2. QGIS Hackfest in Vienna 2009

From Thursday, November 5, 2009 - Monday, November 9, 2009 the Quantum GIS project will hold a QGIS Developer Meeting, aka 'QGIS Hackfest' in Vienna, Austria. For news about a previous edition of the fest, see http://blog.qgis.org/node/129 and http://blog.qgis.org/node/128


Get together QGIS project members to make decisions and tackle larger problems.
Vienna has an international airport and is well reachable by train and car.
For this meeting we welcome people committed to improving the Quantum GIS project. This includes developers, documenters, bug reporters, translators etc..


We welcome financial contributions to support the meeting and we are still looking for sponsors to cover costs such as meals or to help reducing travelling and accommodation expenses for QGIS developers with far arrival. If you are also interested to sponsor the QGIS hackfest, please contact Paolo Cavallini <cavallini at faunalia dot it>. Any surplus at the end of the event will be turned over to the Quantum GIS project (find more information about QGIS sponsorship here). A final event budget will be available here after the meeting.

The second QGIS hackfest is a great occasion for you to support the development of QGIS. With your contribution you'll enable more developers to meet in Vienna. The hackfest is an important opportunity for the QGIS developers to discuss and collaboratively resolve bugs, plan the direction for the project and work on new features. The developers and contributors are donating their valuable time, so it would be great if in-kind funding can be made available from within the community to cover out-of-pocket expenses. All of the work that takes place at the hackfest will be directly contributed back into the QGIS project to the benefit of everyone who uses it.

Many thanks to our sponsors!


When: Thursday, November 5, 2009 (day of arrival) - Monday, November 9, 2009 (day of departure)

Of course you are invited to join or leave the hackfest whenever you want.


  • Thursday is day of arrival - probably first meeting in the evening to discuss a bit what has to be done
  • Friday to Sunday from approximately 9am-5pm
  • Monday is day of departure - probably hacking for people with a flight later in the evening


Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information (IVFL)

Peter Jordan-Strasse 82

1190 Wien


Open Street Map

Google Maps

The Metro (U-Bahn) network in Vienna is quite good and you should be able to come to a Metro station within other public transports.
With Metro line 6 (U6) you go to Station Währingerstrasse-Volksoper and enter Bus number 40A directly to the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna - (see public transport network map).


Note: The program is generally open for your ideas. Please write an email to the QGIS developer list to discuss your contribution.

Thursday first meeting with probably some 'vision' talks followed by discussions about architectural and UI changes to aim for in QGIS 2.x
Friday After hard hacking day there will be a guided tour through nightly vienna inner district, everybody welcome to join
Saturday The topics depend on thursday presentations and discussions
Sunday The topics depend on thursday presentations and discussions
Monday final discussion and future ideas, outline the result of hackfest and say goodbye to everyone


As discussed on the developer list:

Topic Suggested By Notes
SVG export Alex Mandel, Andreas Neumann We need really good svg export. Basically the majority of professional cartographers use Illustrator/Photoshop to make their final maps. We could spend a ton of time with the map composer, but they'll still use those apps to finish their maps. Import/Export with Inkscape should work without problems, as more and more users are moving from Illustrator/Corel to Inkscape.
Python Plugin Guidelines Borys Jurgiel, John C. Tull The most important points are:
# Cleaning up the two possible behaviours:
# * a plugin creates a new shapefile and asks for adding it to the canvas
# * a plugin creates only a memory layer and adds it to the canvas
# Choosing common Settings keys for storing last used:
# * input directory,
# * output directory,
# * input encoding,
# * output encoding (they should differ as one can often open windows-encoded dbfs and want to save them in utf)
# * postgres connection
# * spatialite connection
# * surely something more
# Plugin categories and grouping in menus and toolbars (should be discussed, especially integrating all the datasource plugins with the native 'File' toolbar and the 'Layer' dropdown menu)
# Some kind of unified look and feel of plugin dialogs.
# What more?
Labeling and symbology Martin Dobias Discussion about current state of map labeling (as a result from GSoC) and state of new generation symbology + future plans.
Forms Builder Jürgen E. Fischer, Andreas Neumann User-Friendly Forms are an important component of a GIS infrastructure. Jürgen has an idea of associating UI-XML files with each vector layer that can be created with qt-designer. This needs to be discussed in the context of table-joins/foreign keys.
QGIS 2.0 dev team Discussion about further development lines, redesigns and how (if) to get to the next major version of QGIS.

Suggestes topics:

Topic Suggested By Notes
North arrows Silvio Grosso Add a set of SVG north arrows prepared by Silvio; they have been already added to gvSIG, and we do not want to stay behind, right? :)
Apply patches Giovanni Manghi Apply if possible (after checking/cleaning the code) the patches available on the Trac.
Color ramps Giovanni Manghi Evaluate the proof of concept patch available on the Trac (ticket #782) to consider the adoption (really needed) of color ramps for vector graduated symbols and raster layers
More Svg symbols for point symbology Giovanni Manghi Try adopt a solution like the one used in the print composer to let users add folders where they store svg symbols. A even better solution would be to let users to pick svg symbols from a common public repository.
QML to SLD Anita Graser Plugin to create an SLD (Styled Layer Description) from QML (QGIS Layer Style File). SLDs are OGC standard and can be directly imported into e.g. Geoserver. Would be an equivalent to MapServer Export plugin.
Masking (esp. for professional text labeling) Andreas Neumann For professional cartography, masking is essential. Masks can selectively suppress certain layers, while not touching other layers. Typically, line elements or darker area elements would be masked, while lighter area elements wouldn't be masked. For text elements one would "buffer" or enlarge the text to generate the mask layer. Here are two examples (need Firefox or Opera): http://www.carto.net/papers/svg/masking/masktest.svg and http://www.carto.net/papers/svg/masking/yosemite_masking.svg In the Yosemite Example text masks trails, rivers and lake borders while area features (lakes, forests, etc.) aren't masked. As far as I know, qt should have quite powerful compositing features that would help to implement masking.
DB-Logins (user/pw) shouldn't be hard-coded in qgs project files Andreas Neumann Currently, usernames and passwords for db-connections (such as Postgis) are hardcoded within a qgs project file. This limits a qgs projectfile to a single user and makes qgis hard to use in multi-user environments. It would be nice if qgis could ask for the db-credentials when opening a project file with db-connections. Maybe there are other potential solutions - something to discuss.
UI Review Tim Sutton The user interface is in constant flux - new features arrive and need their options and settings available, while at the same time we need to keep dialogs consistent, usable and small. This last point is especially important with the growing prevalence of netbooks and the large number of low resolution legacy computers out there. I would like to spend the hackfest time improving usability, clarity and consistency of the QGIS user interface.
Hackfest FOSS4G2010 Barcelona Agustin Lobo Talk about the following one in Barcelona, I made an initial contact with the organizers of foss4g 2010 but we should provide more details on what we want to do and what we need in terms of space, time etc soon
Shut down old wiki Anita Graser Maybe we can finally shut down the old wiki page and update all links on the website to the new wiki locations.
Documentation sprint Anne Ghisla As several doc-team members will attend, it's a good occasion to discuss improvements on both contents and structure of documentation.
Table Join Horst Düster At the Hannover hackfest we started the discussion about joining of attribute tables. I think we should follow up this topic due to the essential need of this feature for many many users. One of the first questions after a QGIS presentation:"Is QGIS able to create persistant and non persistant table joins?"
Additional Topics include:
  • Common 'add layer' dialog
  • Promote plugins to core
  • Table joins to discuss
  • Form builder
  • SVG exporting/use
  • Python plugins
  • Color ramps
  • Apply patchs
  • Ecological toolbox
  • Plugin manager improvements
  • Multi-threading
  • DB logging
  • QGIS 2.0
  • Barcelona
  • Analysis library
  • OsGeo4W
  • QGIS installer { QGIS-minimal, QGIS-full }
Maybe we should also discuss topics from the following lists:


Participants should plan for the following costs:

  • Travel to Vienna, variable depending on where you come from.
  • Accommodation for (at least) three nights, €120 to €450 depending on what room you choose and whether you share rooms or not.
  • Meals. Dinners at least, we try to be able to cover as much as possible if we can find sponsors.


We are planning for attendance of max 20 people (hacking places) but of course you are welcome to join us and bring new ideas with you. I'm sure we will find place. Please add your name here or contact Werner Macho <werner.macho at gmail dot com>:

## Participant Notes
1. Werner Macho (Austria) present
2. Martin Dobias (Slovakia) present
3. Borys Jurgiel (Poland) present
4. Marco Hugentobler (Switzerland) present
5. Horst Düster (Switzerland) present
6. Jürgen Fischer (Germany) present
7. Paolo Cavallini (Italy) present
8. Anita Graser (Austria) present
9. Tim Sutton (South Africa) present
10. Carson Farmer (Ireland) present
11. Anne Ghisla (Italy) present
12. Massimo Di Stefano (Italy) present
13. Andreas Schild (Austria) present
14. Andreas Neumann (Switzerland) present
15. Cédric Möri (Switzerland) present
16. Milena Nowotarska (Poland) present
17. Alexander Bruy (Ukraine) present
18. Richard Duivenvoorde (The Netherlands) present
19. Wolfgang Fahrner (Austria) present
20. Jean Roc Morreales (France) present
11. Stephan Meissl (Austria) present


Room Sharing

If you would like to share rooms,

  1. Reserve a room at the hotel, choosing a type with more than one bed.
  2. Put your name in this section, indicating the amount of space in your room.

Put your names below:

  • Richard Duivenvoorde has a small double in Hotel Pension Gersthof (one big bed though), but if people take a sleeping bag + mattress or so it's fine for me to share the ROOM (no bed included :-) ) .
  • example entry: B has a triple room, needs two roommates.

Individual Preparation

  • Bring your own computer (WLAN (WPA2) is available)
  • Install subversion and the compiler tools, and come with a working QGIS development environment if possible.


  • Is the QGIS Hackfest just a coding event?
    • It is mainly a coding and documentation event. It is a working session for people who are already participants in the QGIS project and/or are committed to improving the QGIS project.
    • On demand we can do some presentations of current working qgis implementation and new upcoming features to spread the idea of openGIS software
  • Is the QGIS Hackfest for developers only?
    • Not: anybody can help, with testing, checking out bugs and fixes, documentation and more.
  • Where can I get help and more information about the hackfest?
    • Contact Werner Macho <werner.macho at gmail dot com>