Users of iObserve, you all have certainly tried the main Coordinates converter, located in the « Converters » section. And you also know that it loads all imported stars from the database, filling up the memory.
Surprisingly, I never knew what to really do for making this pane useful. Just recently, a friend of mine (and a very efficient bug reporter…) enlightened me! I will stop loading objects from the DB and allow to import coordinates from a file. Obvious, isn’t it? I’ll also add the obvious counterpart which is the export of the converted coordinates.
The most geeky of us have certainly wondered about a command-line helper / utility, that would ship with the main app. It would be great, indeed. As for now, I don’t know if it is possible inside the MacAppStore. But it is on my « do if possible » list.
iObserve 1.4.2 has just been pushed for review. This update fixes two small issues with manual coordinates for new objects, as well as the webservice URL for individual exoplanets. This should prevent the planet mass and other important parameters to disappear upon update. Oh, and the buttons (and other small visual tweaks) in Mavericks have been restored in their previous shine… Interesting to realise that many users are still on Mavericks! I guess you all wait to be sure that iraf, MIDAS, ds9 work as usual on Yosemite…
A workaround for the people trying to enter manual objects in iObserve 1.4.0 and 1.4.1: until the fix is available, enter the name of your object in the first tab, and then the coordinates in the third. You object will be imported.
While developing this new website, I was wondering from where my visitors were coming. The squarespace site make it easy to grab this information. And clearly, people find it directly.
This corresponds basically to what I think since the beginning: iObserve gets its reputation (and downloads) mostly through word-of-mouth. That’s great because I have not enough time and energy to spend for promotion. I did it once however in the famous ‘astrobetter.com‘ website: here, with a follow-up here.
By reading again the comments, I am horrified by the amount of things I promised I’ll develop inside iObserve. These are usually still in the to-do list, but overwhelmed by the new stuff. Achieving a complete release of a software is an exercise of trying to put a storm of complexity into a fairly solid box, and say: look, you can now surf on it! That’s particularly true for an app such as iObserve which has more than 80k lines of code (and many custom connectors to crazy webservices, yes, I’m looking at you JPL horizons…).
It has been reported to me that there is an annoying bug for Mavericks users with the latest iObserve version 1.4.0. The « New Object » sheet doesn’t appear at all. Sorry for that! I am currently fixing it and will push it ASAP to the App Store for review. In the meantime, you can use the ‘Import from list’ feature, in the ‘File’ menu (I know, this isn’t as good… Pro tip: Did you know that by alt-clicking on « New Object » you were actually opening the ‘Import from list’ sheet?…