Hi everybody! My name’s Łukasz Jaśkiewicz and I am 22 year old student from Poland. You can find more information about me on “About me” page. My project “Make KStars more interesting for beginners” has been selected to ESA SoCiS programme (http://sophia.estec.esa.int/socis2011/). Rafał Kułaga and Akarsh Simha will be my mentors during it. Here are some information about my project and its goals, taken from my application.
Proposed project can be divided into three parts:
- Create timeline view for “What’s up in the sky” feature using QML.
- Verify OAL 2.0-compliance of KStars, provide log loading feature (this is already almost done), validate logs using OAL XML Schema Definition when loaded. Add the feature to download logs from internet.
- Implement “Sky guides” feature with QML based UI.
Timeline view for “What’s up in the sky” feature
Currently, KStars has nice feature called “What’s up in the sky” that comes in handy when user is planning his observations. In this part of my project, I will design and implement new QML-based frontend for this feature, that will present information about objects that are worth observing (and observable with use of the equipment, that user possesses).
The information about objects worth observing will be presented in chronological manner, sorted by rise or set times. There will be also a possibility to filter object categories and magnitudes. There will also be the option to print the timeline or add it to finder chart, when printing support is finished.
OAL 2.0-related work
KStars OAL 2.0 support needs verification and addition of a few features like loading reports from XML files on local file system or from the internet. This feature can be easily added – I am already working on this (I am using Qt’s implementation of SAX2 API, to be consistent with code that is used for saving it).
Upon loading, XML files should be validated using OAL 2.0 XML Schema Definition – this can be achieved easily using following classes from QtXmlPatterns module (QXmlSchema and QXmlSchemaValidator). They can be also used for debugging KStars’ OAL 2.0 support when saving reports.
“Sky guides” feature
This feature is targeted particularly at beginners in the field of amateur astronomy. The idea is to create XML file format that will enable anybody to create guides which can be then published in the same way as custom star catalogs are. In the longer perspective, a feature that will enable creation and editing of such guides directly from KStars (without the need to edit XML files) could be implemented – it’s not hard, but is not the part of my project because of the imposed deadline on October 31.
*August 1 – August 7: Research of the KStars codebase, especially in areas related to logging, DSS/SDSS image downloading and displaying information about sky objects.
*August 8 – August 14: Further research of the KStars source code. Preparing final project of QML-based GUI. Work on OAL 2.0 report loading feature.
*August 15 – August 21: Final changes to OAL 2.0 report loading feature + gathering list of sites that enable users to exchange OAL-compliant reports.
*August 22 – August 28: Implementing a feature to download OAL logs from internet.
*August 29 – September 4: Work on backend code needed to support “timeline” view for “What’s up in the sky” feature.
*September 5 – September 11: Implementing “timeline” view for “What’s up in the sky” feature using QML.
*September 12 – September 18: Implementing “timeline” view for “What’s up in the sky” feature using QML.
*September 19 – September 25: Incorporating information from logs (both user-registered and downloaded) into timeline view and GUI.
*September 26 – October 2: Design and implementation of XML format for “Sky guide” feature.
*October 3 – October 9: Design and implementation of XML format for “Sky guide” feature.
*October 10 – October 16: Implementing QML interface for “Sky guide” feature.
*October 17 – October 23: Implementing QML interface for “Sky guide” feature.
*October 24 – October 31: Testing and amending documentation. Leaving a small time buffer in case of unexpected delays.