Thursday, July 06, 2023

tested 23.2

With the release of the newest version of Stellarium, 23.2, I was keen to see the impact.

Major changes can affect me, my training team, and peers in a few ways.

The RASC training courses offered might be impacted. A significant revision may require we rework elements in a session. A little issue, with 23.1, was the "enhanced" ecliptic line with the "solar dates" added and active by default. Easily resolved but it threw us for a bit and now is a brief teaching point in the level 1 course. Are there surprises lurking in 23.2?

Was the observing lists / bookmarks feature repaired? Chris Vaughan and myself wish to use our previously created observing lists in the current version. We went to great pains to make these lists for the RASC observing certificate programs, not just for ourselves but for all RASCals pursuing the programs. We and others also used the lists feature to share targets noted in "what's up" presentations.

I read the release notes, marking a few items for investigation. Downloaded to John Valuk. 

Over a couple of days I went through a mock teach of the introductory to conclude that there were no gotchas. Let my training team know. Al and Kersti expressed their relief. Me too. While tempted, I put the review notes aside to check for level 2, which Ian and I will likely be teaching soon.

What about the lists?! 

Very curious about this part!

Particularly as the release notes referred to one matter:

Fixed Observing Lists feature: avoid duplicate stored list when creating a new list (GH: #3163)

This was the issue that I reported back in April where on creating a second new custom list, content would be merged or combined between the first and second lists. 

With some urgency, I completed the extensive testing of the observing lists / bookmarks feature of Stellarium.

Happily, the duplicates matter was resolved.

But then I had a go at importing. And a major issue remain.

Simple put, you cannot import!

Yep, I tried every which way.

My wishful-thinking first test was to bring in an old list into the current tool. No go. I had observed this response before and, frankly, was not surprised. I think Chris and I just need to face the cold hard facts that the developers changed the filespec for the list JSON storage container (at their perogative). We're using the old format; we need to migrate to the new. And at first blush, this might represent a wholesale, bottom-up, re-do. Ugh. I have some ideas and I hope we can hack something but I don't know yet...

JSON file old schema

Then I conducted another trial, for something mundane, reasonable, that many users may want to do: move or copy an observing list from computer to another. Today, I make a list, and you say, "Oh, can I have it?" Sure. I should be able to export it and you should be able to import the provided file. Simulated this by making a new list on Valuk, pushing the file up to the WLAN share, pulling the file onto John Grim's desktop (upgraded to 23.2). Guess what? That does not work!


The export-import does not work at all.

Current version or old.


Chris and I are roadblocked still.

Stellarium 23.2 does not allow the sharing of observing lists...


Pinged CV. Hoping he can corroborate my findings.



Observing lists can, in fact, be imported. There are issues and a special workaround.

I've documented the procedure for those wanting to load in external JSON list files.

Learned of a change in the Oculars feature when showing a sensor, say a CCD for a camera. There are little buttons, with degree indicators, in the Oculars display panel that quickly allow rotation of the frame. Neat!


Tried the scaling option on the DSO markers: Use Proportional Hints. I don't use this feature but I see Chris does during his Insider's Guide to the Galaxy sessions. Clunky in the past; better now. Good use of vector scaling. Chris concurred.

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