Notes about the user guide

  • András Mohari

    András Mohari - 2006-04-06

    I've left a patch for the user guide at

    I also have some notes and questions about the guide. (I'm writing them here because I sent a mail to Matthew some days ago, but I haven't received any response. I don't know what's going on, that's the second mail that seems to have gone to /dev/null.)

    1) For `2.4 Running Stellarium':

    "Windows: The Stellarium installer should have put an item in the
    start menu and/or on your desktop. [Note: Is this true?!]"

    Yes and no. The installer does not create a desktop icon (it didn't for me anyway) -- it only creates a sub-menu in the Start menu; the menu path is Start menu / Programs / Stellarium.

    2) For `5.3 The Main Configuration File':

    "Windows: The configuration file, config.ini, is in the config
    sub-directory of the main Stellarium directory (which one?)."

    The path is [install dir]\config\config.ini, so the default path is C:\Program Files\Stellarium\config\config.ini.

    3) For A. Configuration File': init_view_pos: If the x-coordinate is positive for South and y is positive for East, then is0,1,0' really `South at the horizon'? Or do I get something wrong?

    4) For `A. Configuration File': flag_milky_intensity (float): Is there such an ID? I could only find milky_way_intensity.

    5) For B. Scripting Commands': The guide mentions enable_move_mouse, horizon and menu at theflag' command (in the Notes column), but they are not listed as argument names. Shouldn't they be included there?

    6) What about the set milky_way_intensity' andtimerate action pause|resume|increment|decrement' commands? They are not mentioned in the guide.


    • barrykgerdes

      barrykgerdes - 2006-04-08

      Hi Matthew
      I thought you must have been away. I managed to get linux to work and compile one of the latest cvs versions. I note that there are some new commands and renaming of files etc so a full review of the guide will probably be necessary.


    • barrykgerdes

      barrykgerdes - 2006-04-06

      Hi Andras

      I suppose I am responsible for some of the Windows anomolies.

      1.) Regarding the desktop icon. My installation placed a link on the desktop but I had to change the icon. It did not place anything in my start menu, only on the desktop.

      2.) Regarding the main configuration file location. I should have put the full path but as I did not use the default on my installation I neglected to say this.

      3.) Regarding the init_view_position. I don't quite get what you mean. The figures in the config.ini table where what I found with my installation by trial and error. There could be differences with other installations. The three coods are x,y,z (x, north/south y, east/west and z the elevation of the pole relative to the horizon).

      4.) The flag_milky_intensity (float). I think this might be a typo. It should be as you say milky_way_intensity.

      5.) I don't know this one.

      6.) I don't quite follow this either.

      I have a copy of the guide in Word format that I use for my ammendments. I will adjust my master copy for future reference. I also have not been able to contact Matthew for a couple of weeks. he may be away.


      • András Mohari

        András Mohari - 2006-04-07

        Hello Barry,

        1) OK, I'll check that again.

        2) OK, I saw that `which one?' question and could not resist answering it. :-)

        3) I've just set init_view_pos to 0,1,0 (as the example in the guide) and Stellarium started up looking at East at the horizon, then changed it to 1,0,0 and it started at South. So the `Thus to look South at the horizon use 0,1,0.' must be a typo, and the coordinates should be 1,0,0. I don't think that the values are system-dependent, but a developer would have the final say...

        Thanks for answering,

    • András Mohari

      András Mohari - 2006-04-07

      By the way, Barry, it's nice to have you around here as I'm working on translating your landscape HOWTO. :)

      1) The first and most important question is: what is that mask scale in the toolbar' (also mentioned asmask tool') in the GIMP? I can't figure out what it is; I had a look at all the buttons (using version 2.2.10 under Linux), but to no avail. I can't go on translating without getting this right first. :(

      2) Just to see if I get this one right or wrong: when you write `...I found 14 evenly spaced pictures...' then you mean that you turned the camera about 360/14 degrees for each picture?

      Thanks in advance,

    • barrykgerdes

      barrykgerdes - 2006-04-08

      Hi Andras

      1.) When I made my panorama it was a tiff picture 4606 x 461 pixels with an alpha layer (not by design just how it worked out). Stellarium reqires square pictures 256, 512 1024 etc per side. If they are not this size it converts them as I believe.

      I did a small stretch to make it 4610 x 461 which allowed exactly 10 squares 461 x 461. Cutting the picture into precise squares is not the easiest job but it can be done easiest with The Gimp. When the pic is losded into The Gimp the picture window has a ruler line marked in pixels and you need to cut each section out and place it in a new picture (sized to suit your square sections)using the mask tool (the first in the tool window). You start the mask from the top left which is easily set and drag the mask towards the bottom right. As you drag the mask the exact size (in pixels) is shown at the bottom of the picture. When the size reads your design size you stop the mask and cut the section out then paste it in the new picture. The rest of the picture is sectionalised in the same manner till you have all your new pictures.

      If you have already made you alpha layer the picture sections will insert themselves into the middle of the new picture. If this happens the new picture will need to be selected again with the mask tool and moved to the bottom of the square. Explaining all this getts a bit complicated but have a little bit of a play round and you will find it is quite easy when you get the hang of it.

      2.) I used a digital camera to take the pictures and I climed on the roof of the house. A tripod mounted on the ridge cap would have been easier but I had a TV mast there. The camera has an uneven back and when I pressed it against the mast it took up a set position. This allowed me to press the camera against the mast and walk around the mast, sliding the camera as I went.

      Using this method I actually took 44 pictures as I slid the camera in small increments around the mast. 14 would have given me sufficient overlap. The rotation I used was around 10-12 degrees per pic.

      When I loaded the pictures into the computer I picked out the most suitable 14 and let the panorama program make the panorama. This worked OK but the mast guys being in the near foreground made double images as did another mast. To rectify this I put each of the pictures into Windows paint (the latest version) and by cut and paste using sections of all the pictures I was able to remove all the guys and put the offending mast in only one picture frame. This attention to detail made the panorama much better.

      I removed the sky using the alpha layer technique in Adobe Photo Shop. This was done on the full panorama. It could just as easily be done on the final cut picture sections using The Gimp. Use this information with the description in the manual. I hope it clears up you doubts. If not contact me again.


    • András Mohari

      András Mohari - 2006-04-08

      1) ...the mask tool (the first in the tool window).' Oh, I get it now, the Rect Select tool. I was bewildered by the wordmask', I just couldn't get my mind off it.

      2) Fine, so spacing refers to the rotation, that's what I wanted to know for sure.

      Thanks for your detailed answers, they cleared up a few things, so it should be easier to translate the relevant steps in the guide. (And yes, I might need to ask some more questions, we will see. :))


    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Hi guys, I'm on vacation at the moment, be back in a week or two and will apply patches to the guide and do a new release if necessary then.




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