SAGA 2.0 Beta Release

SAGA 2.0 Beta - Release Notes

Dear SAGA users,

...it is now about a year ago, when I decided to start to develop a new SAGA version. This seemed to be necessary for several reasons, mainly related to the graphical user interface (GUI) and the data management. Also there occured a number of problems and limitations using the MFC and the MS-Windows API. So it was a good time to choose an alternative GUI platform too. My first choice became the wxWidgets C++ cross platform GUI toolkit (http://www.wxwidgets.org), a comprehensive and well matured toolkit with ports for various compilers and operating systems. Therefore you find now SAGA binaries for MS-Windows and Linux. Also there is a MS-Windows version compiled with the MinGW compiler (attention: because of incompatible class library export definitions this version is not compatible with the one compiled with the Microsoft compiler - use either one of the versions!).

Changes in SAGA's application programming interface (API) have been made to some of the class and function names. But the most functionalities from version 1.1 remained the same (have a look at the 'changes.txt' file, that comes with the SAGA core sources, if you need to port your modules to the new version). A number of bugfixes could be done. Some useful classes have been added (e.g. for dealing with strings and geographic coordinates).

The most work had to be done for the GUI, which had been completly reprogrammed. One main component is the so called workspace window, which contains three tabs for the management of modules, data and maps. The properties of the item, that you select in the workspace window, are displayed in the active item window. Depending on the item type this window has usually at least two tabs, one contains a description and one shows and allows to edit the items properties. Special views for raster and vector data have been removed. Spatial data are always displayed in (unspecialized) map views. For sure there is a lot more to tell about SAGA's new features, but the easiest way to learn is just to start the program and explore it on your own. For a detailed description of SAGA 2.0 you may download the SAGA manual. Victor Olaya already prepares an update to this manual and will publish it soon at the SAGA homepage.

There are still a number of things open to do for the final SAGA 2.0 release:
- a flexible map layout control using html like tags
- automatic creation of pdf/html reports from module outputs (including maps)
- snapping of points when editing shapes
- creating new empty shape layers
- editing and select options for tables
- improved toolbar behaviour
- ...

Please report any bugs to the bug tracker at:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/saga-gis/
Also let us know about features you would like to have in the final SAGA 2.0 release.

Some of our plans for later releases:
- topological vector class model (e.g. for easy network analyses)
- multi grid class (e.g. for multispectral data handling)
- full database integration
- scripting engine

If you need support from us, we will try our best. But please don't complain, if you don't get everything for free. Indeed the current economic depression did not spare us and if everything goes wrong the SAGA project might be dead soon. Therefore feel free to give us any support you can afford. A good option to do this is to join the SAGA user group association (see the SAGA homepage to find out more). And if you have a job opportunity, then please send your offer to me (thanks).

That's all for now.
Have a lot of fun using SAGA 2.0!

Olaf Conrad

Goettingen, 7th June, 2005

e-mail: oconrad@saga-gis.org
homepage: http://www.saga-gis.org

Posted by Olaf Conrad 2005-06-07