KStars v3.5.8 is released on 2022.03.19 for MacOS, Linux, and Windows. This is a mostly bugfix release with a couple of exciting new features.
Faster plate-solving with StellarSolver 2.2
Robert Lancaster released StellarSolver 2.2 with significant improvements. StellarSolver is the library used by Ekos for star extraction and plate-solving. It is now so fast that sub-second plate-solves are quite common. Here are some highlights:
- Eliminating the last external files: solved and cancel files from the internal solver
- Making an interface between the C++ and astrometry.net logging that works well to fix logging issues
- Making StellarSolver easier to use in a blocking way, including using it as a C++ temporary object
- Making the convolution filter easier to generate and use as well as adding more types of filters
- Significantly reducing the astrometry code needed for the solver
- Adding support for a new external solver: the Watney Astrometry Solver
- Improving the abort code so that it shuts down faster
- Adding a number of demos to show how to use StellarSolver
- Adding healpix and index series hints so that you can speed up solves in localized areas based on former solves
- Making it possible to run two stellar solvers simultaneously
- Adding some new options for star extraction
- Making API simplifications
- Fixing some memory leaks and other warnings on various operating systems
- Removing some unused code
Greed is Eternal (10th Rule of Acquisition)
Hy Murveit introduced a new type of scheduling algorithm which he dubbed as the Greedy algorithm.
In both the Classic and Greedy schedulers, jobs are listed as "earlier on the job list means higher priority". With the Classic scheduler, priority is of the highest importance. It will not schedule a lower priority job until the higher priority job is done, even if that job takes several nights, and even if the higher-priority job cannot run at the current time, e.g. due to altitude/terrain/etc. In contrast to this, the Greedy scheduler attempts to keep Ekos busy as much as possible. Although it gives priority to earlier-listed-jobs, it will run later-listed ones if the earlier one can't run. Of course, the lower priority job will get preempted when the high-priority job can finally start to run.
If you start the scheduler with only one job, there is no difference between Classic and Greedy scheduling. However, if you have more than one job, depending on your setup, there is a good chance that the Greedy scheduler will schedule more imaging time than Classic.
Here's a recommended way to try this out. Let's assume you have a main target for which you want to collect as many images as possible. Set that target up as first on the scheduler list, have it start ASAP and set its completion condition as "Repeat Until Terminated". It should be scheduled to image whenever possible (even across multiple nights) until you turn off the scheduler or Ekos. Add several other targets as well, ones that you might also be interested in, and that can be imaged in other parts of the night. Make sure those are listed below the primary target on the jobs list. Set those the same way (ASAP/RepeatUntilTerminated). They will be scheduled to run whenever the primary target can't be imaged. Of course, make sure the twilight restriction is set for all your targets. Altitude and terrain restrictions are important as well--if Ekos doesn't know that there's a tree or house blocking your target, it can't be smart about scheduling it.
Since jobs will be preempted/restarted more often with Greedy than with Classic, the "Remember Job Progress" option is now more important. You can find this setting in the KStars Setting Menu --> Ekos --> Scheduler --> "Remember job progress". This option only works if you are storing images on the same machine where the scheduler is running. You should enable "Remember Job Progress" with this scheduler to get the most benefit, assuming your capture sequences use multiple/different filters. If your capture sequences are just used with one type of filter/or OSC then it probably doesn't matter. (RememberJobProgress has also be updated a bit, and should now do a better job of picking up where the last attempt finished.)
The screenshot above shows the scheduler running with this new scheme. Note that there are 4 jobs, and they are listed in order of precedence. You can see the next start times for each of the jobs on the scheduler table, and the highlighted (4th) job is the one currently running. A schedule for the next 48 hours is also printed in the log window at the bottom.
Support for Capture Format
New in this release is support for INDI v1.9.5 Capture Format selection. This was previously explicitly selected by the user in INDI Control Panel but is now available in the Sequence settings in the capture module.
Full change log
907bc629b 2022-03-15 Jasem Mutlaq Replace repeated message with just a label updatefead0a8d4 2022-03-15 Wolfgang Reissenberger Avoid in-sequence-counter countdown when already zerob10c443f7 2022-03-14 Robert Lancaster Forgot Prefix path for DriverSupport0a552226f 2022-03-14 Jasem Mutlaq Only emit newCoord when mount is connectede02adcf48 2022-03-14 Wolfgang Reissenberger Bugfix initial guide deviation set blocks post MF calibration6853eec35 2022-03-14 Jasem Mutlaq If telescope device is not defined or connected, do not process coordinates1640c7a2b 2022-03-13 Robert Lancaster Moving KStars Mac INDI copy instructions to cmakelists56cd0535f 2022-03-13 Jasem Mutlaq Add an exact parameter to findByName so that catalog component can customize its search behavior globally64b9ec0c3 2022-03-13 Akarsh Simha Fix CatalogsComponent::findByName() to find only 1 exact match0e2a3ab07 2022-03-13 Akarsh Simha Fixes and some improvements to the "Add catalog object" UIe22bfc6ed 2022-03-11 Akarsh Simha Fix truncation of observing list upon adding to it from popup menu993692eaa 2022-03-13 Akarsh Simha Make some usability improvements, especially in the Find Dialog9245f9b75 2022-03-12 Hy Murveit reduce log spame23a7ab8c 2022-03-12 Jasem Mutlaq Various memory leaks. Still there is definitely memory leaks when performing...dabeeec3d 2022-03-11 Jasem Mutlaq Fix compile on 18.04f34bcb7d9 2022-03-11 Jasem Mutlaq Disable event-driven setScopeStatus from INDI::Telescope since it sets m_Status which prevents the polling method from working5033fba01 2022-03-11 Jasem Mutlaq Fix bug that caused PAA to fail if a driver send HORIZONTAL_COORD as well836f47c89 2022-03-11 Jasem Mutlaq Improve Look n Feel tab23bb6cbfd 2022-03-10 Robert Lancaster updating to StellarSolver 2.1f184fd378 2022-03-09 Nicolas Fella Don't find KAuth96ed6a6d7 2022-03-10 Jasem Mutlaq Fix compile on Windows755c34e96 2022-03-09 Hy Murveit Make the test_ekos_scheduler_ops tests more stable.860301309 2022-03-09 Jasem Mutlaq Fix typoabec3e796 2022-03-09 Jasem Mutlaq Extra checke4685108d 2022-03-09 Jasem Mutlaq vShapeSolution should be reset in stopd38a27b17 2022-03-08 Akarsh Simha Whenever stars have Henry Draper numbers, make them show up as their names21635a353 2022-03-08 Robert Lancaster Fix memory leak4c71e6262 2022-03-07 Jasem Mutlaq No need to explicitly load the dark frame50c523bdc 2022-03-07 Jasem Mutlaq Clear pointers on disconnectd973ffec2 2022-03-06 Robert Lancaster Making it faster by reusing stellarsolver.4ea60c7fe 2022-03-07 Jasem Mutlaq Capture encoding is now fully implemented in the code along with capture format. Fix issue when setting temperature and filters in non-light framese1a1f7c33 2022-03-06 Jasem Mutlaq Make it compile on 18.048e7fd183f 2022-03-06 Hy Murveit change scheduler colors for analyze146577ca6 2022-03-06 Robert Lancaster Fixing a KHelpClient bug on MacOS3b39d06b4 2022-03-06 Philip Mair Fixed restoring of bin settings134d3d8d1 2022-03-06 Yuri Chornoivan Fix minor typos52e0e4d1e 2022-03-06 Jasem Mutlaq Improve tooltip and simplify UI961575df9 2022-03-05 Robert Lancaster Improving Tooltipsd2724f80c 2022-03-05 Jasem Mutlaq Clear sequence array on clear sequence24d0806b5 2022-03-02 Akarsh Simha Fix bug due to addition of new sky culture by saving config differentlyec9448cbd 2022-03-05 Hy Murveit New Greedy Algorithm for Schedulera39d48e8e 2022-03-04 Mattia Procopio Allow to provide a custom URL to download index data from3e5b922c1 2022-03-04 Robert Lancaster Fixing some issues found by Jussi Saarvirta56a377826 2022-03-03 Hy Murveit fix maxGuidestarsHFR issue, fix test, increase max dither sizecf5db0400 2022-03-02 Robert Lancaster Updating KStars to support StellarSolver 2.09f20fe9e7 2022-03-02 Jasem Mutlaq Make minimum exposure value 1 for refresh phase831dc2890 2022-03-02 Hy Murveit Allow older capture sequence filescc7225978 2022-03-01 Salman Naheed Ekoslive dark librarybfa23a060 2022-02-28 Nate Graham Add Release tags to AppStream metadata file06d6c0460 2022-02-26 Nate Graham Make default color scheme default8fe6068e0 2022-02-24 Salman Naheed Ekoslive dark library5dbb32de0 2022-02-23 Hy Murveit Unconstrain Ekos' main vertical sliderdf71cbf3e 2022-02-22 Salman Naheed Ekoslive dark librarycd1cb58cf 2022-02-22 Wolfgang Reissenberger Timer based update of mount coordinates8c457d62a 2022-02-22 Jasem Mutlaq Add support for INDI capture format2de2a7d0b 2022-02-21 Akarsh Simha Adding popular asterisms as a sky culturebbe08f422 2022-02-21 Salman Naheed Ekoslive dark library46d5fd47b 2022-02-21 Hy Murveit Change gpg period spinbox from int to double5a04cdbaa 2022-02-19 Wolfgang Reissenberger Bugfix selecting guide deviation when guiding is not running9071245d7 2022-02-17 Wolfgang Reissenberger Bugfix darks jobstate and #158e23f1c33d 2022-02-16 Hy Murveit Small bug fixes: calibration not always shown. MultiStar graphics offset by a frame.5bd737613 2022-02-16 Jasem Mutlaq Fix meridian flip message, should be KSMessageBox and not newLog628cf1241 2022-02-15 Yuri Chornoivan Fix minor typo99410cd62 2022-02-15 Hy Murveit Make sure SolverUtils doesn't delete a running StellarSolverc3bd4bd40 2022-02-14 Wolfgang Reissenberger State machine for capture control | preparation phasef60d72d9b 2022-02-14 Salman Naheed Ekoslive dark libraryf103653f4 2022-02-14 Jasem Mutlaq Disable stellarsolver logging59f0a1301 2022-02-14 Wolfgang Reissenberger Display of filter name corrected22e0ec011 2022-02-14 Jasem Mutlaq More refinement to the polynomial method. Discard bad data points.d606ffd33 2022-02-14 Jasem Mutlaq Check target position versus current position every N frames76e733a3e 2022-02-13 Robert Lancaster removing setLoadWCS in another spot80eabfa07 2022-02-12 Jasem Mutlaq Change default guide exposure to 2 seconds0fd94a4a5 2022-02-11 Hy Murveit guider bugfix, firstframe improperly setdd1c4becb 2022-02-10 Jasem Mutlaq Allow send module frame to send from dark librarybe665df18 2022-02-10 Hy Murveit Check position after capturesce83f275f 2022-02-08 Jasem Mutlaq INDI drivers syncd9e30a0fe 2022-02-08 Jasem Mutlaq Remove check for parking time over 12 hours since it is acceptable if within 24 hours6978d77d9 2022-02-08 Robert Lancaster Removing WCS Coord disabling line1ba2464c3 2022-02-07 Hy Murveit Changes needed for upcoming Indi AstroPhysics drivere40d833de 2022-02-05 Hy Murveit guider cleanup and bugfixb831c904e 2022-02-05 Hy Murveit Add developer options tab, add option to save internal guider images.62a551549 2022-01-31 Jasem Mutlaq Catalog search should not be limited so that we can check for multiple identifiers9305fe2b2 2022-01-31 Hy Murveit Analyze: update graphics plot for completed capture or focus if latest is checked3a778dc16 2022-01-27 Jasem Mutlaq Increase test timeout1c8e607e9 2022-01-27 Hy Murveit Adjust dbus interfaces and paths to allow test_ekos_scheduler_ops tests to...0515257a7 2022-01-27 Hy Murveit Min #detections to initialize SEP MultiStar6a5a96382 2022-01-26 Hy Murveit add missing signal to analyze for focus restarts0f2a4c951 2022-01-26 Jasem Mutlaq Fix wrong arg55b462887 2022-01-25 Toni Schriber Standardized dialog for guider 'Control Parameters' &'Other Settings'35236a51c 2022-01-23 Jasem Mutlaq Check if regionItem is nullb3114467b 2022-01-23 Jasem Mutlaq Fix issue in treating calibration frames since we used to only check a single channel whereas we were supposed to check all three8808d3309 2022-01-23 Jasem Mutlaq Add else for multiple channels1efbbc7cc 2022-01-22 Robert Lancaster Adding translations to Mac prebuild6dafdc27b 2022-01-21 Jasem Mutlaq Fix bug where filter is sometimes not set in camera or dustcap drivers unless it is set explicitly by the user by selecting it from the dropdown. No..003a29faa 2022-01-21 Jasem Mutlaq Fix issue when saving dark flats with sub-second exposures as we need to update the full prefix if duration was selected0032701b6 2022-01-21 Jasem Mutlaq Invalidate download timer to avoid bogus reports18174ad1c 2022-01-21 Jasem Mutlaq Reduce threashold to 1000msff1ac9cfe 2022-01-21 Salman Naheed Add generate dark flats to EkosLive0ecfd135b 2022-01-20 Jasem Mutlaq Make it so it is possible to create a 1x1 mosaic for purposes of framing0f5c633c5 2022-01-20 Jasem Mutlaq Update sequence prefix for ADU-calculated flat frames since full prefix can...36e47a522 2022-01-20 Jasem Mutlaq Set Focus module to the filter of the first light job in the sequence so that...7c0807ad4 2022-01-19 Jasem Mutlaq Starting KStars v3.5.8 development cycle06277101e 2022-01-18 Jasem Mutlaq INDI drivers sync2e8345b8f 2022-01-17 Jasem Mutlaq Improve message when failing to establish connection for remote devices6f94491d3 2022-01-17 Jasem Mutlaq Move options before ekoslive