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Sun Apr 30 19:25:15 2017

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QGIS Planet

The QGIS Field calculator is dead. Long live the Field calculator bar

Ahhh the good old field calculator, it's in a better place now. OK not really, it's still there if you need it, but we can do a little better in 2.4. Introducing the field calculator bar:

Alt Text

oooo fancy.

The field calculator has always bugged me, I think it was just the combination of a few things:

  • It's modal so it blocks you from doing anything else - this alone is motivation enough in my mind.
  • You have to do the Open - Run - Close - Open - Run - Close dance which isn't great - annoying to say the least.
  • Did I mention it's modal - AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH
  • Defaults to creating a new field - which is the edge case
  • You only have All or Selection, which is a bit limiting

Anyway, enough with that. Last night I was having a chat to Nyall about something unrelated, and while looking at Excel I thought about that little bar at the top and how handy that is. You don't see a field calculator dialog in Excel - well there is one but not for the common case - you just wack in your expression and it does its thing. Why couldn't we have this for QGIS? I think I said to Nyall "you know this would be pretty cool, I might give it a go". Couple of hours later and this is it.

Alt Text

I have expressed in the past, and above, my hate for modal dialogs, so that was the main motivation and the results are much nicer then before.

What do we gain:

  • Not modal - WIN!
  • Don't have to close anything to see your results
  • See the results as soon as you run Update (All|Filtered)
  • Works on the features in table (All|Filtered)
  • Does one job

The other improvment to the old dialog is what features the bar works on. The bar will update what it sees in the dialog. If you need to update just the selection, simply select Show Selected and run the update. Need to search for something to update? Run a filter and press update. The method has changed from All and Selected to All and Filtered. Just remember if you see it in the attribute table it will be updated.

Alt Text

The last point is important too, if you need a new field you use the New Field button, then run the update, there is no need to mix the two function into one tool. SRP.

This feature will be in 2.4. If you find any bugs assign them to me at hub.qgis.org and I will try to address them before 2.4 is out.

RIP Field calculator dialog

The QGIS Field calculator is dead. Long live the Field calculator bar

Ahhh the good old field calculator, it's in a better place now. OK not really, it's still there if you need it, but we can do a little better in 2.4. Introducing the field calculator bar:

Alt Text

oooo fancy.

The field calculator has always bugged me, I think it was just the combination of a few things:

  • It's modal so it blocks you from doing anything else - this alone is motivation enough in my mind.
  • You have to do the Open - Run - Close - Open - Run - Close dance which isn't great - annoying to say the least.
  • Did I mention it's modal - AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH
  • Defaults to creating a new field - which is the edge case
  • You only have All or Selection, which is a bit limiting

Anyway, enough with that. Last night I was having a chat to Nyall about something unrelated, and while looking at Excel I thought about that little bar at the top and how handy that is. You don't see a field calculator dialog in Excel - well there is one but not for the common case - you just wack in your expression and it does its thing. Why couldn't we have this for QGIS? I think I said to Nyall "you know this would be pretty cool, I might give it a go". Couple of hours later and this is it.

Alt Text

I have expressed in the past, and above, my hate for modal dialogs, so that was the main motivation and the results are much nicer then before.

What do we gain:

  • Not modal - WIN!
  • Don't have to close anything to see your results
  • See the results as soon as you run Update (All|Filtered)
  • Works on the features in table (All|Filtered)
  • Does one job

The other improvment to the old dialog is what features the bar works on. The bar will update what it sees in the dialog. If you need to update just the selection, simply select Show Selected and run the update. Need to search for something to update? Run a filter and press update. The method has changed from All and Selected to All and Filtered. Just remember if you see it in the attribute table it will be updated.

Alt Text

The last point is important too, if you need a new field you use the New Field button, then run the update, there is no need to mix the two function into one tool. SRP.

This feature will be in 2.4. If you find any bugs assign them to me at hub.qgis.org and I will try to address them before 2.4 is out.

RIP Field calculator dialog

Leaving! Getting a New QGIS Job!

This week is my last week at Southern Downs Regional Council. On Monday I'm starting a new job. A QGIS related job. WIN!

I have worked at Southern Downs Regional Council for the last seven years and have been grateful for every year. The people, the work, the experience, has all be excellent. It has been a great seven years and I never imagined that I would be leaving, maybe at the ten year mark, but here it is. Starting at SDRC right out of high school without any skills or knowledge of what GIS is or was I grew to love it very quick. Learning GIS, evidently, lead me to programming. Nothing to crazy at first, some VBA here, some MAPBASIC there, MapInfo added the ability to call .NET dlls so I got into VB.NET, which lead me to C#, QGIS entered about three years ago which started me down the road of C++ and Python. Throw in some GPS surveying, data collection, database stuff, bushfire mapping, planning scheme mapping, floods, and you have yourself a nice skill set that you never expected to learn - hell some early school teacher even told my parents I would never do anything useful because "I only did computers".

So enough with the rambling personal history lesson and more about the new stuff. My new job is a Technical Consultant/QGIS Specialist with Digital Mapping Solutions(DMS), a great - of course they are great why else would I work for them - Australian GIS company. DMS were/are the sponsors of the QGIS MS SQL provider and run QGIS training courses around Australia. My new role will be focused around QGIS and QGIS clients in Australia, although it's not limited to that. I'm really looking forward to promoting, using, and helping other people use QGIS in Australia. I really do think there is a good market for it here, and if the growing interest over the last year is anything to go by I feel it is going to be a really interesting year. Working from home, meeting new people, learning awesome skills, pimping QGIS, what's not to love!

My blog will continue as normal, if not more. Expect to see more QGIS in Australia, hopefully we can get some regular meetups happening.

I do have to give credit to the QGIS team and community. Without the great team and community around QGIS I very much doubt any of this would have happened

Leaving! Getting a New QGIS Job!

This week is my last week at Southern Downs Regional Council. On Monday I'm starting a new job. A QGIS related job. WIN!

I have worked at Southern Downs Regional Council for the last seven years and have been grateful for every year. The people, the work, the experience, has all be excellent. It has been a great seven years and I never imagined that I would be leaving, maybe at the ten year mark, but here it is. Starting at SDRC right out of high school without any skills or knowledge of what GIS is or was I grew to love it very quick. Learning GIS, evidently, lead me to programming. Nothing to crazy at first, some VBA here, some MAPBASIC there, MapInfo added the ability to call .NET dlls so I got into VB.NET, which lead me to C#, QGIS entered about three years ago which started me down the road of C++ and Python. Throw in some GPS surveying, data collection, database stuff, bushfire mapping, planning scheme mapping, floods, and you have yourself a nice skill set that you never expected to learn - hell some early school teacher even told my parents I would never do anything useful because "I only did computers".

So enough with the rambling personal history lesson and more about the new stuff. My new job is a Technical Consultant/QGIS Specialist with Digital Mapping Solutions(DMS), a great - of course they are great why else would I work for them - Australian GIS company. DMS were/are the sponsors of the QGIS MS SQL provider and run QGIS training courses around Australia. My new role will be focused around QGIS and QGIS clients in Australia, although it's not limited to that. I'm really looking forward to promoting, using, and helping other people use QGIS in Australia. I really do think there is a good market for it here, and if the growing interest over the last year is anything to go by I feel it is going to be a really interesting year. Working from home, meeting new people, learning awesome skills, pimping QGIS, what's not to love!

My blog will continue as normal, if not more. Expect to see more QGIS in Australia, hopefully we can get some regular meetups happening.

I do have to give credit to the QGIS team and community. Without the great team and community around QGIS I very much doubt any of this would have happened

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