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  1. #21  
    My initial thought was to be able to rotate it manually to any angle but I have no idea of the technical difficulties in doing it. After reading your reply if you could swap the cardinal headings it would give you 4 positions to choose from and fine tuning could be done with just physically rotating the Pre.

    Thanks for the app.
  2. #22  
    I take it you are not supporting the beta version anymore?
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  3.    #23  
    The beta version was out to get some feedback and see if there where any major bugs. I got these, and incorporated a lot of that feedback into the released version. More stars, better zooming, faster start up, less bugs.

    I might release another beta version when I have a new feature that needs testing. For now, the released version is the latest stable (or simi-stable, for that mater) version. The "next" one doesn't really work yet.

    If you are looking for a "Free" or "Lite" version, I might consider that, but only after I add enough things that the Lite version would still be useful, and the full version have enough to make it worth while. Currently, there isn't enough that could be removed to make a Lite version, as sorry as that sounds.

    So, it's not that I don't "Support" the beta version anymore, as much as it is, it was a beta version and there isn't another beta version yet. If you want the upgrades, consider buying it from the app catalog. It's not very expensive.

    Again, I thank everyone for their comments, suggestions, ideas, feedback, and encouragement. I also thank everyone that has bought JdiSky already. This whole experience has been very exciting for me, selling my own software creation for the first time. It seems very different compared to just providing downloads to side projects, or even developing software for work.

    Thank you.
  4. #24  
    Jdiwnab, thank you for putting out this app. I did buy JdiSky from the app catalog, and I love the layout and the possibilities.

    As a casual (and occassional) star gazer, I took it out last night and I love it! Here are some constructive comments:

    First, this is exactly the kind of thing I want on my phone, something that is always handy when I am staring at the night sky and wondering about the star staring at me in the face. However, mostly I am at the level where I am still trying to figure out the constellations. So I very much look forward to you incorporating constellation information that will help me identify what I am looking at. Or to find constellations I did not know how to find before. Perhaps you are considering a constellation mode where constellations are drawn by simple faint lines?

    I noted that you denoted magnitude of celestrial objects by different shaped spots. I wonder if it is too much trouble to actually use grayed or less bright settings for the dimmer objects, so as to make the display look more like what one might see in the night sky?

    Eventually, it would be great if it will help me locate/identify interesting celestial objects such as nebulas.

    Anyways... your app really fills a void, and it is definitely one I would be using a lot.
  5.    #25  
    Hi luau joe,

    I am working on constellations and have maybe two dozen of the 88 official constellations input. I am currently drawing them with red lines, mostly so I can seen them clearly while inputting them. I plan on having the display of constellations as a preference, much like the night vision mode.

    I haven't quite figured out how I should scale the brightness of stars. For ones over a certain magnitude, I am using a nearly white color, and below that, I use a somewhat dimmer gray. Also, brighter stars are drawn as a star, while dimmer ones are circles. Those are two different thresholds and it seems to work ok. Also, I have a few levels of star sizes that also depend on the magnitude. I agree that it does seem very busy, though. I'll try a few things to tweak these values. The zooming stuff I'm also working on will help this, as I can choose not to draw some of the stars until you zoom in more.

    In the beta version, there where about 500 or so stars, and this looked pretty good, but there weren't enough stars to make it very useful, so I added more, at the cost of it busing busy. Dynamically zooming will compromise between these two needs.
  6. #26  
    I took JDiSky out again late last evening. I have a further thought/suggestion on how to address the issue of severe clutter. When I looked at the southern sky, there were so many stars,along with all the names. Together, they were a huge undecipherable jumble on the screen. Even in the relatively uncluttered Northern sky, I had trouble picking out Ursa Major on the screen, despite being clearly standout under the real night sky.

    Perhaps you want to consider:

    1. A preference switch to display only objects brighter than a certain magnitude. Magnitude to be specified by user.

    2. Another preference switch to turn on/off object naming

    Finally, I really look forward to the incorporation of constellations. After all, most, if not all of us, orient ourself on the night sky by using constellations. Using the naked eye, we find objects by relating its location to constellation stars.

    Thanks again for your work on this.
  7. #27  
    Is this a PDK or native app, if PDK make it free to win the contest.
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  8. #28  
    Thanks for the starmap app, cool idea... reading into the thread a little bit there, also cool that it isn't necessary for a data connection to have something tangible to read/look at.

    I think the app that you have referred about in earlier posts was called Stellarium. I know there is a app out there in the iStore.

    I have made earlier posts that (for my ease) I'll just cut and paste so you can see them:
    Just recently I found a pretty cool app called JdiStars. Basically a star map based on your current location and time of day. It has a night mode(red light) and zoom, a few star names etc.

    There is a program I have on my computer called Stellarium and was wondering what the possiblities of something like that being made into an app?

    EDIT: was talking to somebody on the IRC (freenode #stellarium) and they said if webOS supported QT and opengl then supposedly it should compile fine

    It has been recently updated on the wiki page on how to compile svn from the bzr source

    --
    2nd post:

    18/06/2010
    Switch to bazaar Version Control System
    The source code of Stellarium is now managed by Bazaar instead of Subversion. This change should ease new developers to create and maintain specific changes in parallel to the main code trunk thanks to the powerful distributed nature of bzr.
    See https://code.launchpad.net/~stellarium/stellarium/trunk for accessing the new repository.

    08/06/2010
    Stellarium 0.10.5 available for Ubuntu 10.04
    Stellarium 0.10.5 binary packages are now available for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx through a Launchpad PPA (Personal Package Archive).

    Stellarium's Ubuntu Releases PPA can be found at Launchpad:
    https://launchpad.net/~stellarium/+a...arium-releases

    To get the updated Stellarium packages, you can either:

    a) use the Software Sources utility to add the "ppa:stellarium/stellarium-releases" line to the list of software sources, and then use the Synaptic package manager or the Ubuntu Software Center to update Stellarium's packages.

    b) open a terminal and run some commands:

    To add the PPA to the list of repositories:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stellarium/stellarium-releases

    and then, to look for package updates:

    sudo apt-get update

    As the Launchpad PPAs are not as extensively mirrored as Ubuntu's main repositories, downloading the packages may be slow. If the download halts, cancel and restart the installation. In most cases, the download's progress will be saved and it will continue from the point it stopped.


    --

    I don't know if that helps you at all, but basically if you look at that program and see what it has to offer as far as features, that's what I'd like to see. Being that it's an existing program, maybe it would be easier to port it over, I don't know.
    Due to the cancellation of the penny, I no longer give 2¢ about anything. I may however, give a nickel
  9.    #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by kkhanmd View Post
    Is this a PDK or native app, if PDK make it free to win the contest.
    Currently JdiSky is a native app so that I could work on the algorithms in my browser for faster development cycles. Looking at the current performance, the PDK is on my radar, though I don't know much about SDL or OpenGL. However, I'd rather not make it a full PDK app as currently allowed, as the native menus and such are very useful. Therefore, the PDK will wait at least until Hybrid apps are supported. Until then, I won't fork my code to have a native and PDK version.

    Secondly, there is currently no contest. The closest thing to an astronomy app that I've seen in the app store are two apps that focus on the Moon exclusively, one of which seems to look at more the astrological side of things. Therefore, I have a unique product. If someone where to come along and develop a PDK based app that did all kinds of cool stuff like ones for iPhone and such and was way beyond wherever JdiSky was at that point, I'd probably retire JdiSky and buy that instead, especially if it was free. I created JdiSky to fill a nitch that I wanted.

    Finally, I appreciate your enthusiasm for JdiSky, kkhanmd, but please respect my decision to value my effort and make JdiSky a paid app. I put a lot of time into it, and am still putting a lot of time into it. I felt that, at $0.99, it would make it cheap enough for people to buy almost on a whim, but still give me some returns on my time investment, and encourage me to develop more. I'm an individual developer, trying to make a buck, quite literally.

    At last count, according to the P|C app page, over 200 people have bought JdiSky, which I find exciting. It's less than 10% of those that tried the beta, but I'm sure that it's just a mater of time. Thank you to all who have purchased JdiSky.
  10.    #30  
    Sledge

    Thank you for the tip. I was writing the previous post as you posted.

    I had looked at 2 other desktop based open source programs, but had overlooked that one. I think it is the closest to what I am creating. In some ways, I was hoping I could use some of their data to speed up progress on adding constellations, but that doesn't look possible I took a look, and their star data is packed in binary format, and the rest of the tables use the IDs packed in that. Oh well.

    The problem with porting a desktop app like that is that they are not designed for the smaller screens at all. I think that, even if I where to successfully get that program to run on the pre, it would be slow, too small, and hard to use.

    I looked at some of their code, and recognized some of the same design decisions regarding what data should be stored. I might make some changes based on some things I saw. but not right away.
  11. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesey View Post
    the app for iOS that is seen in the newest iPad ads is the one to beat. I´ve seen it in use on friends´devices and it makes one want to hide whatever device they´re carrying. The word "magical" actually comes to mind...
    Distant Suns perhaps? In any case, the best astronomy app I've ever seen is Google Sky Map for Android. It's simply amazing and I miss it terribly every time there's a clear starry sky at night.
  12.    #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by DarthRepublican View Post
    Distant Suns perhaps? In any case, the best astronomy app I've ever seen is Google Sky Map for Android. It's simply amazing and I miss it terribly every time there's a clear starry sky at night.
    There are several really good apps out there for other devices. One thing that several of them have in common (and that makes them so cool) is the ability to do some augmented reality and show you what you are looking at. That is a feature that most people would want, but I am incapable of providing not only because it is outside my skill level, but also because the hardware doesn't support it. I can't do anything to determine where you are pointing your phone.

    As a side note, The zooming feature is proving rather difficult and buggy. So I am shifting my attention to constellations. I'm about halfway though the official list of 88. I'll publish this as soon as it's ready, as it doesn't require too much testing.
  13. #33  
    I believe the Iphone app is SkyVoyager
  14. #34  
    I’m sorry to have to say this, but I am extremely disappointed with this program.

    Firstly, there is the issue of false advertising — your blurb states that you can “Specify a location”; you can’t — it’s GPS (and hence heavy battery use) or nothing.

    Other issues:
    * The night vision mode is useless, since it doesn’t redden user controls, notification area, etc., any of which, even with brightness set at 1%, emits sufficient non-red light to destroy any rhodopsin that has built up in the retina.
    * What is the point of having GPS? It does nothing that you couldn’t do more easily manually (i.e. input location), and it doesn’t combine with the accelerometer to orientate the star map to the orientation of the phone. Hence all it does is require battery use to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
    * The zoom function doesn’t show you more detail; it just makes everything bigger and blurrier. It would be far more useful if zooming merely increased the space between the objects and brought fainter objects into view.
    * It needs to have user control over what info (e.g. solar system objects, names, etc) is shown.
    * At any zoom level, it needs to indicate the angular size of the portion of sky represented on the screen.

    If you want to see how a Palm planetarium program should work, take a look at 2Sky or Planetarium.
  15.    #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    I’m sorry to have to say this, but I am extremely disappointed with this program.
    Thank you for your critisim. I'd like to respond to each point you make

    Firstly, there is the issue of false advertising — your blurb states that you can “Specify a location”; you can’t — it’s GPS (and hence heavy battery use) or nothing.
    If you go into preferences, there is a toggle to turn off the GPS and enter a location manually using GPS coordinates. I should probably add some help to indicate what is necessary. S and W coordinates are negative, and it should be a decimal. I'd like to integrate into Google Maps, but I'm not sure how to do that yet. Also, it only grabs the GPS on open, refresh, or coming out of preferences with GPS usage on.

    Other issues:
    * The night vision mode is useless, since it doesn’t redden user controls, notification area, etc., any of which, even with brightness set at 1%, emits sufficient non-red light to destroy any rhodopsin that has built up in the retina.
    I'm not sure how to redden other controls. I tried several things but nothing worked. If someone knows how to change the color of buttons dynamically (so it can look like a normal button), I'd be interested. I don't know if I can block notifications, or change their color as they are outside my app. Maybe if I went full screen and moved the preferences menu elsewhere I could have more control.

    * What is the point of having GPS? It does nothing that you couldn’t do more easily manually (i.e. input location), and it doesn’t combine with the accelerometer to orientate the star map to the orientation of the phone. Hence all it does is require battery use to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
    Personally, I find the GPS extremely helpful. I don't know my exact location by heart. But I recognize the need to manually input location, too, so I have that available. As for orientation of the phone, the sensor needed to find which way the phone is pointed on a compass is a magnetometer, and the Pre/Pixi doesn't have one. I could tell what altitude you where looking at, but not direction. See earlier comments on this feature in this thread.

    * The zoom function doesn’t show you more detail; it just makes everything bigger and blurrier. It would be far more useful if zooming merely increased the space between the objects and brought fainter objects into view.
    The trick here is that I have to redraw things. I am working on it, but it is rather slow. It takes it about 0.5-3 seconds to zoom, depending on the number of objects visible. This is something I really want to add, as I have mentioned earlier in this thread.

    * It needs to have user control over what info (e.g. solar system objects, names, etc) is shown.
    This will probably come with the better zoom. I had (naively) assumed that users would want the names of stars and planets always there, and that I could find a perfect balance of names. If I get zoom working right, then this will come with.

    * At any zoom level, it needs to indicate the angular size of the portion of sky represented on the screen.
    That sounds like a good idea to add to zooming. I hadn't thought of that. I don't know if I can figure that out right now with the stupid zoom, but with better zoom, it should be fine.

    If you want to see how a Palm planetarium program should work, take a look at 2Sky or Planetarium.
    I looked at Planetarium and am modeling some things after what screenshots I see. Please be patient. I can only do so much, as I'm the only developer, and I have a day job.
  16. musk's Avatar
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    #36  
    jdiwnab, first off, thank you for creating this app! I'd been wanting something like this since getting my Pre and purchased it as soon as I found it in the app catalog. I am a very casual sky observer and have fond memories of the Planetarium program on Palm OS (sadly it doesn't run in Classic). Aside from having access to the information itself, one of the most useful features of that program was the ability to filter by magnitude. I see that idea came up in your above discussion about methods to reduce screen clutter and I encourage you to provide an option to simply remove all objects dimmer than a specified magnitude. This is a great way to roughly mimic what is seen with the human eye when in a location with city lights, etc.

    Other than that, there are many good suggestions in this thread that I won't repeat. I look forward to seeing what features get implemented in the future. Thanks again!
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    I’m sorry to have to say this, but I am extremely disappointed with this program.

    Firstly, there is the issue of false advertising — your blurb states that you can “Specify a location”; you can’t — it’s GPS (and hence heavy battery use) or nothing.

    Other issues:
    * The night vision mode is useless, since it doesn’t redden user controls, notification area, etc., any of which, even with brightness set at 1%, emits sufficient non-red light to destroy any rhodopsin that has built up in the retina.
    * What is the point of having GPS? It does nothing that you couldn’t do more easily manually (i.e. input location), and it doesn’t combine with the accelerometer to orientate the star map to the orientation of the phone. Hence all it does is require battery use to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
    * The zoom function doesn’t show you more detail; it just makes everything bigger and blurrier. It would be far more useful if zooming merely increased the space between the objects and brought fainter objects into view.
    * It needs to have user control over what info (e.g. solar system objects, names, etc) is shown.
    * At any zoom level, it needs to indicate the angular size of the portion of sky represented on the screen.

    If you want to see how a Palm planetarium program should work, take a look at 2Sky or Planetarium.
    @jdiwnab: I am a casual night sky observer. I do not some of the sentiments expressed by Tetenterre, quoted above, whom it is my own opinion was being excessively critical.

    First of all, I have your app for a week now, and I have found myself referring to it almost every night when I am out in my backyard.

    -Contrary to Tetenterre, I find your use of GPS to specify location a god-send. While use of gps does use battery power, but what app doesn't? I simply use google location services, which it almost always on for me. I don't care how the night sky would look in Outer Mongolia or in Tibet. I only care how the night sky would appear to me where I am standing. The gps location is a simple way to do that.

    -I agree the night vision is rather useless but for a totally different reason. Being an older fart, I have trouble seeing anyways, and I have trouble reading red at night. However, since I am a casual observer, I really don't worry much about my rhodopsin.

    - Finally, I believe that the features criticized by Tetenterre are important for a program suited for serious star gazers. However, I should think that serious star gazers would not be relying on their little cell phone to tell them where their stars are.
  18.    #38  
    I thank you for your reassuring comments, and your support, musk and luau joe. I do think that Tetenterre is wanting a serious astronomy app as he is apparently a serious astronomer. Heck, I didn't even know it was called rhodopsin.

    But he has some very valid points. As an amateur astronomer, but a professional software developer (for another company unrelated to this), I recognize that people like Tetenterre would be one of my biggest customers, provided I provide them software that suits their needs. Nearly everything he complained about are either things I want to do at some point, or are actual issues.

    On a side note, I was able to track down the bug regarding the GPS toggle. I didn't see it because it had to do with some initial conditions that you can't quite recreate without uninstalling and such. It is fixed, and I'll be releasing an update soon that addresses this, and adds a few new things that I was working on when I found the bug. I just wish people would tell me, "hey, when I try to set my location manually, it won't let me enter anything" rather than say it's false advertising. There is a big difference.

    I have added all 88 constellations, and I am working on being able to toggle them on and off easily. This proved easier than zooming, not because it was easy, but because zooming is hard. It isn't good enough yet to release, so you'll have to put up with the current zooming for this up coming release.
  19. #39  
    Thank you for replying.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdiwnab View Post
    If you go into preferences, there is a toggle to turn off the GPS and enter a location manually using GPS coordinates.
    Yes, I know that. It doesn't work.

    When I toggle it off (or on), it does not allow me to input Lat/Long. It just has:

    LATITUDE Latitude true

    LONGITUDE Longitude true

    with no option to enter anything. This happens whether or not I have let the GPS set a position.

    When I exit preferences after toggling it "off", I find that it is back "on" when I re-enter preferences.

    Surely you have tested this?


    Personally, I find the GPS extremely helpful. I don't know my exact location by heart. But I recognize the need to manually input location, too, so I have that available.
    The point is that you don't have it available! Looking at the reviews in the App store, I am not the first to tell you this (I am "Stephen T" there).

    You don't need an exact location; at the resolution of the screen of the Pre, a degree of latitude is not going to make substantive difference.

    As for orientation of the phone, the sensor needed to find which way the phone is pointed on a compass is a magnetometer,
    Thank you for the correction -- I appreciate it.

    I really wanted to like this app. Whilst I accept that this is not your "day job", in its current state I find it difficult to see it as anything other than a BETA. If it was properly functional, I'd be prepared to pay more than the £0.79 you charge for it; in its current state, I feel that I have been overcharged!
    Last edited by Tetenterre; 09/21/2010 at 02:21 AM. Reason: Correction/addition
  20.    #40  
    Tetenterre, Please check out my previous post.

    I did find the bug you were referring to. It is hard to catch after initial testing because of how the settings work. But there is a difference between a bug preventing a feature from not working, and a feature being missing. Obviously I made the feature, added the options to use it, and then advertised the feature. It's not like it was only advertising.

    An update has been submitted that includes this fix, along with constellations and filtering stars by magnitude. So, Tetenterre, you can relax. I thank you for the details on how to find it. It's fixed now, as soon as it gets reviewed (which hopefully won't take as long as the initial submission).
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