine at ucla.edu
Wed Apr 27 19:17:42 EDT 2005

Hello all,

Apologies in advance if this list is not the right place for these kind 
of questions, but I wanted to get the opinion of real-world GRASS 
users, so I figure there is no better place than here.

I am a new GRASS user who is attempting to learn the program so I can 
use it for my master's thesis in hydrology. I purchased the second 
edition of "Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach " by M. Neteler and 
H. Mitasova, which was recommended to me as THE definitive 
GRASS-learning guide.

Unfortunately, the book was written for GRASS 5.3, and very early on in 
one of the tutorials, I came across a command that has become obsolete 
in GRASS 6 (the d.sites command, directed on page 30 of the book, which 
I now understand has been replaced by new functionality of d.vect). OK, 
so that's a good learning experience about how software changes.  Then, 
a few pages later, I came across another obsolete command that was a 
little harder to get updated info on.  At this point, having to figure 
out what commands are obsolete is slowing down my progress through the 
book.  Furthermore, it seems like all of the GRASS 6 tutorials that are 
out there assume some familiarity with GRASS in general that I am 

So, my question is this: Which of the following strategies would the 
users on this list recommend?

a) installing GRASS 5.3, going through the Neteler and Mitasova book, 
coming out of it knowing GRASS 5.3, then making the switch to GRASS 6.0 
when I have some chops with 5.3

b) continuing what I am doing right now, which is going through the 
book and learning the changes as I go (and assuming that any time GRASS 
says "command not found" that it's another example of something that 
changed in the 6.0 update)

c) finding an altogether different resource for learning GRASS 6.0 and 
ditch the book (this is the least desirable option, especially because 
the book was not cheap, so I would like to get some use out of it)

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have to offer me!

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