Stellarium’s Satellites plug-in: Some gain, some lose

I am supposed to be doing anything but programming. Instead, today I spent most of my time writing code for Stellarium. I lose.

When I’m working on Stellarium, I am also supposed to be working on the Device Control plug-in (the descendent of the Telescope Control plug-in), and in particular, on re-writing its INDI client. Instead, today I spent most of my time writing a simple GUI for adding satellites in the Satellite plug-in. Telescope users lose. Satellite lovers gain. Well, after my branch is merged with the trunk. The merge proposal is here:

This morning I though that I can finish the basic part for two hours. It took me more than ten. 😦 Of course, one of the reasons is that I’m working on a netbook and operations such as compilation, version control and code comparison are slow. I also had to study other people’s code and re-factor some of it. Nevertheless… It’s still ten hours of my life that I’m not getting back.

Anyway, I have some ideas for improving the way the Satellites plug-in handles its updates. Both require adding a checkbox to the configuration window and some code in the update function:

  • An option for automatic removing the satellites that are no longer in the update lists during an update.
  • An option for automatic adding of the new satellites in a given source file (in particular, CelesTrak’s “last month’s launches” file).

The combination of the two will allow the users to have a constantly updated snapshot of the currently active satellites. 🙂 I’m going to leave the implementation to someone else, though. I’ve had enough of Stellarium for now.

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One Response to Stellarium’s Satellites plug-in: Some gain, some lose

  1. dw says:

    I use both the telescope and satellite plugins. I can’t lose!
    (what’s this about the stellarium app being pulled from itunes? it’s very useful)

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