Opened 4 years ago

Closed 7 months ago

#3474 closed enhancement (fixed)

Change the GRASS GIS start up to more beginner friendly

Reported by: hellik Owned by: grass-dev@…
Priority: critical Milestone: 8.0.0
Component: Startup Version: svn-trunk
Keywords: wxGUI, startup Cc:
CPU: All Platform: All

Description

hi,

during the GCI contest with young students, we get following feedback:

GRASS GIS is a cool and nice software, but could you make it a little bit more beginner-friendly

the startup with choose location/mapset seems often to be confusing

therefore to broaden the user community, the startup should be changed to:

- start first layer manager and map display into a default ll-wgs84-location

- then offer the dialogue choose location/mapset-new location/mapset

- introduce a -vintage flag to be able to change to the old behaviour

Change History (13)

comment:1 Changed 4 years ago by veroandreo

Thanks Helli for opening this ticket and hopefully triggering some discussion on this matter. We already discussed about it in the autumn 2017 community sprint (https://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Talk:GRASS_GIS_Community_Sprint_Autumn_2017).

Just to illustrate, here are some statistics about the GCI "Install GRASS GIS and download NC dataset" beginner task:

As of today (02/01/18), there are 8 students working on this task and 17 have completed the task so far.

However, 24 students have abandoned the task and 15 ran out of time (they had 3 days to complete it). From these students, we get comments such as:

  • "once i open the grass gis console...it opens another application called layer manager"
  • "why is it so hard to do this?"
  • "I don't know how to add dataset of north carolina ...what to do next? how to add map of north carolina"
  • "how do you open it after you extracted it"
  • "I've downloaded the software and also the data base, but the map doesn't seem to open in app, I'm kind of stuck here"
  • "However, I can't seem to be able to see anything upon opening it. The UI opens fine, but I can't see a map or anything after selecting the North Carolina dataset."

Of course, some might reflect a lack of understanding of a GIS, but they are doing pretty well in OSGeo tasks and such comments I have heard not only from high school students. IMHO, to make GRASS GIS easier for new-comers and first-time users is really beneficial for us, we cannot get more users and future developers if they feel it is that hard to display a map.

comment:2 Changed 3 years ago by wenzeslaus

See wiki:wxGUIDevelopment/New_Startup for solutions proposed so far (and of course, please contribute).

comment:3 Changed 3 years ago by wenzeslaus

Keywords: wxGUI startup added

comment:4 in reply to:  1 Changed 3 years ago by cmbarton

Replying to veroandreo:

Thanks Helli for opening this ticket and hopefully triggering some discussion on this matter. We already discussed about it in the autumn 2017 community sprint (https://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Talk:GRASS_GIS_Community_Sprint_Autumn_2017).

Just to illustrate, here are some statistics about the GCI "Install GRASS GIS and download NC dataset" beginner task:

As of today (02/01/18), there are 8 students working on this task and 17 have completed the task so far.

However, 24 students have abandoned the task and 15 ran out of time (they had 3 days to complete it). From these students, we get comments such as:

  • "once i open the grass gis console...it opens another application called layer manager"
  • "why is it so hard to do this?"
  • "I don't know how to add dataset of north carolina ...what to do next? how to add map of north carolina"
  • "how do you open it after you extracted it"
  • "I've downloaded the software and also the data base, but the map doesn't seem to open in app, I'm kind of stuck here"
  • "However, I can't seem to be able to see anything upon opening it. The UI opens fine, but I can't see a map or anything after selecting the North Carolina dataset."

Of course, some might reflect a lack of understanding of a GIS, but they are doing pretty well in OSGeo tasks and such comments I have heard not only from high school students. IMHO, to make GRASS GIS easier for new-comers and first-time users is really beneficial for us, we cannot get more users and future developers if they feel it is that hard to display a map.

I've taught quite a few beginning GIS classes with GRASS now. I've also done some short training sessions with QGIS. Most (all?) of the comments above would apply equally to QGIS.

comment:5 in reply to:  2 ; Changed 3 years ago by cmbarton

Replying to wenzeslaus:

See wiki:wxGUIDevelopment/New_Startup for solutions proposed so far (and of course, please contribute).

I added a couple of thoughts there. Another one that might help would be better integrate saved workspaces with Projects (AKA Locations) or Mapsets. We could have a default workspace for each Mapset, for example, which would open when GRASS is launched and that Mapset chosen. By default it would be blank. But for demo sets like North Carolina, the default workspace could have several maps that would automatically show up in the display.

comment:6 in reply to:  5 Changed 3 years ago by wenzeslaus

Replying to cmbarton:

Replying to wenzeslaus:

See wiki:wxGUIDevelopment/New_Startup for solutions proposed so far (and of course, please contribute).

I added a couple of thoughts there.

Please check if your changes were saved. I don't see them in the history:

https://trac.osgeo.org/grass/wiki/wxGUIDevelopment/New_Startup?action=history

comment:7 in reply to:  5 Changed 3 years ago by wenzeslaus

Replying to cmbarton:

Another one that might help would be better integrate saved workspaces with Projects (AKA Locations) or Mapsets. We could have a default workspace for each Mapset, for example, which would open when GRASS is launched and that Mapset chosen. By default it would be blank. But for demo sets like North Carolina, the default workspace could have several maps that would automatically show up in the display.

This makes a lot of sense to me and it is actually already there:

wiki:wxGUIDevelopment/New_Startup#NCSUGeoForAllLabJune5

And see the other way around too: #3575 (Associate database/location/mapset with workspace file)

comment:8 Changed 8 months ago by neteler

For the record: continued here:

https://github.com/OSGeo/grass/projects/1

comment:9 in reply to:  1 Changed 7 months ago by wenzeslaus

Replying to veroandreo:

From these students, we get comments such as: once i open the grass gis console...it opens another application called layer manager

This part should be addressed in PR:1216 (merged).

comment:10 in reply to:  description Changed 7 months ago by wenzeslaus

Replying to hellik (OP):

therefore to broaden the user community, the startup should be changed to:

  • start first layer manager and map display into a default ll-wgs84-location

Done in PR:705 and PR:868.

  • then offer the dialogue choose location/mapset-new location/mapset

Even better, the Data tab is now capable to do anything the startup screen did (e.g., PR:756, PR:731 from the recent changes).

  • introduce a -vintage flag to be able to change to the old behaviour

Sorry, not happening. If you are running from the command line (and you [would] have to use any vintage sort of flag), you can set the mapset from command line. If you want pick it in GUI, start in some mapset, e.g., in the demolocation or create an XY location for yourself. There is besides the default g.gui, there is also g.gui.datacatalog if you want a light weight experience.

Behavior of --gtext is still undecided, so please do test and make suggestions.

comment:11 in reply to:  1 Changed 7 months ago by wenzeslaus

Replying to veroandreo:

From these students, we get comments such as: ...

  • "how do you open it after you extracted it"

Tutorials for absolute beginners make use of the "Download sample location" button in the Data tab.

An "Open mapset" is still under consideration. Consider creating an issue.

  • "I don't know how to add dataset of north carolina ...what to do next? how to add map of north carolina"
  • "I've downloaded the software and also the data base, but the map doesn't seem to open in app, I'm kind of stuck here"
  • "However, I can't seem to be able to see anything upon opening it. The UI opens fine, but I can't see a map or anything after selecting the North Carolina dataset."

Now the data is at least visible in Data tab in way or the or the other which hopefully mitigates some of the initial confusion and leaves some energy for the next steps.

comment:12 in reply to:  5 Changed 7 months ago by wenzeslaus

Replying to cmbarton:

Another one that might help would be better integrate saved workspaces with Projects (AKA Locations) or Mapsets. We could have a default workspace for each Mapset, for example, which would open when GRASS is launched and that Mapset chosen. By default it would be blank. But for demo sets like North Carolina, the default workspace could have several maps that would automatically show up in the display.

This is still on the table. Consider open an issue for this.

comment:13 Changed 7 months ago by wenzeslaus

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

Many big changes happened directly or indirectly addressing the points raised here. Considering this solved.

Please, test the latest code (7.9), evaluate, provide feedback, open new issues if needed.

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