Knowledge BaseDesign phylosophy of the TatukGIS Editor product.

KB10871 - Design philosophy of the TatukGIS Editor product.

TatukGIS believes that it is not possible to pack into the default user interface all features that all users want, implemented in the way each user likes, without the interface becoming cluttered and difficult to learn and use for all. A difficult to learn product leads to costly start up and training costs. Editor features, therefore, are classified into two categories: essential & specialized.

Essential features are the most used and valued by the most users, and which can be implemented in manner that is intuitive and liked by most users. These include features such as relating to map viewing, editing and saving data, managing visual layer properties and project organization, legend and scale controls, attribute grid table with SQL query features, the native support for most map data formats, format conversion and data export, support for databases, coordinate systems with layer reprojection, scripting, and much more. These features, which can be learned just from the product helpfiles and tutorials, are reflected in the default user interface. Each menu item is explained by its own help information, which can be found under the Editor's Help/Help menu as well as on-line. Any aspect of the default program user interface, of course, can still be customized using the built-in scripting tools.

Specialized features are more unusual or specific, for which there can be greater disagreement about the way of implementation, what exactly the feature should do, or whether the feature should be included in the product interface at all. Specialized features have the potential to complicate the user interface, making the product more difficult and expensive to understand and use. Examples of specialized features:

  • Support for a specific GPS device made by a given manufacturer to perform a specific set of GPS related tasks.
  • Support for address geocoding or routing/networking designed to work well with a the road/street map of a particular vendor for a particular country or region.
  • A custom routine to repetitively (batch) perform a series of procedures on a large number of data files.
  • Export of map projects for presentation in Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.

TatukGIS believes that specialized features are best implemented, in precisely the way the customer wants, using the built-in scripting tools. For features requiring more advanced functionality already developed by TatukGIS, the scripting environment exposes within the Editor the entire object API of the comprehensive TatukGIS Developer Kernel (SDK), with its thousands of functions and properties. In this way the Editor can be customized or extended with new features almost without limit.

Dozens of TatukGIS developed Pascal and Basic scripts, ranging from useful features (such as a tool to rotate and move lines and polygons) to scripts designed to be used as tutorial examples, are packaged with the Editor and found under menu Scripts/Run/Open. All scripts can be further customized and/or deployed to other Editor licensed users. Some guidance with the scripting features is provided in the on-line Editor tutorials and extra help is available from the Editor Customization Training Kit (a fee based 3rd party product).

The Editor design is particularly suitable for consultants needing to equip a team of GIS users, or a type of customer, with specialized functionality or efficiency tools. Examples of 3rd party customization and feature extensions are the FGIS, City Heating, Themes Manager, Network Tracing, and Scales Manager, Spatial Selection modules.

Editor plug-ins (extensions) developed by 3rd parties are the property of the 3rd script developer and may licensed to other users. An Editor plug-in, of course, requires the Editor to run.

Created: September 21, 2011, Modified: July 18, 2013