"Normal computers"? Come on, it's been ten years.
Have "normal" computers REALLY stayed the exact same the ENTIRE ten years, with a "normal" computer having the EXACT SAME configurations and crap performances from ten years ago?
Of course, computers and graphics cards have become more powerful during the past 10 years... in principle. As to reality, John has already given some arguments above.
10 years ago, many people still used desktops, while today most use laptops. I still have a desktop with a Pentium 4, 3.2 GHz
and lots of (fast) RAM (4GB) that is almost 10 years old. It can easily compete with today's popular (lower) middle class laptops with CPU <= core2Duo, i3-i5 (without Turbo features, say). Laptops are often quite weak as to graphics performance for good reasons (limited cooling abilities and power saving aspects). Many even have integrated on-board graphics chips. Notably so-called business computers often use such weak graphics hardware. All these aspects add up to form an average
Since Celestia was never meant to be only for hardware freaks, and many users are still young without too much money at hand...I can safely confirm that an extended LT approach would be far too much, even today.
There is another, probably most important argument:
Already the presently implemented LT approach is only used by few
. Many apparently don't even know about its existence. Since it costs NO performance => so what!
But the extended LT approach (requiring also a special relativity framework
for consistency), does cost lots of performance and will choke even todays average
computers. Yet such an extended multi-body LT feature would address even fewer Celestians with special
interests in precision timings of a special
class of celestial events that are outside the validity of the present LT feature!
On the other hand, there are many advanced (graphics) features ahead that will make Celestia or more realistically celestia.Sci
increasingly attractive to MANY. These also require performance reserves, such that a selection of features to be implemented
is unavoidable. I clearly vote for the latter features, of which MANY will benefit.
According to my informations at least, there is little hope that ANY exciting new features will ever be integrated into a future Celestia distribution. Last time that ChrisL showed up with a 2-line mail in the developers list was in May of this year. The last Celestia-related post in this forum by him was in Dec. 2011! All other devs apart from myself are gone and I am busy with celestia.Sci...
As you can see from the ongoing discussions over at CelestialMatters, I am continuously working very hard towards making the ongoing celestia.Sci development public