Release GRASS 6.4

The GRASS development team just released GRASS GIS 6.4.0, the first in the new line of 6.4 stable releases. Due to the highly conservative stabilization policy of the GRASS development team this is actually the first official version of GRASS to introduce new features since October 2006! That doesn’t mean this is the first thing that comes out since then. In fact, the development team has been turning out many development version in that period. Still, the release of this new release is very welcome because as a stable release it will enjoy long-term support.

The new version contains tons of new features and improvements. Probably the most important and awaited change is that for the first time  GRASS will run natively on a non-UNIX based platform: MS-Windows. Apart from a quick look I didn’t try the Windows version out yet, but I am curious how it will work, especially because the difficulty getting it to work on Windows was one of the reasons for me to switch to Linux some years back.

The most visible enhancement is the new wxPython graphical user interface (wxGUI). It might not seem that much of a change (although it definitely looks more polished) as compared to the old Tcl/Tk GUI. However, when you start using it you will notice that it runs smoother and has many improvements, resulting in a much better user experience.

Existing users will benefit greatly from this new version (which is 100% backward compatible with the older versions), and with its new interface and Window port, I believe GRASS GIS has become a much more attractive alternative for other GIS users. Check out the announcement on the GRASS GIS site: http://grass.osgeo.org/announces/announce_grass640.html.

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