Celestia.Sci is an interesting project.
However that does not change the fact that the Celestia forum is an invaluable resource that needs to be preserved (not only for the users/developers of Celestia but also apparently for the users/developers of Celestia.Sci).
I am more interested in the Solar System and space mission visualization so I would probably move to Cosmographia ( http://code.google.com/p/cosmographia/
) but it is still in early development.
My main concern at the moment would be making sure Celestia is not forgotten. For this we may just need to make a release with the QT4 GUI (current version seems stable enough). Most Linux distribution still ship 1.6.1 and without Spice support. I was thinking of using the OpenSuse Build Service if I find the time to make packages for many distributions. I would also include latest patches proposed on the mailing list, including 2 I proposed:
- support for theora video recording in QT4 GUI
- support for more DE4XX ehemerides, support for INPOP ephemerides (this one didn't make it into the SVN)
Ideally I would also like to move it to QT5 (longer support, native Wayland support), but I won't find the time.
By the way, where are the sources of Celestia.Sci? Shouldn't you make it easier to find them if you want to attract more developers?
Do you intend to keep all features of Celestia in Celestia.Sci or do you plan on getting rid of functionalities such as spacecraft trajectory visualization (not related to "deep space/cosmology")? Similarly is it only targeted to astrophysics students/researchers or also to the general public?