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stellarium..donations?


lostinspace
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hi all, just reading a post marked stellarium and beulla mentioned giving a donation to stellarium. Is this how they operate?, by donation?

I use this software almost every night and consider it an invaluable resource (my spelling is attrocias i know, sorry) AND THE VERY BEST available for what i use it for. stiil cant believe its free. If the people who made this are funded through donations then i feel i can give what i can afford, can anyone shed any light on this...? cheers guys,

john

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Must say that I use the software loads too. Have not heard of donating to it though, but a good idea to do that!! Could be some great developments too! But I do see loads of folks trying (and succeeding no doubt!!) to selling it on E-Bay for £4+ !!

should be reported! the very fact the designers felt all their hard work should be available to anyone for free gives me a belief in people that makes me happy. to then hear some lazy gits are proffiting from other peoples generousity really makes me mad. i know were all proffiting from stellarium in some way, but to blatently make money from it is disgusting. is it still out there on sale?

a very angry john :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello,

We do indeed accept donations. I am the VP of the non-profit Stellarium Foundation, which was set up last year to handle donations and such. I really need to get a page up about that on the site, but you know how it is... never any time.

In the past, and for now we still don't really have any regular running costs for the project - we donate our time for the fun of it, and get free hosting from sourceforge and such.

Donations (and money we won from a free software award a few years ago) do have some important though - books for research about astronomy and programming techniques have been purchased with donation money in the past as well as hardware like a hard disk we put through the mail to get a copy of some raw catalogue data.

In the medium and long term we would like to roll out some features which might require hardware and hosting costs and donations will be used for that.

A few years ago we had a developer meeting in Munich. That was very kindly sponsored by ESO, but this is unlikely to be repeated and so we might want to use donation money to help that along if we have another meeting in the future (I hope so!).

Matthew

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Is there a stellarium wishlist anywhere?

What we really want is help! Code is welcome, but you don't have to be a programmer to help us. There are a few things which non-programmers can help with at the moment:

  • Translations - for the multi-lingual among us... a week or two before each release we put new strings into launchpad.net which need to be translated into all the dozens of languages which we support
  • User guide. Incidentally this is how I started with the project. It's a little out of date and could do with updating. I would like to move it to the wiki so we have a wikibooks like user guide. This makes translations a lot easier. There is work to do in the moving to the wiki and also in documenting new features and so on.
  • Sky culture art research. This is a big one for me. My g/f would like to illustrate more sky cultures, but doing the research to find out what figures to illustrate is difficult and time consuming. This work is basically trawling the internet and possibly going down the library and finding out what illustrations would be good for constellations in the various unillustrated sky cultures.
  • Promotion: write a positive (or even not so positive) review on your blog, and link to stellarium.org.
  • For the slightly more technical, if you can make a build environment on your platform (according to instructions in the wiki), and regularly build and test the development code and submit bug reports to the mailing list, that would be very helpful.
  • Testing pre-release (and release) binaries on various hardware configurations. It would be very nice to have a small army of testers with a variety of video cards, processors, operating system versions and so on who will run a test set for new releases and report problems (right now we just sort of release and clean up the mess afterwards). If someone would like to volunteer to coordinate this, it would be amazingly useful. We could make a testing mailing list to help with that.
  • For coders, we have a list of outstanding tasks and features here.

If anyone wants to send me shiny new laptops filled with expensive components I am always open to that. :-D

Matthew

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What I meant was, a wishlist for users where you can suggest things you'd like to see in the software, listing them and explaining them.

For instance, I'd like to see a telrad plugin where you can do the effect of maybe picking up telrad circles with the mouse and plant them on the image, something like with the pins on google earth, so that you can take a constellation and plant as many telrad circles as you want, then print it out, in effect making your own star hopping charts. Would really help planning a session.

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There are a few mechanisms for going this:

  • feature request tracker on sourceforge
  • posting to the forums
  • posting to the wiki

However, since developers spend time on basically what interests them the goal is essentially the same - catch someone's imagination. There have been feature requests which have been in the tracker for years, and will probably never be implemented. Some hints:

  • Write a developer-friendly spec of the feature with diagrams, detailed description of how it should work
  • Draw how the user interface should look
  • Have an interesting idea which is not too hard to implement in the existing framework.
  • Write if yourself, or persuade a developer friend to do it.

Matthew

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I haven't actually purchased my scope yet, but have already spent a fair amount of time trawling the skies in Stellarium - a fantasic tool when the clouds abundant!

The link to donate is tiny - you are undoubtedly missing out on £100's, if not £1000's, each and every year by not making this larger and more obvious! I will donate but many many others will not have known if or where they could donate!

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