GMT Community Zoom Meeting April 9

The GMT developers and others interested in contributing to GMT will be discussing issues relevant to developing and maintaining GMT. The agenda for this meeting:

  • Touching base in these troubled times
  • GMT Postdoc plans
  • GMT 6.1 release plan
  • Better support for geometries
  • Better naming conventions internally

The zoom meeting is open to anyone. All meetings will be recorded and posted on the GMT site. By default, all participants will be placed in the waitingroom. I will set my alarm to make sure I wake up for the early meeting (for me). Details:

Paul Wessel is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: GMT Council Meeting
Time: Apr 9, 2020 07:00 AM Hawaii

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Meeting ID: 992 797 530
Password: 145965

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Thanks for putting this together, Paul! Looking forward to chatting with everyone tomorrow.

I too will probably listen in. Not a developer per se, but a committed abuser of GMT! Cheers!

Thank you to all who came! :tada:

Here are the meeting notes:

Participants: Paul Wessel, Leo Uieda, Dongdong Tian, Joaquim Luis, Kristof Koch, John Robbins


  • Touching base in these troubled times
  • GMT Postdoc plans
  • GMT 6.1 release plan
  • Better support for geometries
  • Better naming conventions internally
  • Remote workshops


NSF Geoinformatics grant funded starting in July 2020!

GMT postdoc:

  • New funds from NSF starting in July 2020
  • Hawaii says it’s OK to have remote work for postdoc
  • But has to be physically in the US
  • Will have to be remote anyway since Paul will be in Oxford in 2020
  • Need to work on the ad so we can start the search and update to current circumstances
  • Need to document processes better so that the postdoc can get onboard with less struggle, particularly since it’s going to be remote work.
  • Code base is large and complex. Even Paul has difficulty.
  • Paul analyzed the code to see how many functions and if they are consistent.
  • There are ~3700 functions.
  • GMT functions are very long, which makes it very hard to debug and understand.
  • Working with the C code is going to require a lot of CS background. Maybe we should try to get a programmer vs a geophysicist.
  • Ideal case is a geoscientist with a lot of coding experience.
  • Paul will send another job description/ad for everyone to review.

GMT 6.1:

  • Finishing the endless cycle of bug fixing and adding things
  • Paul is minimizing the number of functions in the shared library.

Remote workshops:

  • All planned physical workshops are moving online.
  • One of the problems is getting PCs setup. Leo’s recommendation is going for a cloud solution. Most problems are in Linux so we can probably let them sort things out.
  • Need to have prepared slides and include the words being spoken so that non-native speakers can keep up since audio over the internet is not great.
  • Zoom might be problematic since there are a lot of issues coming up with the company.
  • An open-source solution is

Support for geometries:

  • Joaquim has been able to read several geometry types, not just shapefiles.
  • Datasets need to have geometry types added to the headers. Not clear where to put the information.
  • A lot of problems come from the initial design of GMT prior to popular GIS software.
  • GMT Dataset structs might need to be reformulated, which would break some backward compatibility.

@pwessel can post a link to the recording when that is up.

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It was a pleasure meeting you guys!

For the online publication of the video – might it be feasible to cut the introductions of the participants out as they are personal and don’t really add to the context?

That was a nice way to hear some about the plans and new ideas coming in GMT.

About a week ago, I created GMT6 PDFs of the on-line documentation, including ALL the man pages. Thanks Joaquim, for suggesting the search capability directly when consulting the html documentation. One of these days, I’m going to have to switch from classic mode to modern!

One last thought: This is probably beyond the scope of this planning meeting, but Paul mentioned I/O during the discussion. I’d love to be able to access data directly from an HDF5 type of file. Would that be possible? Or maybe it already is, and I missed seeing how it can be done. Presently, I use a two-step process: using the HDF5 tools to temporarily dump the data I need (usually dumping as binary), then GMT can read directly from those. It works and it’s pretty fast, but I always dream about merging two steps into one!

Good luck everyone! Thanks again for permitting me to crash the party (I didn’t Zoom bomb!). :smiley:

Thanks all for attending, especially John and Kristoff; nice getting some faces to go with that history. Kristoff: I will post a “redacted” version of the zoom video where I have cut out the chit-chat about personal stuff up front. John: We have stayed away from HDF5 but I wonder if you can get to that via the GDAL connection. If there are grids then perhaps that could work? Maybe Joaquim knows more about that.

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Hi John and Kristoff, nice to meet you in person.

John, all grids in HDF can be read via GDAL. See this example in the CookBook

The zoom recording has been posted on the Generic Mapping Tools YouTube Channel, while the minutes can be found here.

Hi @pwessel thanks for posting the video. Would we maybe rename the videos/calls to “community meeting” instead of “developer meeting”? It was great having Kristof and John there as well and we want the general community of dedicated GMT users to join in as well, right?

I find that language like “developer” and “guru” tends to put a lot of people off for thinking they are not even close to good enough to join in.

Of course, we don’t want 100s of people in the call but I think we can deal with that problem when it arises (and it would be a good problem to have).

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Sorry the slow response. I agree and have changed the titles here and on YouTube.