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KStars News

October 17, 2010: OpenGL support!

KStars can now use OpenGL to render the sky map. The feature is still buggy, but we expect them to be fixed pretty soon. We expect a reasonably workable OpenGL version in the KDE 4.6 SC release.

Google Summer of Code 2010 student and passionate math major Harry de Valence revamped the way drawing is done in KStars to achieve this. Owing to some really old code in KStars, this was quite an effort and a significant deal of the OpenGL "port" is now complete.

One of the major decisions we took while doing this, was to retain the old QPainter way of painting as well. This means that if you don't have graphics acceleration on your hardware, you could just use the good old simple KStars, without losing speed.

July 5th, 2010: What's brewing in the future releases?

A lot. We are in the proccess of building a moon phase almanac feature that quickly lets you see the moon phases this month, so that you can easily see when you can go observing. We are also going to build a feature that will make beginners' KStars experience better.

In the next release, you can expect to see a better managed object database, thanks to Victor Carbune's Google Summer of Code work, which will put our data into a relational database and give you access to perform powerful searches.

We are also in the process of getting KStars to use OpenGL for painting, which will make a lot of very aesthetic graphical effects possible! Harry de Valence, KStars' Google Summer of Code student from Canada is working on this project and has already obtained some success in painting using the OpenGL libraries.

July 4th, 2010: KStars at Akademy 2010

KStars contributor Akarsh Simha gave a short demo of KStars at Akademy 2010, the annual conference of the KDE community. Three KStars developers are at Akademy 2010, and they've been talking to a lot of people around to get ideas!

February 9th, 2010: KStars is now an awesome observation planner!

With the KDE 4.4 SC, Prakash Mohan's GSoC work has been released in KStars. KStars now has an awesome observation planner to plan your observation sessions. KStars can also execute your observation session by loading a session and hitting Ctrl + 2, but that feature is going to improve more in the future.

Whenever you wish to see an object, you can add it to your observation wishlist. This can be done by right clicking on the object in the context menu. Once the object is added to your wishlist, you may transfer the objects visible on a particular night into the observation session planner, and KStars will automatically suggest observation times (looking at culmination). You can also download images for the objects from DSS / SDSS with a click of a button, and if you don't find an image appealing for comparison with your observations, you can always replace it by searching the internet for another image. Even if you don't have an internet connection at the location where you observe, you can always cache these images on your harddisk and take your laptop to your observing venue!

The execute session option allows you to log information about objects as you observe them. Alternately, you may also write a short log in the session planner itself.

We wish you a lot of fun planning your observations with KStars!

January 29th, 2009: KStars-1.5 released

KStars version 1.5.0 was released along with KDE-4.2 on January 27th, 2009. Click here to learn what's new.

March 12th, 2007: Updated Daylight Savings Time rules

Daylight Savings Time rules have changed for locations in the United States. Starting this year, Daylight Savings Time begins on the second Sunday in March, and reverts on the first Sunday in November. To update these rules in KStars, all you need to do is open the "Get New Stuff" tool (Ctrl+D) and install the "Updated Daylight Savings Time rules" item from the list.

March 13th, 2006: KStars-1.2 released

I've finally put together a tarball release for KStars 1.2, the version corresponding to KDE-3.5. Sorry it's so late; I guess I thought I had already done it.

March 6th, 2006: Comets and Asteroids Updated

I have just updated the ephemerides for comets and asteroids. To get the new data, just open the Get New Stuff tool in KStars (Ctrl+D), and select "ephemerides" from the list. The number of comets has increased from 500 to 1300, including the recently-discovered Comet Pojmanski (2006 A1).

March 2th, 2006: KStars Community Forums

We now have a web forum for the KStars Community: http://kstars.30doradus.org We're hoping to build a community out of our active user base, so come on in and introduce yourself!

June 29th, 2005: Introducing: SVN snapshot releases

Thanks to Carsten Niehaus, KDE-Edu now has a ruby script that makes it very easy to create release tarballs from the SVN tree. I have modified this script a bit, and will be using it to create "SVN snapshot" releases periodically (about once per week). You can find the snapshot releases here.

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