Note: This post discusses features in QGIS Trunk – they will make their way into the future QGIS 1.7.
One of the things I love about QGIS is how people arrive into the developer community and just start pitching in. Its the classic ‘scratch your own itch’ phenomenon at work and I never grow tired of watching it. This week, QGIS got a couple of interesting new features. The first is and implementation of a graphical rule builder for when you are using rule based vector symbology. Rule based symbologies allow you to create classes of features based on arbitrary rules, but up until now you had to write those rules manually. Nathan Woodrow’s recent page implements a query builder that lets you point and click your way to easy rule creation.
Another nice new feature was committed by Martin Dobias this week. It allows you to treat the stroke / outline for polygons as a separate entity when rendering. So now you can render a polygon with one or more discrete line styles as seen in the image below. In addition you can render a marker in the polygon centroid. The cartography capabilities in QGIS are really looking good these days and I have seem some beautiful maps that folks have come up with using the new generation symbology.
In QGIS 2.0 we will drop the old symbology implementation – but I get the feeling most won’t miss it very much. The only time I ever use the old symbology implementation is when I am exporting projects to mapserver or mapnik.