[Live-demo] Re: Prune in the OSGeoLive DVD?

activityworkshop mail at activityworkshop.net
Sat Oct 9 11:45:28 PDT 2010

Cameron Shorter wrote:
> Thank you - lots of people have spent a lot of time on it. It is nice 
> to hear positive feedback.
It shows, it looks like a great publicity tool.
I noticed quite a few typos in the docs though, I'll have a go at fixing 
some of them after I've jumped through the administrative hoops :)

> I'd be interested to understand the differences between Viking and 
> Prune and understand reasons why people will choose one over the other.
Good question.  I don't want to diss Viking but personally I find Prune 
simpler and easier to use.  Prune doesn't have a "layers" panel with 
lots of options, it just shows tracks on top of a map.  So you don't 
have problems like the following (from the Viking docs):
"You will notice the maps are being drawn on top of the tracks, which is 
probably not what you want."
Prune tries to be simple and intuitive to use, although obviously you 
then don't get the more powerful options of Viking like multiple layers 
and sublayers and so on.

Also from what I understand Viking can't correlate photos with gps 
tracks, but instead relies on calling the gpsphoto app separately and 
then loading just the coordinates saved by gpsphoto into Viking.  With 
Prune you load the jpegs directly, see the photos, do the correlation, 
save the coordinates into the exif tags of the photos, export thumbnails 
of the photos into kmz files and so on all from within the same application.

Similarly, Viking seems only able to load and save gpx files, whereas 
Prune can load txt, csv, kml, kmz, nmea and gpx files and can save all 
of those formats too (apart from nmea).  Plus Prune has 3d abilities 
that Viking doesn't, and runs on OSX too.

In summary, I'd say (imho) Viking tries to be a powerful multi-layer GIS 
application, whereas Prune tries to be easy to use and concentrates on 
what (I think) the bulk of non-power-users want to be able to do.

> I'm wary of the OSGeo-Live disk promoting every possible application, 
> as it will just confuse new users.
I agree, and I won't be offended if you say that Prune won't make it 
onto the dvd :)

> How much RAM does it use, and how much disk space (assuming java is 
> already installed).
I've not done detailed memory usage tests, but I've run it perfectly 
fine on a low-RAM machine using a live CD.  The jar file itself is 
around 700 kB and the only other requirement is a JVM (sun-java6 is 
perfect).  Although as I said if gpsbabel is there too, then Prune can 
use it to get tracks directly out of a GPS receiver).

> I'm interested to understand the stability of Prune and the community 
> behind it.
> You might want to use this page as an idea for talking points in 
> answering this question: 
> http://www.osgeo.org/incubator/process/project_graduation_checklist.html
Ok, so those requirements sound perhaps a little too demanding for Prune 
at the moment.
( ObPedant: s/achieved/archived/ and s/Marketting/Marketing/ )
There isn't currently a governance policy, or project management 
committee, or management processes, or a Project Management Plan.  It 
does have an issue tracker, patch submission and public communications 
(at sourceforge) but no automated test system.  And the release process 
isn't really "defined" as such, it just has releases every three or four 
months, announced about a month in advance with a call for translators 
(currently 12 languages are well supported by various volunteers).  
Feature requests are submitted by email or in the sourceforge forums, 
and open to discussion.  Releases occur on a "when ready" basis, after a 
feature-freeze and text-freeze.

As for popularity / how widely deployed it is, I don't have precise 
numbers but my download stats tells me there is steadily growing 
interest (since birth in 2006).  However, Debian's popcon tells me there 
are a lot fewer installs of Prune than of Viking; hopefully this will 
change once Prune gets into Debian stable.  Prune also runs on Windows 
and OSX and is also available as an rpm for OpenSuse.

Anyway, even if Prune doesn't make it onto the DVD, it still may be of 
interest to some of you guys.  In particular, suggestions of ways in 
which it can fit together with other projects are very welcome.  For 
example, the proposal for Prune to also do audio file correlation for 
openstreetmap contributors recording their own notes is currently being 
worked on and will come with the next release.

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