Change log for the next release of QGIS 2.6.0. We have added many new features, tweaks and enhancements to make the most popular Free desktop GIS even more feature filled and useful.
Whenever new features are added to software they introduce the possibility of new bugs - if you encounter any problems with this release, please file a ticket on the QGIS Bug Tracker.
We would like to thank the developers, documenters, testers and all the many folks out there who volunteer their time and effort (or fund people to do so).
From the QGIS community we hope you enjoy this release! If you wish to donate time, money or otherwise get involved in making QGIS more awesome, please wander along to qgis.org and lend a hand!
Finally we would like to thank our official sponsors for the invaluable financial support they provide to this project:
A current list of donors who have made financial contributions large and small to the project can be seen on our donors list. If you would like to become and official project sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page for details. Sponsoring QGIS helps us to fund our six monthly developer meetings, maintain project infrastructure
and fund bug fixing efforts.
If you enjoy using QGIS, please consider making a donation to support the project - either financial or of your time and skills! Lastly we would like to also take a moment to encourage you to fund a special campaign by one of our QGIS developers to get a working test suite for QGIS so that we can improve out quality assurance process and deliver you the best possible releases.
QGIS is Free software and you are under no obligation to pay anything to use it - in fact we want to encourage people far and wide to use it regardless of what your financial or social status is - we believe empowering people with spatial decision making tools will result in a better society for all of humanity.
You can now define your own custom color palettes for use in QGIS.
We have merged the single selection tool into the rectangle tool. If you want to select a single feature, simply enable the rectangle tool and then single click (rather than dragging a rectangle) a feature.
There is a new custom QGIS color picker dialog. Features include:
- Sliders for hue, saturation, value, red, green, blue color components.
- Alpha slider.
- Option to copy/paste html color codes (in a variety of formats).
- Before/after color preview, with alpha preview.
- Interactive 2D color ramp widget.
- Hue wheel/triangle widget.
- Editable color palettes, including the ability to create new palettes and import/export colors to a GPL palette file.
- Live color sampler with option to sample over a set radius (OS support dependant).
- Supports interaction with other apps via drag and drop of colors (OS support dependant).
- Option to disable the dialog and use the native picker dialog instead.
In many of QGIS' dialogs that generate a new layer, the 'Add layer to map canvas' checkbox is now checked by default so that the new layer automatically gets added to the map.
For those using QGIS on touch devices (or if you just like big, chunky icons), you can now set the icons up to 64 x 64 pixels in size.
This is probably one of the most useful new features in QGIS 2.6 - especially if you are involved a lot in cartography work. The colour button used everywhere in QGIS has been enhanced, with drop down menus, colour swatches, default colours, etc. Click on the drop down item to the right of the colour button to see the quick options. Click on the button to the left of the colour widget to see a standard colour chooser dialog.
When using the identify tool, you can now right click on the canvas to use the identify tool in context mode. In the menu that appears you can define which feature types you wish to identify (all all if you like).
We have improved the random colour algorithm for classified renderer so that the colours generated are more visually distinct from each other.
We have added a checkbox and data defined button for controlling whether an item is excluded from composer exports/printouts. If the item is unchecked it will be visible at composition design time only.
For table or HTML frames, a checkbox now controls whether the containing page should be exported when the frame is empty.
The item tree panel in the map composer allows for selection of items, hiding/showing items, toggling lock status of items and double-clicking to edit item id. You can also use drag and drop to reorder items.
Many properties of composer items can now be controlled using data binding. These include:
Picture items in the map composer now support remote urls as a picture source. This source can also be data defined.
Note that tables in existing projects are not automatically updated to the new table format which supports these features, and tables must be readded to a composition for the new settings to appear.
The map composer (used to prepare printable map compositions) has received a number of improvements in QGIS 2.6.
Snapping thresholds are now set in pixels, allowing for finer movement and resizing of items when zoomed in to a composition.
Items within a group are no longer used for auto snap lines.
Sometimes it is useful to be able to show more than one overview frame for a map frame. For example if you want to show where your map is in local, regional and global context, using multiple overview maps can help you to achieve this. As of QGIS 2.6 you can now achieve this by assigning as many maps as you like to the 'overview' role in your composition.
There are a number of useful new options for the HTML composer item:
The modeler has been rewritten, and now provides extra functionality such as allowing nested models with no depth limit. Models are now stored as JSON files. Backwards compatibility is kept, so all models can still be used. You can also now drag and drop items from the inputs and algorithms onto the modeler graph.
Models and scripts can be downloaded from the online collection and installed directly from the Processing interface. The collection will be expanded with new scripts and models provided by Processing users.
Sometimes you want to have an attribute that is calculated and that is always 'fresh' - reflecting the current state of the feature properties. Now you can add virtual fields to your table which are based on an expression.
Now when you are measuring areas and distances, you can remove unwanted vertices from your measurement line using the delete or backspace keys.
We have made a number of improvements to the editor widgets:
When creating a custom action for a vector layer, you can now define an icon to be used for the action too.
+for string concatenation.
attribute( feature, attribute_name )- gets the specified attribute from a feature.
$currentfeature- returns the current feature.
$atlasfeature- returns the atlas feature.
getFeature- gets a matching feature from a layer.
You can now choose to disable certain classes in graduated and categorised renderers without actually removing them.
The second phase of the legend / table of contents overhaul has been completed. This includes:
Developers should note that there are some minor API breakages relating to the new legend - we try our best to maintain backwards compatibility but in this case it was not possible and the changes were not substantive enough to warrant a 3.0 release. Please see this mailing list thread for more details.
In QGIS Server we have a new feature (that was developed alongside the context aware legend filter) which makes QGIS Server able to manage some new WMS query parameters for the GetLegendGraphics requests. These params are exactly the same syntax as in UMN Mapserver. These parameters let QGIS Server respond with context aware legend (i.e. only showing legend entries relevant to the current viewport. This is the mechanism used by the WMS legend inside QGIS Desktop. More details on this can be found in the QGIS Server Tutorial.
In order to normalise the naming of QGIS widgets, some minor API changes have been made. Almost all edit widgets were renamed by adding "Wrapper" at the end of their names. In particular this concerns: