Updates from May, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Akarsh Simha 1:42 am on May 31, 2008 Permalink
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    Two more bugfixes to KStars 

    Fixing bad memory management in the Conjunctions Tool – All my fault! 😀

    Instance management in KSMoon

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    • arunchaganty 7:58 pm on May 31, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Regd. the 2nd bug fix, doesn’t KDE have a mechanism for taking care of object references? Glib has g_object_ref and g_object_unref, for the same purpose. Also, without looking at the source, the ks_moon is a static *class* variable, does this mean KSMoon is a singleton class? (just out of curiousity), or possibly just the star data is…

    • Akarsh Simha 6:14 am on June 4, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t think the KDE API has such a mechanism. Actually, it wouldn’t be as important here, because we are using C++ and not C.
      KSMoon is not a singleton class, but has a few static members in it, that describe coeffecients of various terms in a sinusoidal series used to compute the moon’s position (I don’t know the details).
      Interestingly, this concept struck me because of my minor experience with GLib. g_object_ref and g_object_unref was what gave me the idea of adding a reference count.

    • Gopala Krishna 10:58 am on June 7, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Though KDE doesn’t have the reference counting mechanism directly, its inherited from qt4.
      One of the mechanism is using QSharedData and QSharedDataPointer classes, although the classes primarily are for implicit sharing.

      Secondly, qt4.4 has uncovered its atomic api a bit, which helps in safe reference counting across threads. Here is a link
      http://doc.trolltech.com/4.4/qatomicint.html

    • Akarsh Simha 8:52 pm on June 8, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ahh… while I think that QSharedDataPointer etc might help here, I think they are too much of an overkill for something as simple as we required here, as you said. Thanks for the information.

  • Akarsh Simha 10:06 pm on May 30, 2008 Permalink
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    Astronomers actually use KStars to control their observatories! 

    Well, I didn’t expect that people would be using KStars to control observatories! I knew it was capable of that [Implements INDI protocol for control of instruments], but I didn’t know it would actually be used for that!

    At the Vainu Bappu Observatory in Kavalur, they use Windows to control the 1m telescope observatory dome, CCD and capture images. [Ugh!]. The telescope control software for the 40″ is written in Delphi by someone in IIA, and cannot seek directly to an object. One has to look up the co-ordinates of the object in huge catalog books listing RA and Dec of various DSOs, Planet Ephemerides etc or go down to the computer lab and use SIMBAD to read the coordinates, and then slew the telescope manually to that RA / Dec. The software is only capable of reporting the current RA / Dec of the telescope, and slewing the dome appropriately to follow the telescope, if I remember right! I doubt it the telescope / CCD support INDI. I wish we could provide them with and request them to move to better FOSS solutions.

     
  • Akarsh Simha 4:39 am on May 30, 2008 Permalink
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    The find dialog works to my satisfaction, at last! 

    I used to find the Find Dialog in KStars rather inconvenient. I’d just hit Ctrl+F to fire it, type away “M 97”, hit enter, and it would land me at Andromeda Galaxy instead of Owl Nebula – Because that was the default selected entry in the List View and it would update the list view with the new search filter only after some delay (half a second, I think).

    This commit fixes that by keeping track of whether the list has been filtered after the most recent text entry, and ensures that the list is filtered first thing after entering slotOk().

    So you can simply hit Ctrl+F, type away the full name (or even a part of the name – Kentaurus landed me at Alpha Centauri 🙂 ) and hit enter, and it’ll slew you to the right object instead of Andromeda Galaxy. I’ve tried to ensure that it is as bug-free as possible.

    If you’re running on trunk and have kdeedu compiled, please do test it.

    I’ve made 5 commits in 24 hours. This certainly means I need to get a life (and some sleep)!

     
    • Prasanna 5:01 pm on May 31, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One suggestion. Wouldn’t it be nice of you could type ‘m97’ and still find it. Right now, you _have_ to type the whitespace.

    • Akarsh Simha 6:11 am on June 4, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Correct. I’ve had trouble with that too.
      It looks a little difficult to change with the current codebase. I’ll think it over and see how I can change this. Atleast, I could provide one solution quickly – if you type “m97” and _no other object matches_ “m97”, then we could interpret that as “m 97” and slew you there.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Akarsh Simha 7:49 am on June 4, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fixed: http://lists.kde.org/?l=kstars-devel&m=121254565830750&w=2

      I managed to provide the general solution itself. Now, as long as you type out M93 and “quickly” hit enter, it will slew to M 93. But if you wait for more than a second, or select one of the other items from the list, it will go to them.

  • Akarsh Simha 1:30 am on May 30, 2008 Permalink
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    Summer Cleaning for the KDE 4.1 Release 

    Today, I decided that I’ll stray away a bit from my GSoC work and do some summer cleaning (as against spring cleaning) for the KDE 4.1 release. Fixed a few minor bugs, and regressed one patch.

    I made three commits:
    1. Removing Earth from the Conjunctions tool UI
    2. Regression on an earlier bugfix, because it was applied twice
    3. Some more fixes for the Angular Distance tool

     
  • Akarsh Simha 10:58 am on May 29, 2008 Permalink
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    Fixing minor bug with the Find Dialog in KStars 

    With the find dialog, you couldn’t select genetive names of stars and click ok to find them earlier. The problem was that foo::findByName() would never look at the genetive names of stars. Overriding ListComponent::findByName() by StarComponent::findByName() and implementing a check against the genetive name solved the problem. Commit message here

     
  • Akarsh Simha 8:52 pm on May 27, 2008 Permalink
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    My first independent commit! 

    I made my first independent KDE SVN commit [i.e. without having to request Jason to commit the patch] today. This is SVN commit #813015

    The commit consists of some random documentation fixes and the two bugfixes I blogged about earlier.

     
  • Akarsh Simha 1:59 am on May 26, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: DBus,   

    MCabber DBus Glue / Filter patch 

    I decided to send out my unclean DBus / filter code for MCabber to the author as it is, because I knew I’d postpone cleaning it up ad infinitum, that too with the GSoC thread running with a rather low niceness value. So I’m putting the link up here as well. Do let me know if you make any improvements to this, so that I can use the new code as well ;-).

    You should find the tarball containing all changes [except that to the Makefile] to mcabber-0.9.5 here.

    Put the dbusglue.* and filter.* files into the src/ directory and edit the Makefile to include these. Apply the patch mcabber-patch [You may have to do it manually, because I didn’t take much care to do the diff correctly. In fact, I don’t know how to diff folder contents correctly, and any help towards this will be appreciated] and compile.

    You can find an ugly mcabber-remote written using DBus for this patched version of mcabber 0.9.5 here. I use a small script to set my current playing track (retrieved from polling mocp -i at appropriate intervals. Google: there’s a script by someone to do this for pidgin or some other client) as my Google Talk status periodically using the same mcabber-remote.

     
  • Akarsh Simha 2:05 am on May 25, 2008 Permalink
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    Playing around with the Camera. 

    For some reason, I was not in a mood to sit at my computer tonight. I was lazing around when I noticed that the skies were clear and the moon, close to Jupiter, made a nice sight. I rushed to the terrace with my camera, but without my tripod. I was too lazy to get my tripod, so I did other interesting things than take boring constellation photographs from city skies. Here’s the outcome of one of them:

    The writing is with the moon and the decorations are with a tubelight! 😀

     
  • Akarsh Simha 5:10 pm on May 24, 2008 Permalink
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    Got my KDE SVN account 

    Tom Albers created my KDE SVN account today. I still need to figure out how to use it to commit to the SVN. Many thanks to Pradeepto, Jason and Tom Albers for supporting me.

     
  • Akarsh Simha 3:27 am on May 24, 2008 Permalink
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    Our feature made it to the commit digest! 

    Issue #108 of the KDE commit digest features the Conjunctions tool for KStars.
    Of course, the conjunctions tool is still far from what Jason or I want to see in it, and I hope to work in it inbetween my GSoC sometime, somehow!

    Actually, much of that interface was ‘stolen’ from the already existing modcalcplanets [The Planets module in the KStars calculator] and modified to run the KSConjunct::findClosestApproach [If I got the name right] method instead of findPosition, and with a list put there. It was done in-between my exam preparation, so I hadn’t done a lot of things. Jason, who reviewed the patch and fixed a few bugs and added some missing features probably did more work than I did.

    BTW, I didn’t know there existed something called the commit digest till today, when Jason and Pradeepto pinged me about this!

     
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