So, has Windows development of Celestia stopped?

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Evil Dr Ganymede
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So, has Windows development of Celestia stopped?

Post #1by Evil Dr Ganymede » 14.06.2005, 22:15

So, has Windows development of Celestia stopped completely? Fridger seemed to imply that it had.

If so, this would IMO be a big mistake. Windows is by far the most popular platform out there (whether anyone likes it or not), and most windows users do not have the time or inclination to learn how to compile code and wade through CVS in order to get something that compares to the latest versions of the program on other platforms (cue Fridger ranting about how stupid people who can't do this are :roll:). The vast majority of the time, us supposedly "dumb" Windows users expect a usable product as an executable. Doesn't matter if it's the final thing or a beta or a prerelease, but either way, if it's not an executable then you're cutting out most of the people who could be using the program. Like it or not, that's just the Windows way, and sneering at those people because they don't know their computers inside out and aren't "linux geeks" who are used to compiling everything accomplishes nothing.

If you want Celestia to revert back to something that only a handful of "computer geeks and techies" (and I don't mean that insultingly) can use rather than something that is open for the masses who are neither of those to use and enjoy then you're going about it the right way.

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Post #2by t00fri » 14.06.2005, 22:45

You should have read my posts in the thread --that is now locked-- more carefully.

++++++++++++++++
I wrote that Chris is back and involved in the galaxy project since 1-2 weeks and I am hoping for his new shader code any time NOW.
++++++++++++++++

About an hour ago, he just wrote this (in the developer list)

Chris wrote:I've been busy with galaxy stuff, ...


While the MAC-OS guys got really well organized recently, and Linux is also doing fine, Chris is the only developer doing the Windows /specific/ implementations besides OS-independent coding, of course. So let's hope there will be some catching up from his side in the near future for the Windows GUI.

Anyhow, most of the new galaxy code is OS-independent!

It was just usually Chris who released binary Windows PRE-versions for people unable to build their own.

If we would apply your previous "arguments of Windows predominance"

Windows >> MAC-OS>> LINUX

all of the people who spent their spare time to implement Celestia for MAC_OS and LINUX must have vasted their time entirely... nice to learn ... ;-)

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Re: So, has Windows development of Celestia stopped?

Post #3by hank » 14.06.2005, 23:23

Evil Dr Ganymede wrote:So, has Windows development of Celestia stopped completely? Fridger seemed to imply that it had.

If so, this would IMO be a big mistake. Windows is by far the most popular platform out there (whether anyone likes it or not), and most windows users do not have the time or inclination to learn how to compile code and wade through CVS in order to get something that compares to the latest versions of the program on other platforms (cue Fridger ranting about how stupid people who can't do this are :roll:). The vast majority of the time, us supposedly "dumb" Windows users expect a usable product as an executable. Doesn't matter if it's the final thing or a beta or a prerelease, but either way, if it's not an executable then you're cutting out most of the people who could be using the program. Like it or not, that's just the Windows way, and sneering at those people because they don't know their computers inside out and aren't "linux geeks" who are used to compiling everything accomplishes nothing.

If you want Celestia to revert back to something that only a handful of "computer geeks and techies" (and I don't mean that insultingly) can use rather than something that is open for the masses who are neither of those to use and enjoy then you're going about it the right way.


The new Celestia code isn't ready yet for a general, non-development release intended for the masses. Rest assured that when it is, a Windows version will be available. The recent prerelease versions now available for Linux and Mac users are strictly experimental, development builds.

Celestia development is a volunteer effort. It's also open source. Anyone at any time can build a version from the latest development CVS source and experimental patches. On the Linux side, many users are comfortable doing this for themselves. On the Mac side, there have been a couple of volunteers who have built such unofficial prerelease versions and made them available for download. There's no reason why a volunteer from the Windows community couldn't do the same.

In the past Chris has occasionally taken the time to build prerelease versions for Windows users and make them available for download. But Chris's time for Celestia is very limited these days. I would much prefer to see Chris devote the time he has to implementing Celestia enhancements that will benefit all users, rather than wasting his time and talent building prereleases for Windows users.

Surely there is at least one person in the Windows community who would have the time and inclination to learn how to compile code and wade through CVS in order to get something that compares to the latest versions of the program on other platforms. But if not, it isn't the fault of the developers who work on Linux or Mac or the volunteers who've made builds for those platforms available.

- Hank

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Post #4by Evil Dr Ganymede » 15.06.2005, 00:01

Chris is the only Windows developer on the team? 8O

Fridger made it sound like Windows development was a year behind that of the Linux/Mac platforms. If the source is OS independent, then it shouldn't be any trouble for anyone on the development team to compile an official prerelease for Windows while they're updating the code for the other versions and to keep it in sync with the Linux/Mac versions, should it? I really find it hard to believe that nobody on the team has access to a windows computer and compiler.

I would certainly not consider it a "waste of time and talent building prereleases for Windows users". Either you want this program to be used and accessible by a lot of people (who use the OS that is a lot more popular than Linux or Mac OS is) , or you want it to be stuck in the much smaller realm of those people who know how to program.

One could be forgiven for thinking that you don't want the program to be popular or usable by the widest range of people, in which case you may as well stop pretending you care about Windows users at all and just say it's for Linux and Mac users. But I don't think that is really the case, is it? That would be shooting yourself in the foot somewhat, if it was true - particularly given the publicity that Celestia has had when it was reviewed in the popular astronomy magazines a while back.

All of the prereleases have been experimental builds. What I don't understand is why these more advanced prereleases that apparently have been worked on for the past year are available for Linux and Mac sides but not for Windows. Surely someone can bring the Windows version up to speed?! Unless I'm misunderstanding something fundamental about how the development process works?

By not making updated Windows prerelease versions - even if they are unofficial - available, you're also restricting the number of people who could actually be testing out how the code works in practise by limiting it to a smaller number of people. The windows community could provide a huge and very useful testing base to draw from.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it seems unfair that the Windows side is being left to languish while the rest gets developed. I really find it hard to believe that nobody else on the team can make a Windows executable available from the latest code. I certainly can't do it, I don't know the first thing about compiling code and I do not have the time or inclination to learn. This may be a newsflash to people like Fridger, but most Windows users do not have the time or inclination to learn either - we have a very different culture to that of Linux or Mac users, we expect executables. It's usually only people who actually do know windows programming who can do this in Windows.

Either way, surely someone who does know Windows and programming in windows can do this?

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Post #5by t00fri » 15.06.2005, 00:15

One obvious reason is that right now the source code is changing rapidly (again!). "Autonomous" users can quickly and easily rebuild the new code for themselves, while it is quite a "service" to produce new PRE-Windows builds, each time.

At present Chris is indeed the only Windows-specific developer. As a reminder: most of the Celestia code is OS-independent. It's only the GUI stuff that depends on the OS.

Incidentally, Chris wrote to me a few days ago that he just bought a new MAC (!) and that therefore the Celestia Mac version will receive a lot more attention from him in the future! That will surely make our active MAC community happy, I guess.


Just to pour a little oil into your

Windows>>MAC-OS>>LINUX "flames" ;-)
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Post #6by hank » 15.06.2005, 01:20

EDG,

I realize you're frustrated that, as a Windows user, you don't have access to the latest experimental versions of Celestia which are available to Mac and Linux users. Hopefully someone will volunteer to build a new prerelease for you and other Windows users. If not, you'll just have to be patient. Eventually there will be a new official release of Celestia, and of course a Windows version will be included. So your fears about Celestia's audience being limited are unfounded.

As Fridger points out, the Celestia development code is a moving target. That is a good thing, because it means progress is being made. But it also means that binary prereleases quickly become outdated. It is simply not an effective use of Chris's time for him to produce frequent Windows prereleases. It is much more useful for him to devote his time to implementing new cross-platform code and to reviewing and integrating contributed patches from other developers. In the long run this will benefit all platforms.

Keep in mind that the latest experimental versions include code that isn't even in CVS yet. You just can't expect binary prereleases to keep up. But again, that is a good thing, because it means Celestia development is making rapid progress.

- Hank

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Post #7by ElChristou » 15.06.2005, 01:23

Evil Dr Ganymede wrote:...but most Windows users do not have the time or inclination to learn either - we have a very different culture to that of Linux or Mac users, we expect executables...


This part make me laugh...sorry... Do you know that it's never late to change bad habits?

Everybody has to eat, so everybody has to earn money, so everybody has to work... Everybody has a private life, everybody has a familly... and what?

Personnally I don't have time FOR NOW but I'm quite decided to learn how to compile... (and you can believe me that code is not my cup of tea). Steven (Blindedbythelight) without being a coder has recently make this effort... To help, I have sent to him today a new html page to give him a better "frame" for his futur releases... Everybody do what he can...

Now as you have said, the Windows community is much bigger... so if there is one Steven working on osX, there should be 95 similar person on your platform... Where they are? Unfortunatly this is your problem, you cannot ask people working on a different platform to do the job for you...

Now you are present in the forum for more than 2 years... more than 1300 posts... and you have never been able to learn how to compile? Perhaps you are definitively alergic to code (I can believe this), so in all this time you've never been able to make some good contacts and to improve the windows community? Sorry to say so, but this sounds dramatic to me...

Bye
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Post #8by Evil Dr Ganymede » 15.06.2005, 01:39

This part make me laugh...sorry... Do you know that it's never late to change bad habits?

"Bad habit"? It's not a "bad habit" at all. Can you not comprehend that you actually have to be interested in compiling programs to want to learn how to do it (not to mention have the ability to do so)? Some people who use Windows are. Most are not. It's not like Linux where you have to compile practically every damn thing you use before you can use it, and have to know all about how the OS works under the hood. Most people who use Windows just use it, they don't (or can't) tinker around with it and they certainly aren't required to compile anything unless they themselves are programmers. It's an entirely different culture.

If you want to call us "dumb" or "stupid" or "having bad habits" for that then that really isn't going to do anything except reinforce the impression that Linux and Mac users are self-important geeks who like nothing better than to sneer at Windows users just because they don't know their OS as intimately as you do. So what if we don't? We don't NEED to - most of us just use what we're given. Again, different culture.


Now you are present in the forum for more than 2 years... more than 1300 posts... and you have never been able to learn how to compile? Perhaps you are definitively alergic to code (I can believe this), so in all this time you've never been able to make some good contacts and to improve the windows community? Sorry to say so, but this sound dramatic to me...


Why should I though? The extent of my development contributions for Celestia (such as they are) only go as far as tinkering around with sscs and testing out the new releases (I spent a bit of time testing out the new multiple light sources when they were first released). Not much sure, but you take what you get. I'm simply not interested in learning programming (or a new programming language for that matter) or learning how to compile code. It's as simple as that. And given that development is supposedly 'voluntary' I see absolutely no reason why I should be obliged to do so either.

Why haven't the Celestia development team made contacts in the windows programming community to find someone there who can join the team and who is interested in spending the time and effort to do all the windows programming? Hmm? You've got a noticeable gap in your team there. Are you really telling me it's impossible to find anyone in the open source windows programming community who can volunteer to fill that gap? Have you even made any effort to look?

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Post #9by Evil Dr Ganymede » 15.06.2005, 01:42

hank wrote:It is simply not an effective use of Chris's time for him to produce frequent Windows prereleases.


How long does it take to compile the code and make it available? If it's OS independent it can't take that long, surely?

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Post #10by hank » 15.06.2005, 01:58

In fairness, most Windows users can't be expected to build open source projects themselves because unlike Linux and MacOS X their OS doesn't include developer tools.

On MacOS X, as Steven has recently demonstrated, any user who can follow simple instructions can build a version of Celestia from the latest CVS source code. Once things are set up, building a current development version of Celestia is practically a one-click operation. So it's very easy for Mac users (non-coders) to keep up with the cutting edge of Celestia development.

If Chris does decide to move Celestia development to his new Mac, I expect that his productivity will increase significantly, which will benefit all platforms. But I suspect it will also make the need to find other Windows developers for Celestia rather urgent!

- Hank

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Post #11by rthorvald » 15.06.2005, 02:05

Evil Dr Ganymede wrote:"Bad habit"? It's not a "bad habit" at all. Can you not comprehend that you actually have to be interested in compiling programs to want to learn how to do it [...] So what if we don't? We don't NEED to - most of us just use what we're given. Again, different culture.
Sorry to say so, but if i had not read your posts for a long time, i would have mistaken that for trolling. You are saying that windows users won??t put in a little effort to get something they want because they are accustomed to a free ride! Talk about bad habits...

I don??t know how to compile code either, but the day i want something bad enough, i will take the time for it. I??m not complaining that someone else won??t do it for me for free!

Evil Dr Ganymede wrote:Hmm? You've got a noticeable gap in your team there. Are you really telling me it's impossible to find anyone in the open source windows programming community who can volunteer to fill that gap? Have you even made any effort to look?


Have you tried to find someone? Why should *they* try if you won??t? After all, you are the one that wants it!

I don??t understand you at all. No offence meant.

-rthorvald

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Post #12by Rassilon » 15.06.2005, 02:41

Not to mention that without a copy of m$ NET or learning a whole new setup yes we windows users must take a free ride on the trolly :P

Also there is a possibility of me adding my abilities to the 'windows open source' list for Celestia Development....mostly why I did the DWU project in the first place....to learn....

Another reason why I still hang out here....Thing is I still have a long way to go to catch up with Chris...

I do have some good news though...my project is days away from first official release....The next step is therefore to improve even more my programming skills....and maybe I could be some help....

All in all the final question is how many COULD contribute to this project? Its not as easy as snapping ones fingers....That much is for sure...
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Post #13by ElChristou » 15.06.2005, 02:43

Evil Dr Ganymede wrote:...Most people who use Windows just use it, they don't (or can't) tinker around with it and they certainly aren't required to compile anything unless they themselves are programmers. It's an entirely different culture...

...they don't know their OS as intimately as you do. So what if we don't? We don't NEED to - most of us just use what we're given. Again, different culture...

Oops, sorry, but I recall you that the expression Plug&Play come from the Apple word... A osX user is supposed to be lazier than a Windows one because Apple make a very big effort to create a VERY comfortable and easy to use os... Only on Linux, users have to be able to compile... If I want to do this on my platform I have first to install the devTools for more than 1.9 Go... Question of desire...


Why haven't the Celestia development team made contacts in the windows programming community to find someone there who can join the team and who is interested in spending the time and effort to do all the windows programming? Hmm? You've got a noticeable gap in your team there. Are you really telling me it's impossible to find anyone in the open source windows programming community who can volunteer to fill that gap? Have you even made any effort to look?

Sooorryyy I haven't do THAT effort for you.... :wink:

Seems that there is a conspiration against Windows users isn't it?
Nope, there is not... for now there is no Celestia development team, only people with desire to do things are moving the dev... YOU can be part of this if YOU want. No need of being a coder; you feel a gap in Windows releases? well try to talk with Windows users to find a solution... as I do with people of my own platform...

Bye

PS:

If you want to call us "dumb" or "stupid" or "having bad habits" for that then that really isn't going to do anything except reinforce the impression that Linux and Mac users are self-important geeks


I cannot recall having treated anyone of "dumb" or "stupid"...
Having bad habits is another story... and everybody has bad habits... no?
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Post #14by t00fri » 15.06.2005, 07:47

Very interesting to READ people's opinions, for a change ;-)

And just for the books...

In order to prevent any inaccurate conclusions henceforth, I made a
screendump from Chris' CVS commit entry, concerning the separate
display and labeling of various deepsky objects (galaxies, nebulae,
clusters,...)

Image

Apparently, that change exists since 4 months. It is OS
/independent/. What is OS-dependent, is the (straightforward)
incorporation of the corresponding, separate display options (render
and label flags) into the appropriate menue of the respective Celestia
GUI code.


While this has been done by the MAC-OS and LINUX developers, Chris
has not found the time yet to do that for Windows. Apart from a single
unrelated small addition 13 days ago, it is > 8 months ago that
Chris has touched the Windows specific GUI code.

E.g. for Linux, the respective GUI entry was 3 months ago. Old "stuff" so to speak...

Correspondingly, any build of binary 1.40pre versions under MAC-OS
and LINUX does naturally offer the said split display and label options
for the deepsky objects in their main Celestia GUI menue.

Bye Fridger

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Post #15by Spaceman Spiff » 15.06.2005, 14:23

Ahem, if I could interject to raise another (but, I think, related) issue... I've decided to take the alternative path from Evil Dr Ganymede, and pursue learning how to 'develop' Celestia for myself: starting with installing Linux, compiling under Linux, learning about OOP and C++, hopefully followed by OpenGL, all this GTK, qt, and KDE stuff, maybe even get hold of Octave and learn how to use it to generate PNGs, etc.

I realised a long time ago that posting: "ooh, ooh, I know a lot about astronomy, let's do this!" doesn't work, so I quietly set about making some (slow) progress. I would really like to become self-sufficient in using/developing Celestia without burdening people with endless questions, maybe even eventually contribute fixes and improvements myself. Meanwhile, I try and be as autonomous as possible.

However, I have this problem: Ah Great! Spaceman Spiff has worse problems!, and after 55 views I see 0 replies. Of course, I understand that there's no obligation on anyone, but I'd have thought there would be an encouragement of people trying to take the developer route, rather that the features: room-service! approach we've seen so much of. I'm not sure it's setting a good example to the Windows folks about dipping one's toes into the FOSS development ocean, if they're only going to see what's happening to me as their likely future...

I got celestia 1.3.2. to install from a package from CVS. There ain't such for 1.4.0*. The cvs command worked first time from console as per forum discussions. I was so pleased! Is my current problem really so obscure that I'll never find out how to get passed this? I'm trying my best.

Any takers?

Spiff.

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Post #16by t00fri » 15.06.2005, 15:10

Spaceman Spiff wrote:Ahem, if I could interject to raise another (but, I think, related) issue... I've decided to take the alternative path from Evil Dr Ganymede, and pursue learning how to 'develop' Celestia for myself: starting with installing Linux, compiling under Linux, learning about OOP and C++, hopefully followed by OpenGL, all this GTK, qt, and KDE stuff, maybe even get hold of Octave and learn how to use it to generate PNGs, etc.

I realised a long time ago that posting: "ooh, ooh, I know a lot about astronomy, let's do this!" doesn't work, so I quietly set about making some (slow) progress. I would really like to become self-sufficient in using/developing Celestia without burdening people with endless questions, maybe even eventually contribute fixes and improvements myself. Meanwhile, I try and be as autonomous as possible.

However, I have this problem: Ah Great! Spaceman Spiff has worse problems!, and after 55 views I see 0 replies. Of course, I understand that there's no obligation on anyone, but I'd have thought there would be an encouragement of people trying to take the developer route, rather that the features: room-service! approach we've seen so much of. I'm not sure it's setting a good example to the Windows folks about dipping one's toes into the FOSS development ocean, if they're only going to see what's happening to me as their likely future...

I got celestia 1.3.2. to install from a package from CVS. There ain't such for 1.4.0*. The cvs command worked first time from console as per forum discussions. I was so pleased! Is my current problem really so obscure that I'll never find out how to get passed this? I'm trying my best.

Any takers?

Spiff.


Spiff,

of course I find your attitude admirable! That's the kind of step --coming from INSIDE our community-- that might well bring the whole thing back on track. So, indeed efforts like yours should receive the highest possible support from other Celestians.

Unfortunately, I suppose, you chose a bad moment for your problems ;-) since quite a few of the people who could help easily are entirely absobed with enthusiastically pushing the ongoing galaxy project ahead! This includes myself and also Chris. In my little spare time at night I have been working practically fulltime on it since almost 4 weeks!


Bye Fridger

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Post #17by Spaceman Spiff » 15.06.2005, 16:57

Hallo Fridger,

ah well, thanks anyway, back to Plan A for me then: more head scratching.

For those curious about the problem I'm faced: my understanding is this...

There are three 'levels' of software installation sophistication.

The first, shallowest level is where you download a 'package', which has all the code already compiled into 'binaries' (executables). A package manager 'installs' these binaries for you. This is most analogous to what a Windows Installer typically does.

The next level is to download the sources, and then 'compile' them from all that C++ text into binaries. You do this by issuing the following three commands at a console:
./configure
make
make install
The first line means 'run the configure script that is in this current source directory'. This script must be suited to the OS you are compiling on. If there is no configure script, then you have to go to...

The third, deepest level. Here, because the source code is meant to run 'cross-platform' (e.g., for Windows, Mac OSX and any Unix/Linux, in the case of Celestia), there is no configure script to run because you have to use GNU Autotools to generate that. This applies to latest Celestia cvs snapshots because it is not yet compiled for specific platforms. Autotools will look at what platform (hardware, OS and desktop) you have on your computer and create a suitable configure script for you to run.

My problem seems to be that the generated configure script has a syntax error in it, but I have no idea what this error should be saying instead.

Incidently, if you compile software at this level, I understand that you can 'cross-compile' the source code for a different computer platform.

Spiff.

P.s., if anyone can tell me what the cure is, best post it under the original cry-for-help post: http://www.celestiaproject.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7444.

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Post #18by Evil Dr Ganymede » 15.06.2005, 17:47

I've decided to take the alternative path from Evil Dr Ganymede, and pursue learning how to 'develop' Celestia for myself: starting with installing Linux, compiling under Linux, learning about OOP and C++, hopefully followed by OpenGL, all this GTK, qt, and KDE stuff, maybe even get hold of Octave and learn how to use it to generate PNGs, etc.


Do you think that other people have time to do this?! Good luck with it, but my experiences with Linux have been "this is the most complex, unfriendly, nightmarish OS I have ever had the misfortune to see". I used it only when I had to, never because I wanted to.

To contribute anything to Celestia on the Windows side, I would have to learn C++, OpenGL (and find a development environment for both) and basically have it consume all my time (assuming that I could actually get my head around those languages in the first place). I am just not prepared to do that, and neither am I able to do it.

Now if people want to take that as me being lazy or expecting a free ride, then that's their problem. But I think it says a lot about them if they just expect people to drop everything and have their lives revolve around Celestia - because that's what it would require, and I have better things to do with my free time.

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Post #19by Cham » 15.06.2005, 18:00

O Evil one, Celestia WILL be updated for windows too, sooner or later. I know how you feel. A year ago, the Mac OS X version was very late, behind the windows version. Now it's the reverse. But it's just a question of time.

Just be patient.
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Post #20by Evil Dr Ganymede » 15.06.2005, 18:43

Cham wrote:O Evil one, Celestia WILL be updated for windows too, sooner or later. I know how you feel. A year ago, the Mac OS X version was very late, behind the windows version. Now it's the reverse. But it's just a question of time.

Just be patient.


Well, I'll have to accept that, frustrating though it is.

What narks me is this ridiculous attitude that some people have that they expect me to just drop everything and go through the hassle of learning a whole new programming language and how Celestia's code is put together, and then when I can't do that they accuse me of being "lazy". And even if I did, I'd have zero support since I'd be the only person who was doing the windows development. Some other people, with more time and inclination can do that, but I can't.


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