QGIS 2.8 was not officially announced yet and, as always happens in the QGIS project, new features are already being added to QGIS master, aka next future release, in this case 2.10.
At NaturalGIS we do our share of effort, especially regarding improvements for the QGIS “Processing” toolbox, and recently started to add new geoprocessing tools for vectors. At the time we are writing the tools we added are:
- Single sided buffer (or offset lines)
- Clip by extent
- Clip by polygon
- Create points along lines
Some are completely new, like the Single sided buffer (or offset lines), Clip (vector) by extent (a similar tool is already available in QGIS but only to clip rasters layers) and Create points along lines, others are not (Buffer, Clip by polygon and Dissolve) as there are already plenty of alternatives in QGIS. The point here is that this “new” tools are quite faster than the already existing QGIS counterparts, or they offer new options.
For example the “Dissolve” tool is on average several times faster (up to 7 times, in our simple tests) than the QGIS counterpart, moreover the tool has the ability to compute some statistics on numerical attributes. See the image below:
Under the hood the work is done by that great software that is ogr2ogr. In this case is used to run spatial SQL queries, using as engine SQLite/Spatialite
More of this ogr2ogr/sql based tools will be added in the next future, especially when a few missing features will be added to the QGIS Processing toolbox, meanwhile you can help us testing the above ones.