Category Archives: FOSS4G

Remarks on SVN-trac to GitHub migration

GRASS GIS is an open source geoinformation system which is developed by a globally distributed team of developers. Besides the source code developers also message translators, people who write documentation, those who report bugs and wishes and more are involved.

1. Early days… from pre-Internet to CVS and SVN

While GRASS GIS is under development since 1982 (no typo!) it has been put into a centralized source code management system in December 1999. Why so late? Because the World Wide Web (WWW) became available in the 1990s along with tools like browsers and such, followed by the development of distributed source code management tools. We moved on 29th Dec 1999 (think Y2K bug) the entire code into our instance of CVS (Concurrent Versioning System). With OSGeo being founded in 2006, we migrated the CVS repository to SVN (Subversion for the source code management) and trac (bug and wish tracker) on 8 Dec 2007.

2. Time to move on: git

Now, after more than 10 years using SVN/trac time had come to move on and join the large group of projects managing their source code in git (see also our related Wiki page on migration). Git comes with numerous advantages, yet we needed to decide which hosting platform to use. Options where github.com, gitlab.com, gitlab or gitea on OSGeo infrastructure, or other platforms. Through a survey we found out that the preference among contributors is GitHub. While not being open source itself it offers several advantages: it is widely known (good to get new developers interested and involved), numerous OSGeo projects are hosted there under the GitHub “OSGeo organization“.

If all fails (say, one day GitHub no longer being a reasonable choice) the import of our project from GitHub to GitLab is always possible. Indeed, we meanwhile mirror our code on OSGeo’s gitea server.

Relevant script code and migration ticket:

Relevant steps:

  • migrated SVN trunk -> git master
  • migrated and tagged release branches (milestones)
  • deleted “develbranch6” (we compared it to “releasebranch_6_4” and didn’t discover relevant differences)
  • Fix commit messages (yes, we really wanted to be brave, updating decades of commit messages!):
    • references to old RT tracker tickets (used Dec 2000 – Dec 2006)
    • references to old GForge tracker tickets (used Jan 2007 – Dec 2008)
    • references to other trac tickets (#x -> https://trac.osgeo.org/…)

3. Source code migration: the new git repositories

  • github repository “grass” (repo)

    • Source code from 1999 to present day (SVN-trunk -> git-master)
    • all 7.x release branches
  • github repository “grass-legacy” (repo)

    • separate repository for older GRASS GIS releases (3.2, 4.x, 5.x, 6.x), hence source code now available in git since 1987!
  • github repository “grass-addons” (repo)

    • repository for addons
  • github repository “grass-promo” (repo)
    • repository for promotional material
  • github repository “grass-website” (repo)
    • repository for upcoming new Website

4. Remarks on the “grass-legacy” repository

What special about it:

  • the source code goes back to 1987!
  • file timestamps (which I tried to preserve for decades :-) have been used to reconstruct the source code history (e.g., releasebranch_3_2)
  • junk files removed (plenty of leftover old binary files, files consisting of a special char only etc)
  • having this grass-legacy repo available in parallel to the main grass repo which contains the  recent source code we have a continuous source code coverage from 1987 to today in git.
  • size is about 250MB

What’s missing

  • the 4.3 source code doesn’t have distinct timestamps. Someone must have once packaged without mtime preservation… a pity. Perhaps a volunteer may fix that by carrying over the timestamps from GRASS GIS 4.2 in case the md5sum of a file is identical (or so).

5. Trac issue migration

A series of links had to be updated. Martin Landa invested days and days on that (thanks!!). He used the related GDAL efforts as a basis (Even Rouault: thanks!). As the date for the trac migration we selected 2007-12-09 (r25479) as it was the first SVN commit (after the years in CVS). The migration of trac bugs to github (i.e. transfer of trac ticket content) required several steps:

Link updates in the ticket texts:

  • links to other tickets (now to be pointed to full trac URL). Note that there were many styles of referring in the commit log message which had to be parsed accordingly
  • links to trac wiki (now to be pointed to full trac URL)
  • links source code in SVN (now to be pointed to full trac URL)
  • images and attachments (now to be pointed to full trac URL)

Transferring:

  • “operating system” trac label into the github issue text itself (following the new issue reporting template)
  • converting milestones/tickets/comments/labels
  • converting trac usernames to Github usernames
  • setting assignees if possible, set new “grass-svn2git” an assignee otherwise
  • slowing down transfer to match the 60 requests per second API limit rate at github

6. Fun with user name mapping

Given GRASS GIS’ history of 35+ years we had to invest major effort in identifying and mapping user names throughout the decades (see also bug tracker history). The following circumstances could be identified:

  • user present in CVS but not in SVN
  • user present in SVN but not in CVS
  • user present in both with identical name
  • user present in both with different name (well, in our initial CVS days in 1999 we often naivly picked our surnames like “martin”, “helena”, “markus”, “michael” … cute yet no scaling very much over the years!) as some were changed in the CVS to SVN migration in 2007, leading to
    • colliding user names
  • some users already having a github account (with mostly different name again)

We came up with several lookup tables, aiming at catching all variants. Just a “few” hours to dig in old source code files and in emails for finding all the missing email addresses…

7. Labels for issues

We cleaned up the trac component of the bug reports, coming up with the following categories which have to be visually grouped by color since the label list is just sorted alphabetically in github/gitlab:

  • Issue category:
    • bug
    • enhancement
  • Issue solution (other than fixing and closing it normally):
    • duplicate
    • invalid
    • wontfix
    • worksforme
  • Priority:
    • blocker
    • critical
    • feedback needed
  • Components:
    • docs
    • GUI
    • libs
    • modules
    • packaging
    • python
    • translations
    • unittests
    • Windows specific

Note that the complete issue migration is still to be done (as of Nov. 2019). Hopefully addressed at the GRASS GIS Community Sprint Prague 2019.

8. Setting up the github repository

In order to avoid users being flooded by emails due to the parsing of user contributions which normally triggers an email from github) we reached out to GitHub support in order to temporarily disable these notifications until all source code and selected issues were migrated.

The issue conversion rate was 4 min per trac bug to be converted and uploaded to github. Fairly slow but likely due to the API rate limit imposed and the fact that the migration script above generates a lot of API requests rather than combined ones..
Note to future projects to be migrated: use the new gihub import API (unfortunately we got to know about its existence too late in our migration process).

Here out timings which occurred during the GRASS GIS project migration from SVN to github:

  • grass repo: XX hours (all GRASS GIS 7.x code)
  • grass-legacy repo: XX hours (all GRASS GIS 3.x-6.x code)
  • NNN issues: XX hours – forthcoming.

9. New issue reporting template

In order to guide the user when reporting new issues, we will develop a small template – forthcoming.

10. Email notifications: issues to grass-dev and commits to grass-commit

We changed the settings from SVN post-hook to Github commit notifications and they flow in smoothly into the grass-commit mailing list. Join it to follow the development.

Overall, after now several months of using our new workflow we can state that things work fine.

Happy birthday OSGeo!

On February 4, 2006 OSGeo held its first meeting in Chicago, with 25 participants representing 18 groups and over 20 different Open Source GIS projects, and 39 others participating via Internet Relay Chat. During the meeting, participants made important decisions in the formation and organization of the foundation, including the name, structure and purpose. The consensus reached in Chicago opened the way for the establishment of a productive and representative foundation.

Today we are happy to announce that the we have meanwhile over 32,800 unique subscribers in the huge list of over 290 OSGeo mailing lists!

And: check out the web site of the OSGeo foundation.

1. More to come this year!

… see here for the growing list of events

GRASS GIS 7.4.2 released

We are pleased to announce the GRASS GIS 7.4.2 release

What’s new in a nutshell

After a bit more than four months of development the new update release GRASS GIS 7.4.2 is available. It provides more than 50 stability fixes and improvements compared to the previous stable version 7.4.1. An overview of the new features in the 7.4 release series is available at New Features in GRASS GIS 7.4.

Efforts have concentrated on making the user experience even better, providing many small, but useful additional functionalities to modules and further improving the graphical user interface. Segmentation now support extremely large raster maps. Dockerfile and Windows support received updates. Also the manual was improved. For a detailed overview, see the list of new features. As a stable release series, 7.4.x enjoys long-term support.

Binaries/Installer download:

Source code download:

More details:

See also our detailed announcement:

About GRASS GIS

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (https://grass.osgeo.org/), commonly referred to as GRASS GIS, is an Open Source Geographic Information System providing powerful raster, vector and geospatial processing capabilities in a single integrated software suite. GRASS GIS includes tools for spatial modeling, visualization of raster and vector data, management and analysis of geospatial data, and the processing of satellite and aerial imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and hardcopy maps. GRASS GIS has been translated into about twenty languages and supports a huge array of data formats. It can be used either as a stand-alone application or as backend for other software packages such as QGIS and R geostatistics. It is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). GRASS GIS is a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

The GRASS Development Team, October 2018

PDAL 1.6.0 packaged for Fedora including vertical datums and grids

Cologne city shown as colorized 3D point cloud (data source: openNRW Germany)In order to simplify the installation of the latest PDAL release (Point Data Abstraction Library, http://www.pdal.io/, version 1.6.0) on Fedora, I have created an updated set of RPM packages now including vertical datums and grids (.gtx files from here).

The installation is as simple as this (the repository is located at Fedora’s COPR):

# enable extra repos to satisfy dependencies
sudo dnf copr enable neteler/pdal-hexer
sudo dnf copr enable neteler/points2grid

# install dependencies
sudo dnf install hexer
sudo dnf install points2grid

# enable and install PDAL
sudo dnf copr enable neteler/pdal
sudo dnf install PDAL PDAL-devel PDAL-vdatums

# run PDAL:
pdal-config --version
pdal --help

Enjoy!

New major release: GRASS GIS 7.2.0 available

We are pleased to announce the stable release of GRASS GIS 7.2.0

What’s new in a nutshell

After almost two years of development the new stable major release GRASS GIS 7.2.0 is available. It provides more than 1950 stability fixes and manual improvements compared to the former stable release version 7.0.5. The new version includes a series of new modules to analyse raster and vector data along with new temporal algebra functionality.More than 50 new addons are also available. A summary of the new features is available at New Features in GRASS GIS 7.2.

About GRASS GIS 7: Its graphical user interface supports the user to make complex GIS operations as simple as possible. The updated Python interface to the C library permits users to create new GRASS GIS-Python modules in a simple way while yet obtaining powerful and fast modules. Furthermore, the libraries were again significantly improved for speed and efficiency, along with support for huge files. A lot of effort has been invested to standardize parameter and flag names. Finally, GRASS GIS 7 comes with a series of new modules to analyse raster and vector data, along with a full temporal framework. For a detailed overview, see the list of new features. As a stable release series, 7.2.x enjoys long-term support.

Binaries/Installer download:

Source code download:

More details:

See also our detailed announcement:

First time users may explore the first steps tutorial after installation.

About GRASS GIS

The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (https://grass.osgeo.org/), commonly referred to as GRASS GIS, is an Open Source Geographic Information System providing powerful raster, vector and geospatial processing capabilities in a single integrated software suite. GRASS GIS includes tools for spatial modeling, visualization of raster and vector data, management and analysis of geospatial data, and the processing of satellite and aerial imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and hardcopy maps. GRASS GIS has been translated into about twenty languages and supports a huge array of data formats. It can be used either as a stand-alone application or as backend for other software packages such as QGIS and R geostatistics. It is distributed freely under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). GRASS GIS is a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

The GRASS Development Team, December 2016

Happy 9th Birthday, OSGeo!

Press release by Jeff McKenna, OSGeo Foundation President

9 years ago today was the first ever meeting of the OSGeo foundation, in Chicago U.S.A. (initial press release). Thanks to those passionately involved back then, and the thousands contributing since, now our community has expanded and has reached many countries all over world. Congratulations to everyone for continuing to share the passion for Open Source geospatial.

Here is a glimpse at some of the exciting events happening around the world this year:

QGIS 2.6 ‘Brighton’ released

In the new release of QGIS 2.6.0 a series of new features have been added concerning

  • General: new features and bugfixes,
  • DXF export (improvements),
  • Map Composer (enhancements),
  • Processing (including a new modeler implementation),
  • QGIS Server (improvements),
  • Symbology (including user interface improvements),
  • User Interface with improvements.

A visual changelog is available for more details with lots of screenshots.

Congratulations to all QGIS developers! Looking forward to see the Fedora RPM available…

You can download QGIS 2.6 at http://qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html

News in GRASS GIS 7

GRASS GIS, commonly referred to as GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System), is the free Geographic Information System (GIS) software with the longest record of development as FOSS4G community project. The increasing demand for a robust and modern analytical free GIS led to the start of GRASS GIS 7 development in April 2008. Since GRASS 6 more than 10,000 changes have been implemented with a series of new modules for vector network analysis, image processing, voxel analysis, time series management and improved graphical user interface. The core system offers a new Python API and large file support for massive data analysis. Many modules have been undergone major optimization also in terms of speed. The presentation will highlight the advantages for users to migrate to the upcoming GRASS GIS 7 release.

50th ICA-OSGeo Lab established at Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)

We are pleased to announce that the 50th ICA-OSGeo Lab has been established at the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit (Piattaforma GIS & Remote Sensing, PGIS), Research and Innovation Centre (CRI), Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Italy. CRI is a multifaceted research organization established in 2008 under the umbrella of FEM, a private research foundation funded by the government of Autonomous Province of Trento. CRI focuses on studies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, and environment, with the aim to generate new sharing knowledge and to contribute to economic growth, social development and the overall improvement of quality of life.

The mission of the PGIS unit is to develop and provide multi-scale approaches for the description of 2-, 3- and 4-dimensional biological systems and processes. Core activities of the unit include acquisition, processing and validation of geo-physical, ecological and spatial datasets collected within various research projects and monitoring activities, along with advanced scientific analysis and data management. These studies involve multi-decadal change analysis of various ecological and physical parameters from continental to landscape level using satellite imagery and other climatic layers. The lab focuses on the geostatistical analysis of such information layers, the creation and processing of indicators, and the production of ecological, landscape genetics, eco-epidemiological and physiological models. The team pursues actively the development of innovative methods and their implementation in a GIS framework including the time series analysis of proximal and remote sensing data.

The GIS and Remote Sensing Unit (PGIS) members strongly support the peer reviewed approach of Free and Open Source software development which is perfectly in line with academic research. PGIS contributes extensively to the open source software development in geospatial (main contributors to GRASS GIS), often collaborating with various other developers and researchers around the globe. In the new ICA-OSGeo lab at FEM international PhD students, university students and trainees are present.

PGIS is focused on knowledge dissemination of open source tools through a series of courses designed for specific user requirement (schools, universities, research institutes), blogs, workshops and conferences. Their recent publication in Trends in Ecology and Evolution underlines the need on using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for completely open science. Dr. Markus Neteler, who is leading the group since its formation, has two decades of experience in developing and promoting open source GIS software. Being founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo.org, USA), he served on its board of directors from 2006-2011. Luca Delucchi, focal point and responsible person for the new ICA-OSGeo Lab is member of the board of directors of the Associazione Italiana per l’Informazione Geografica Libera (GFOSS.it, the Italian Local Chapter of OSGeo). He contributes to several Free and Open Source software and open data projects as developer and trainer.

Details about the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit at http://gis.cri.fmach.it/

Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.

International Cartographic Association (ICA) is the world authoritative body for cartography and GIScience. See also the new ICA-OSGeo Labs website.

Call for Papers FOSSGIS 2014 in Berlin

(reposting from here, Note to English speakers below)FOSSGIS Konferenz 2014 Berlin 19. - 21. März 2014

Sie forschen, Sie entwickeln, Sie beschäftigen sich mit Open-Source-Geo-Software oder freien Geodaten? Sie haben neue Ideen in diesem Themenbereich oder sind bereits dabei, freie Software und freie Geodaten zu nutzen oder zu entwickeln? Dann sind Sie auf unserer Konferenz – der FOSSGIS-Konferenz 2014 – genau richtig.

WIR BIETEN: Eine Plattform für Ihre Idee, Ihr Projekt, Ihren Erfahrungsbericht auf der größten deutschsprachigen Anwenderkonferenz für freie Geoinformationssysteme und freie Geodaten. Im Jahr 2014 findet die FOSSGIS vom 19. bis 21. März auf dem Gelände der Beuth Hochschule für Technik in Berlin statt. Wir rechnen mit über 400 Teilnehmern. An der Konferenz 2013 in Rapperswil (Schweiz) nahmen über ca. 350 Besucher teil.

WIR SUCHEN: Ihre Idee. Ihr Projekt. Ihren Erfahrungsbericht. Ihr Thema. Genauer gesagt, suchen wir Vorträge für Einsteiger und Fortgeschrittene, um spannende Themen zu behandeln, Diskussionen zu entwickeln, praxisorientierte Workshops* runden unser Programm ab. Vorträge zum Thema freie Geodaten, zum Beispiel OpenStreetMap, Open Data sind ebenso möglich wie Beiträge zu beispielsweise Softwarelösungen aus dem Bereich WebGIS, Desktop GIS, Geodatenbanken oder Location-Based-Services. Bewerben Sie sich jetzt mit einem Vortrag, Lightning Talk oder Workshop* beim Call for Papers.

ABSTRACT: Die Einreichung eines Abstracts für die FOSSGIS 2014 ist ab sofort bis zum 15. November 2013 über unsere Konferenzsoftware Pentabarf möglich. Beitrags-Einreichungen ohne Abstract müssen leider abgelehnt werden, da sich das Programm-Komitee anhand des Abstracts ein Bild von Inhalt und Relevanz des Beitrags macht. Der Abstract sollte ca. 1500 Zeichen umfassen. Ob die Einreichung angenommen wurde, wird im Dezember 2013 bekanntgegeben. Es besteht die Möglichkeit einen Lightning Talk einzureichen. Ein Lightning Talk ist eine kurze, knackige Auseinandersetzung mit einem Thema, welches in 5 Minuten, gern humorvoll, Anregung zur Diskussion bietet. Weiterhin können Poster eingereicht werden.

*Workshops: Bitte berücksichtigen Sie bei der Planung, dass für die Workshops nur 90 Minuten vorgesehen sind und die Teilnehmer ein Mix aus Theorie und vor allem Praxis erwarten. Die Beschreibung des Workshops soll erreichbare Lernziele und die notwendigen Vorkenntnisse der Teilnehmer enthalten. Ein Workshop findet ab einer Teilnehmerzahl von 5 statt.

WER WIR SIND: Veranstaltet wird die Konferenz vom FOSSGIS e.V., von der OSGeo Foundation und der Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin.

Unsere Konferenz lebt von Ihren Beiträgen und Ihrem Besuch. Werden Sie Teil der Konferenz – wir freuen uns auf Sie!

Noch Fragen? Wir haben versucht, in unseren FAQs alle wichtigen Fragen zu beantworten. Falls weitere Fragen bestehen, zögern Sie nicht uns eine E-Mail zu schreiben.

Note to English speakers

The FOSSGIS-conference is the largest German-language conference for Free and Open Source Software for GIS and Free Geodata hosting about 400 participants.

Today, the Conference Committee announced the “Call for papers” for 2014. Because the conference-language is German, the CfP is either.

The program committee will, however, also consider applications for talks or workshops held in English if they are deeemed to add to the quality of the conference. So if you don’t speak German, but are a FOSS/Open Data celebrity, or have a story that only you can tell, please do submit your talk. We are unlikely to be able to provide interpreters, but we’ll make sure you don’t get lost in Berlin. Please be aware that you can submit paper until November, 15. 2013. You can submit your abstract using our Conference Software.

We are looking forward to see you in Berlin March 19-21, 2014!