JUL
21
2003

kstars status

For my first post, I thought I would give a short heads up on recent activity in KStars.

Jasem Mutlaq recently added telescope control to KStars, which is just fantastic. Definitely has been one of our most-requested features.

I've been working on some data-plotting tools, such as the Altitude vs Time tool, a tool showing Jupiter's Moons as a function of time, and a solar system viewer. These tools use a new widget (KPlotWidget) for the data plotting, which is available as a library in kdeed/libkdeedu/kdeeduplot. The widget handles a lot of the plotting code automatically; you just have to feed it the data to be plotted (in the form of KPlotObjects, a companion class in the library). Carsten Niehaus is also using KPlotWidget in Kalzium. I may also let the developer of KST know about it.

I've also been trying to get a command-line "image dump" mode working. To do this, I had to do quite a bit of backend/frontend separation so that the program can initialize itself without any GUI elements. This is working, but I can't seem to get at the sky QPixmap, and I don't know why. If you want to try it out, invoke dump-mode like so:
% kstars --dump --width=800 --height=600 --filename foo.png
Thanks in advance for any hints!

I've been quite busy, so not much time for KStars. I am moving to Arizona in the fall, so I am not planning for any more huge developments before 3.2, just thinking about getting the code and docs ready.

PS- what is the deal with the listbox of "Projects" on the edit post page? Seems like an odd selection to me, don't really know where to put KStars-related entries. Can we at least get a KDE-Edu entry?

Comments

Last year during summer holidays (in a clean mountain with dark sky at night :-) i first tried KStars just to discover that what i saw looking up at night was the same i saw on kde's planetarium.
Now i just returned from holidays, taken in the same place of last year's one with a couple of comments about kstars.

The first is "thank you so much to made me discover such a great place to look at".. now i know many stars, many constellations and my favorite game is spin in the night, eyes closed, the look up and recognize stars or planets as fast as I can ^_^

The second is a feature I'd like to see implemented, because I think will improve the userbase of such a great program.
I like impressive graphics (I'm the main author of KFireSaver3D so if you know it you'll know what I mean:-) and I think a "real sky render" mode is missing; it's just an eye candy to place on top of current rendering engine.. Imagine to see a dark/blue sky with 'real' effects like diffusion and diffraction of solar light, refraction effects, the sky more darker at top, maybe clouds (enlightened of course :-) or rendered mountains, stars that sparkle and disappear if the magnitude is too high... just wondering ^_^
I think that everyday user will use KStars if the first image he sees is a good-loking, eye-friendly, rendered image of the sky instead of a window showing trajectories, deepsky objects and so.. then after a bit of playing he'll toggle of the eye candy, switch on all the features he wants and start using KStars !!

Finally thank you again for this (for me) killing app and keep up the good work!

- Enrico Ros


By KDE User at Mon, 07/21/2003 - 18:15

Hello,

We've thought about adding beautiful sky-lighting effects. The problem is, I think it would require openGL to do it reasonably. Unfortunately, none of the KStars devs has any openGL experience. I'm willing to learn it, but at this point it isn't at the top of the TODO list. If you can suggest any good openGL docs/tutorials, I'd appreciate it.

--
KStars: A desktop planetarium for KDE


By Jason Harris at Tue, 07/22/2003 - 13:39