Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
Hi Andreas

On 10/10/2015 05:04 PM, Andreas Neumann wrote:
Hi,

I like Nathans idea of default templates. But I don't like an automatic map item to display by default.

A graphics software like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator, or even your word processor, starts with an empty page. What's so wrong about it? If you don't like the empty page then use a template. Templates are a commonly understood option in many software packages.

We also start QGIS with a blank project with no layers added - and users figure out how to add layers ...

Andreas


I think there is one big difference: There you normally start without content because the system does not know what you could want to insert.

However, we do have good reason to assume that the user will want to put a map onto the composer as the very first thing. We should use this advantage of knowloege.

It's a bit like creating a new impress/powerpoint presentation: They also start with spaces for title and content.

But because everybody likes it different being able to choose a template on the dialog where you enter the composer name which already appears now and a being able to define the pre-selected template will let everybody fine-tune the behavior to his liking.

One more question: Why does the print composer not use multithreaded (non-blocking) rendering? Asking because this was brought up as a major reason against providing a map by default.

Matthias



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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Andreas Neumann-4
Hi Matthias,

I understand that in 90% of the cases the users want a map in the print composer. But I am still not convinced by the idea of having a map item being placed by default. The performance issue is one thing, the placement/size option is another thing. Everybody has different ideas how to do a layout. If I have to reposition/resize every map item for each project in a composer, there is not much gain. I could just as well position/size it correctly from the beginning.

I don't like applications that start being to be "clever" and then end up being "annoying".

We have a template system. The user can already select a template. So why not follow Nathan's advice of having two or three default templates shipped with QGIS? And then allow the user to select a default system. Simple and efficient in my opinion.

A much more important issue than having the map item visible by default is a truly inherited master template that propagates into all projects that reference the master template. Something I understand Nyall would try to address with the print composer redesign.

Andreas

On 10.10.2015 17:51, Matthias Kuhn wrote:
Hi Andreas

On 10/10/2015 05:04 PM, Andreas Neumann wrote:
Hi,

I like Nathans idea of default templates. But I don't like an automatic map item to display by default.

A graphics software like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator, or even your word processor, starts with an empty page. What's so wrong about it? If you don't like the empty page then use a template. Templates are a commonly understood option in many software packages.

We also start QGIS with a blank project with no layers added - and users figure out how to add layers ...

Andreas


I think there is one big difference: There you normally start without content because the system does not know what you could want to insert.

However, we do have good reason to assume that the user will want to put a map onto the composer as the very first thing. We should use this advantage of knowloege.

It's a bit like creating a new impress/powerpoint presentation: They also start with spaces for title and content.

But because everybody likes it different being able to choose a template on the dialog where you enter the composer name which already appears now and a being able to define the pre-selected template will let everybody fine-tune the behavior to his liking.

One more question: Why does the print composer not use multithreaded (non-blocking) rendering? Asking because this was brought up as a major reason against providing a map by default.

Matthias




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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

pcav
In reply to this post by Matthias Kuhn 🌍
Il 10/10/2015 17:51, Matthias Kuhn ha scritto:

> It's a bit like creating a new impress/powerpoint presentation: They
> also start with spaces for title and content.

I think you hit the point. I see hundreds of people every year
approaching QGIS, and the blank page is very often perceived negatively.

> One more question: Why does the print composer not use multithreaded
> (non-blocking) rendering? Asking because this was brought up as a major
> reason against providing a map by default.

I do not understand well the issue: setting the map as Rectancle,
instead of Preview or Cache, should take 0 time.

All the best.

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QGIS & PostGIS courses: http://www.faunalia.eu/training.html
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Andreas Neumann-4

> I do not understand well the issue: setting the map as Rectancle,
> instead of Preview or Cache, should take 0 time.

And then people would be equally puzzled why the map does not display.
Not much improvement to the blank page. An empty map frame is in my
opinion even more puzzling than an empty page.

Personally I would suggest: leave things as they are right now and then
introduce the change along with the print composer redesign that Nyall
will be working on. It will hopefully also introduce threaded rendering
of the print composer and maybe better performance.

The default templates that Nathan suggested, however, can be added right
away.

Andreas



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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

DelazJ
In reply to this post by pcav


2015-10-10 18:12 GMT+02:00 Paolo Cavallini <[hidden email]>:
Il 10/10/2015 17:51, Matthias Kuhn ha scritto:

> It's a bit like creating a new impress/powerpoint presentation: They
> also start with spaces for title and content.

I think you hit the point. I see hundreds of people every year
approaching QGIS, and the blank page is very often perceived negatively.

> One more question: Why does the print composer not use multithreaded
> (non-blocking) rendering? Asking because this was brought up as a major
> reason against providing a map by default.

I do not understand well the issue: setting the map as Rectancle,
instead of Preview or Cache, should take 0 time.

An empty map will also puzzle new user. i've read many complaints about blank map in composer. So adding a default map but without showing layers seems unproductive for me. 
All the best.

--
Paolo Cavallini - www.faunalia.eu
QGIS & PostGIS courses: http://www.faunalia.eu/training.html
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

DelazJ
In reply to this post by Andreas Neumann-4
Totally agree with Andreas proposal

2015-10-10 18:18 GMT+02:00 Andreas Neumann <[hidden email]>:

I do not understand well the issue: setting the map as Rectancle,
instead of Preview or Cache, should take 0 time.

And then people would be equally puzzled why the map does not display. Not much improvement to the blank page. An empty map frame is in my opinion even more puzzling than an empty page.

Personally I would suggest: leave things as they are right now and then introduce the change along with the print composer redesign that Nyall will be working on. It will hopefully also introduce threaded rendering of the print composer and maybe better performance.

The default templates that Nathan suggested, however, can be added right away.

Andreas




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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
In reply to this post by Andreas Neumann-4
Hi Andreas

On 10/10/2015 06:07 PM, Andreas Neumann wrote:
We have a template system. The user can already select a template. So why not follow Nathan's advice of having two or three default templates shipped with QGIS? And then allow the user to select a default system. Simple and efficient in my opinion.
I probably have expressed myself badly: I am absolutely in favor of shipping some templates. What I would propose is that on a fresh installation, the pre-selected (default) template should come with a map. This mainly helps novice users which just click "next". For advanced users it will be easy to select another template (empty, custom created...) and activate a check box that changes the default template for future use.

Matthias

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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Anita Graser
In reply to this post by pcav


On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 6:12 PM, Paolo Cavallini <[hidden email]> wrote:
> One more question: Why does the print composer not use multithreaded
> (non-blocking) rendering? Asking because this was brought up as a major
> reason against providing a map by default.

I do not understand well the issue: setting the map as Rectancle,
instead of Preview or Cache, should take 0 time.

​I think if we set it to Rectangle by default, we might confuse users even more because they won't find how to change it to render the map ... :(

Best wishes,
Anita


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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

pcav
Il 10/10/2015 18:37, Anita Graser ha scritto:
>
> ​I think if we set it to Rectangle by default, we might confuse users
> even more because they won't find how to change it to render the map ... :(

Right. It would be trivial however (and probably good to do anyway) to
add a hint on how to display the map.
All the best.
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QGIS & PostGIS courses: http://www.faunalia.eu/training.html
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Anita Graser
In reply to this post by Mathieu Pellerin


On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 1:51 PM, Mathieu Pellerin <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yeah, or a dropdown list box with templates.


​I've created a feature request with a mockup for this http://hub.qgis.org/issues/13562


Best wishes,
Anita​



 
On 10 Oct 2015 18:50, "Anita Graser" <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 1:42 PM, Richard Duivenvoorde <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 10-10-15 13:37, Nyall Dawson wrote:
> On 10 October 2015 at 22:32, Mathieu Pellerin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I see a big -1 issue for me. Adding a map item by default will tremendously
>> slow down the opening of the composer window as it'll freeze to draw map
>> content. On a complex project that'd be very problematic.
>>
>
> Good point. I'm amending my vote to a -1.

Mmm, BUT the first thing somebody will do is add a map item isn't it?
And yes that will be slow if you have a complex project and a big
bbox... BUT 80% of the new composers will not have a big complex project
and a big bbox (I think).

And isn't it depending on the default 'rendering' option if you'll
really render the map or just a cross?

I think the workflow of printing maps would be made easier if the
default composer would be a portrait a4 with map (forget that Letter
format ;-) ). So my conclusion: make it an option?


​When you're asked to pick the composer name, have a checkbox to automatically add a map item?

Best wishes,
Anita​



 

Richard

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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Tim Sutton-6
In reply to this post by Andreas Neumann-4
Hi

On 10 Oct 2015, at 17:04, Andreas Neumann <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

I like Nathans idea of default templates. But I don't like an automatic map item to display by default.

I also like this - we do it in InaSAFE (QGIS Plugin), shipping with 6 default templates and when the user wants to print they just choose a template and then click either ‘print to PDF’ or ‘open in composer’.


A graphics software like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator, or even your word processor, starts with an empty page. What's so wrong about it? If you don't like the empty page then use a template. Templates are a commonly understood option in many software packages.

We also start QGIS with a blank project with no layers added - and users figure out how to add layers …

Actually it is a common feedback I get that it would be good to ship QGIS with e.g. OpenLayers plugin and start with a base map loaded by default. Or at the very least a simple vector layer of country outlines. It lets the user immediately orientate themselves on the map and provides context. Again something that we could make configurable but nice to provide as an out of the box experience for new users. Instead of comparing to word processor or illustrator, compare rather to Google Earth, Marble, any online mapping app you encounter….



Regards

Tim


Andreas



On 10.10.2015 11:12, Anita Graser wrote:
Hi,

A user (Lars S. Sørensen on Twitter) suggested that it would make sense and improve the printing workflow if
​ a new print composition would contain a map item by default.

Is there any reason not to add a map by default?

What do you think?

Best wishes,
Anita​


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Visit http://kartoza.com to find out about open source:

* Desktop GIS programming services
* Geospatial web development
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Anita Graser


On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Tim Sutton <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi

On 10 Oct 2015, at 17:04, Andreas Neumann <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

I like Nathans idea of default templates. But I don't like an automatic map item to display by default.

I also like this - we do it in InaSAFE (QGIS Plugin), shipping with 6 default templates and when the user wants to print they just choose a template and then click either ‘print to PDF’ or ‘open in composer’.


​Thanks Tim! ​What do you think of the latest draft in http://hub.qgis.org/issues/13562?

Best wishes,
Anita
 

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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Nyall Dawson


On 11 Oct 2015 6:43 AM, "Anita Graser" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>
> On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Tim Sutton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi
>>
>>> On 10 Oct 2015, at 17:04, Andreas Neumann <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> I like Nathans idea of default templates. But I don't like an automatic map item to display by default.
>>
>>
>> I also like this - we do it in InaSAFE (QGIS Plugin), shipping with 6 default templates and when the user wants to print they just choose a template and then click either ‘print to PDF’ or ‘open in composer’.
>
>
>
> ​Thanks Tim! ​What do you think of the latest draft in http://hub.qgis.org/issues/13562?

I really like the idea of consolidating these dialogs! Will need to wait for 2.14 though ;)

Nyall

>
> Best wishes,
> Anita
>  
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Nyall Dawson
In reply to this post by Tim Sutton-6


On 11 Oct 2015 5:23 AM, "Tim Sutton" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Actually it is a common feedback I get that it would be good to ship QGIS with e.g. OpenLayers plugin and start with a base map loaded by default. Or at the very least a simple vector layer of country outlines. It lets the user immediately orientate themselves on the map and provides context. Again something that we could make configurable but nice to provide as an out of the box experience for new users. Instead of comparing to word processor or illustrator, compare rather to Google Earth, Marble, any online mapping app you encounter….

I feel like I'm the -1 guy at the moment, but I'm strongly opposed to including openlayers by default. Apart from the grey legal status of using some of the provided layers, the plugin also has some major bugs. I hate to think of how much wasted hours/frustration with QGIS has been caused by the incompatibility between OL basemaps and composer, it seems like this issue is always popping up on stackexchange.

That said, I'd be +1 for a proper (c++) tiled provider and an optional default OSM base map.

Nyall


>
>
>
> Regards
>
> Tim
>
>>
>> Andreas
>>
>>
>>
>> On 10.10.2015 11:12, Anita Graser wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> A user (Lars S. Sørensen on Twitter) suggested that it would make sense and improve the printing workflow if
>>> ​ a new print composition would contain a map item by default.
>>>
>>> Is there any reason not to add a map by default?
>>>
>>> What do you think?
>>>
>>> Best wishes,
>>> Anita​
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/qgis-ux
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>
>
> —
>
>
>
>
> Tim Sutton
>
> Visit http://kartoza.com to find out about open source:
>
> * Desktop GIS programming services
> * Geospatial web development
> * GIS Training
> * Consulting Services
>
> Skype: timlinux Irc: timlinux on #qgis at freenode.net
> Tim is a member of the QGIS Project Steering Committee
>
> Kartoza is a merger between Linfiniti and Afrispatial
>
>
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
I think that would be an excellent addition to the welcome page next to
the recent projects:

 * New Empty Project
 * New Project with OSM base layer
 * New Project with Natural Earth base layer?

Maybe with some configuration options available.
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Nathan Woodrow

We have support for project templates so lets just do the same here as with the composer. Another tab with Templates and just have some preset ones + users ones.  +1 also if we render the template as a thumbnail like recents.


On Sun, 11 Oct 2015 9:21 am Matthias Kuhn <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think that would be an excellent addition to the welcome page next to
the recent projects:

 * New Empty Project
 * New Project with OSM base layer
 * New Project with Natural Earth base layer?

Maybe with some configuration options available.
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
On 10/11/2015 01:23 AM, Nathan Woodrow wrote:
>
> We have support for project templates so lets just do the same here as
> with the composer. Another tab with Templates and just have some
> preset ones + users ones.  +1 also if we render the template as a
> thumbnail like recents.
>
+1 for the idea (using templates, shipping default templates, thumbnails...)

-1 for tabs, I don't like the extra click. There's plenty of space free
to use on the main widget.
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Nathan Woodrow

If you can make it work without looking too cluttered go for it.  I was thinking that also pressing Project -> New Project could open that widget again to pick a template or recent. That is what Word does and I find it very handy.


On Sun, 11 Oct 2015 9:28 am Matthias Kuhn <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 10/11/2015 01:23 AM, Nathan Woodrow wrote:
>
> We have support for project templates so lets just do the same here as
> with the composer. Another tab with Templates and just have some
> preset ones + users ones.  +1 also if we render the template as a
> thumbnail like recents.
>
+1 for the idea (using templates, shipping default templates, thumbnails...)

-1 for tabs, I don't like the extra click. There's plenty of space free
to use on the main widget.
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

berndv.
In reply to this post by Matthias Kuhn 🌍
Am 11.10.2015, 01:20 Uhr, schrieb Matthias Kuhn <[hidden email]>:

> I think that would be an excellent addition to the welcome page next to
> the recent projects:
>
>  * New Empty Project
>  * New Project with OSM base layer
>  * New Project with Natural Earth base layer?

+ 1
I really do not understand those "purists" insisting on a blank screen ;)
Could such a feature maybe be based on the QuickMapServices plugin (which  
I would rename to Basemaps plugin), cause in contrary to the OpenLayers  
plugin, there seem to be no issues with printing and reprojecting .

Cheers
Bernd

> Maybe with some configuration options available.
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Re: Should a new print composition contain a map item by default?

Matthias Kuhn 🌍
In reply to this post by Nathan Woodrow
On 10/11/2015 01:30 AM, Nathan Woodrow wrote:
>
> If you can make it work without looking too cluttered go for it.  I
> was thinking that also pressing Project -> New Project could open that
> widget again to pick a template or recent. That is what Word does and
> I find it very handy.
>
>
Does that look too cluttered?

http://imgur.com/3egvzo9

If the space for the recent projects gets too small we could also make
the thumbnails smaller and rearrange the text and thumbnail on the list
items (aka responsive design).

+1 for having a way to put the welcome screen back on top


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