pogzy - 2009-07-30

Hi,

I'd like to thank the author for PP3. I like it, I use it, I think I will print my own Atlas to use at night (black & white) to help me observe. But I will also create my own Desktop Atlas with nice colours many more informations.

In fact, I already have several Atlas, the very good job done by Toshimi Taki (http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~zs3t-tk/index.htm) is very usable and comes in two versions. After using Toshimi Star Atlas and before using PP3, I've started to build my own code, which can draw for now only polar view but it works.

My goal is to provide an online "Compose Your Own Start Atlas". It will work with a web interface that will enable the user to tune his own atlas. At the end of the tuning, the user click on Go, then all data are sent to a php server program that wil create the requested atlas/view in the format asked by the user, then zip it and offer it to download to the user, it is a batch proccess, very similar to PP3. Note that I don't want to control the server side, but put a sourceforge project and put the source openned so that anyone can take them, improve them and offer the service in his own way and server.

For now, I've got a piece of html/php pages that work and output a pdf polar view of UMA (easy to test the result).

I plan to use ExtJs framework because I know it well and it is eye candy and it can produce very nyce GUI for the client side (http://extjs.com/deploy/dev/examples/samples.html) there is a GPL Licence. MoreOver, it is pure javascript and any recent browser handles it properly.

I am using php because I know it well and it is easy for anybody to find a ISP that provides it with no charge (which is not the case of C/CGI or Perl or Ruby or Java). There is pdf lib that directly output pdf but I know GD lib that produce any image format. Php can be used in an OO way properly.

So I see two solutions to match my goal.

- solution 1: I can do it my way and it will work, I can read PP3 code to help (MIT should enable it, I will check).
- solution 2: I can port PP3 to PHP, then built an ExtJS GUI for any browser and make it work with the help of PP3 author (which is my prefered solution). We could by this way improve PP3 in some ways, more imput catalogs, more drawing options, offer direct pdf and image support without any other tool. But the new project will have is own life, name & sourceforge page even if it will always refer to PP3.

So my question is :
- Are you interested to participate with me, and any other volonteers that may joint the project for the solution 2? So what is your vision? (offer 2 tools, yours witch is PP3 for desktop use, and another one for inline use but build from PP3 sources).

For information, I already asked to Toshimi Taki a long time ago, before I wrote any code, but did not get any response. It is sad, because he should have done most of the hard job, his Atlas is rich but no settings are possible.

Regards
Fabien