I’m a bit late to the game on this one – but my favorite guilty pleasure software just got a new major release. Guilty Pleasure software? Yeah – I like GRASS and I run it when I can where I can. I actually had a job a few years ago with a drone company and I had to do some elevation “math stuff” and the way I solved it was with GRASS. It turned into “how quick can I do this in python” ( I suck at Python) and I think the end result was just under 40 seconds. I still think I could have done this faster.
Anyway – 8.0. So what’s the big deal for me on this one? Well – The interface. If you download QGIS it comes with GRASS and you may have never started GRASS. If a user did start it they were immediately hit with:
At the beginning you have to start making decisions and setting work spaces and assigning projections and new users would throw up their hands and run away. The GRASS users were used to it. That’s the way we did things and we liked it.
With 8.0 it just starts:
The user then get to choose all the stuff they were faced with before – but they’re over the first hurdle of just starting it. That’s a much friendlier way of doing things.
If you do some digging you’ll find that GRASS has been around now for 35+ (maybe 40) years and the 8.0 release cycle burned about 3 years. If you dig through the release notes:
- GDAL 3
- Proj 7
- Python 3.6
- To sum up everything Faster and “mo better” and current with more stuff on the way with more releases coming.
Why run it? 35 years of development and it’s fast. Try it. You may hate it – you may love it. How many pieces of software can you point to that are that old AND still actively developed AND Free. Not many.
I should talk more about GRASS up here.