Gary Sherman has just published a new Python plugin for QGIS that I think people will find very handy, I know I will. The plugin allows you to run Python scripts inside QGIS for tasks that don’t really require, or warrant, a whole plugin.
The new plugin can be installed via the Plugin Installer using the “runner” or “script”. The Plugin Installer is another one of my favorite plugins for QGIS, being able to push out a new plugin and know that everyone can get it is a good feeling :)
The rule based rendering in QGIS has just got a make over to improve in some of the old usability issues it used to have. Most of the improvements are UI related. If you would like to try them out you will need to grab a copy of the latest dev build (qgis-dev in OSGeo4W)
Main improvements include:
Nested rules. If the parent rule evaluates to false none of the child rules are applied. This replaces the priority system in the old dialog.
Disable symbol for rules. Rules with no symbol only act as a check for the child rules e.g nothing is rendered for the rule but child rules still are (unless also disabled).
Drag and Drop rules (multi-selection is supported). Rules can be dragged onto other rules in order to nest them and set up a rendering hierarchy.
Inline editing of rule labels, expressions, scales
Overall tweaks to the dialog
The new rule dialog
As you can see in the screenshot, the rules are now organized in a tree which clearly expresses which rules should be applied and when.
In the example above, all the rules under the Sealed rule will only be applied if that rule is true. The old system would have you managing all rules in one big list and dealing with priorities in order to get the rules to apply right, the new dialog is a major improvement.
And the results! As you can see below, QGIS will only render the colored squares if the Sealed rule is true otherwise it just shows a green line.
The rules applied
The work was sponsored by Ville de Morges, Switzerland and developed by Martin Dobias. Thanks to both of them for these improvements.
Note: As this is a brand new feature there might be some bugs, or things that don’t quite work as expected. If you do find something don’t hesitate to file a bug report at hub.qgis.org so it can be fixed, or at least known about.
Support for MS SQL Server 2008 in QGIS is coming soon. A native QGIS provider for MS SQL Server is currently being worked on to make using, managing, and editing SQL Server data in QGIS just as easy as PostGIS.
The work is being sponsored by the Australian company Digital Mapping Solutions. So a very big thanks to them for this great feature!
There is no ETA on when it will be added to the main QGIS build, but the provider is currently in testing stage and hopefully will be in there soon.
So if you have been itching to try SQL Server data in QGIS, hang in there as a good solution is just around the corner.
P.S The other blog posts on this topic I used ogr, this method will still work fine after the native provider is added, however the native driver will add a nicer interface including integration into the QBrowser, better optimization for the QGIS code, and hopefully same feel as the PostGIS experience.