3. QGIS Hackfest in Pisa 2010

From Thursday, March 18, 2010 - Monday, March 22, 2010 the Quantum GIS project will hold a QGIS Developer Meeting, aka 'QGIS Hackfest' in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy. For news about a previous edition of the fest, see http://blog.qgis.org/node/129, http://blog.qgis.org/node/128, and


Get together QGIS project members to make decisions and tackle larger problems.

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).

The third 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 Pisa. 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.

The hackfest is co-sponsored by GFOSS.it, who adds an euro for each euro of donations, and manages all the expenses without overhead.

The Parco Naturale di San Rossore http://www.parcosanrossore.it/ generously allowed us to use its facilities.

The GULP, Gruppo Utenti Linux Pisa, helps organizing the event.

All are gratefully acknowledged.


When: Thursday, March 18, 2010 (day of arrival) - Monday, March 22, 2010 (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 full day
  • Monday is day of departure - probably hacking for people with a flight later in the evening

Please note: the venue is inside a natural park, so the gate will be closed h 24:00-7:00. Nobody is allowed to get in or out during this period.


Parco Naturale di San Rossore http://www.parcosanrossore.it/.

Pisa has an international low cost airport and is well reachable by train and car.


We'll organize transportation from Pisa to San Rossore (only a few km away).


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

On Friday afternoon we will go to the Department of Computer Sciences of the University of Pisa, where Marco Hugentobler, and possibly other key QGIS devs, will give a seminar on QGIS development (show modular design, explain the plugin interface, show basic steps in writing a plugin - see http://www.tosslab.it/). We will then visit Pisa and eat there (back to San Rossore before 24:00, when the gate will be closed).


As discussed on the developer list:

Topic Suggested By Notes
Table Joins This was last discussed in a mail exchange in the dev mailing list in November and also it seems that some fund is available, see
http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/qgis-developer/2009-November/008484.html and subsequent messages
PostGIS tables locking for concurent editing This was last discussed in a mail exchange in the dev mailing list in February 2008 http://n2.nabble.com/PostGIS-tables-locking-for-concurent-editing-needed-td2045344.html
qgis "raster properties" for GRASS rasters The changes introduced by the new GRASS raster provider have broken almost all the options in the "symbology", "transparency" and "colormap" menus. When using GRASS toolbox/rasters it is possible to live without those options, but the raster properties for GRASS rasters need to be re-organized (simplified, removing what is not working?), at least until a new/different approach for rasters can be introduced. http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/qgis-developer/2010-March/009363.html

Suggested topics:

Topic Suggested By Notes
Clean the Bug Tracker Giovanni Manghi Verify/close old/obsolete/duplicate tickets. Close tickets with non replicable issues or that haven't received further feedback from posters. Commit if possible (after checking/cleaning the code) available patches.
"Jumping" items in legend Giovanni Manghi Try to resolve this annoying bug, that affects qgis on linux, os x and windows platforms. https://trac.osgeo.org/qgis/ticket/2528
Improved GRASS interface Markus Neteler Discuss modern integration with GRASS. Suggestion: use GRASS-WPS - all modules offer now a WPS style XML.
Discuss Plugin infrastructure Anita Graser We should continue or discussion about Plugins in general and how we can organise them better inside the plugin installer, manager and toolbar. It's great to have so many plugins but it's getting really messy. Thematic grouping of plugins could be a mayor feature of QGIS 2.0
QGIS functionality overview Werner Macho Think about providing a functionality matrix (in pdf form) to avoid plugins being developed more than once. Just take a look in the matrix and you'll see if the function you are searching for already exists or not.
Organize a QGIS mapping contest Anita Graser How about organizing a mapping contest for the time after the Hackfest? People have had time to get to know the new labeling and symbology. Prizes could be books, free advertisements on qgis.org or whatever we can think of.
Assess interest in OGC Sensorweb functionality for QGIS Anita Graser There is a lot of work going in in OGC concerning making sensors and their data more available and location aware. Some of you might already know Marco Hugentobler's SOS plugin. QGIS could be one of the first desktop GIS to offer such functionality.
Raster redesign for QGIS 2.0 Marco Hugentobler Discuss directions and interfaces for the raster system in QGIS 2.0
Improvements for common gis work situations While working with QGIS the common user feels the lack of a few features. Nothing fancy. Tickets were open a while ago. Among them:
[Done] "Add as group" option for add data dialog
Add the number of records in the attribute table dialog
Allow multi-layer selection in the legend
Possibility to copy/paste entire layers
Highlight polygon border when selecting features
Highlight svg point symbols when selecting features
Nested Grouping in Layer Tree
Change spacing between svg symbols
Another useful thing (ticket not yet open) would be to have all the selected/queried features to be shown automatically at the top of the table of attributes.

Accommodation and Costs

Participants should plan for the following costs:

  • Travel to Pisa, variable depending on where you come from.
  • Accommodation and meals http://www.casalelasterpaia.it/:
    • room € 25.00 in 4-8 bed rooms; about 30 € in double room
    • B&B € 28.00 (see above)
    • half board € 38.00 (see above)
    • full board € 45.00 (see above)
      (prices per person per day). It is an hostel-style accommodation; bedding and towels are provided. Credit cards are ok

Please let us know your time of arrival and leaving, so we can book for the accommodations and organize the logistics.

We will cover as much as possible thanks to our sponsors.


We are planning for attendance of 30 people (hacking places) but of course you are welcome to join us and bring new ideas with you, as more places are available. Please add your name here or contact Paolo Cavallini <cavallini at faunalia dot it>:

## Participant Arrival/Departure Notes
1. Paolo Cavallini (Italy) x
2. Marco Hugentobler (Switzerland) arrival 18.3. in Firenze airport 14:05, from there train to Pisa (ca. 17:06). Departure 22.3. 10:54 (by train) x
3. Luca Delucchi (Italy) arrival 19.3, departure 21/22.3. x
4. Alessandro Furieri (Italy) x
5. Anita Graser (Austria) train arrival in Firenze on 18th at 06:18 from there train to Pisa, leaving from Firenze on 22nd at 21:49 x
6. Werner Macho (Austria) arrival in Pisa 19.3. 7:59 - have to leave on 21.3. 20:32
7. Otto Dassau (Germany) arrival Thu, 18. March 22:40 (Pisa GG Airport), leaving Mon, 22. March 12:45 (Pisa GG Airport) x
8. Niccolo Rigacci (Italy) x
9. Jürgen Fischer (Germany) arrival 18.3., 12:10, departure 22.3, 12:45 x
10. Giuseppe Sucameli (Italy) x
11. Milena Nowotarska (Poland) arrival 18.03, 12:35, departure 23.03, 13:10; Pisa Airport x
12. Alfredo Alessandrini (Italy) arrival Fri, 19.3 11:00, leaving Sun, 21.3 18:00
13. Markus Neteler (Italy) arrival Thu, 18. March, leaving 22nd x
14. Marko T. Järvenpää (Finland) arrival 18th, leaving 22nd x

Images from the fest: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21706226@N03/sets/72157623644672322/

We have to give the list of participants to the Park authorities, to get permissions to stay, so please do not forget to add your name here.

Table of arrivals and departures

People to be fetched from Airport and train station



  • 13:10 Milena Nowotarska (Poland) Pisa Airport

Individual Preparation

  • Bring your own computer
  • 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?
    • No: 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 Paolo Cavallini <cavallini at faunalia dot it>