Back to QGIS ramblings.
I mentioned in a previous blog post I was doing QGIS support specifically for one company but in reality it’s been about every client where I install QGIS. The one company turned into a retainer where I tested the waters of “can I do this?”. Testing turned into “How fast can I answer a question correctly?” MY retainer was for 10 hours so I hoped that it would lead to 4 questions an hour for 40 questions. I think for this company I ended up with about 20 questions and a lot of zoom discussions. Most questions were simple. Some weren’t. In reality the hardest were data questions and not software issues.
If I look back to my jump into Open Source all new clients get QGIS at the very least. 90% of the problems aren’t QGIS related – it is data problems. Looking back at my career it’s always been data problems with a sprinkling of software.
So if I summarized QGIS Support what would I say? Here are the big QGIS problems taken from about 5 different clients (some were paying for support and some were not):
- People not updating QGIS. The long term release is good for a year. It will probably run for 3 years. UPGRADE AT THE END OF THE YEAR. A lot of good things happens to QGIS from LTR to LTR. You may have a problem and you’re running 3.12 – Update to the Current release.
- Profiles: Sometimes QGIS just acts weird. Sometimes QGIS crashes. QGIS has profiles and you are using the default profile – that doesn’t mean you can’t make another one. Make one. You’d be surprised how much this fixes especially if your old profile gets corrupt.
- Shapefiles: The world runs on shapefiles. What happens when editing is ‘off’? Data isn’t snapping. Editing is slow. Convert it over to Geopackage or Spatialite. Can you still make shapefiles? Of course – just know your data. I think complicated datasets reside in a geopackage/spatialite better than a shapefile.
That pretty much sums it up so far for me. There have been other weird problems and other oddball things – BUT – those three things have fixed a lot of problems very quickly.
You want a fourth thing? Macs. I don’t own a mac. I don’t want to own a mac – no great religious or philosophical reason behind the decision. Of course I’m that person and run Linux on about everything I can just because it works for me. It may not work for you. What I do find is with MAC’s there seems to be a whole level of “Fuzzy” built in because Macs seem to work so well. So I start asking about resources and security and other things and we do a lot of research on the machine that never has problems. If I were to point to one problem with the whole support idea on QGIS for me – I should buy a cheap mac to learn about them…or buy a refurbished one. I need to learn about that side of life – then maybe support gets a little bit better on my end.