My Aquafied astronomy applet

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I've updated my Sky View Café astronomy web site with a beta of the latest 4.0 version. Using 4.0, Mac OS X users (with the exception mentioned below) will be able to see the applet with an Aqua interface that looks much flashier than what Windows and Linux users will see.

Warning: this web site can be slow if you don't have broadband!

What's the exception for getting an Aqua interface? Ironically, if you're using Safari and have updated to the latest Java 1.4.1, you'll get a dull-as-dishwater "Metal" interface instead. (No, not brushed metal.) Why? Because only Safari currently uses Java 1.4.1 to run applets, and Apple's first release of 1.4.1 unfortunately has a lot of Aqua bugs, so I have to switch off the Aqua if I see that a user is running 1.4.1.

One advantage for Safari/1.4.1 users: speed. Apple has significantly improved floating-point math performance in 1.4.1. I can't wait until 1.4.1 is updated with some bugs fixes and provides both speed and looks in one package!

Besides the Aqua interface for OS X, I've added a lot of other new features that apply to all platforms. The applet also runs much better in Linux now, because the old AWT interface in the 3.0 version often runs into AWT bugs that are in many Linux versions of Java.

If you check out the web site, please let me know what you think.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    very sweet... nice work shetline

    for calibration, i'd consider myself an interested amateur astronomer,

    (long time gazer, relatively recent at looking deeper with better tools)

    so my comments probably don't address the professional applicabilility, but ymmv

    for comparison, i'm just getting my head around Starry Night Pro 4.0 for OS X

    first impressions are quite good.

    not as intuitive as some simpler tools, not as pointy-headed as some of the pure text tabular scientific tools. and while i'm still not competent enough with ephemeris data to judge that, SkyViewCafe's remaining tabs present a variety of informative views and seem to offer a large percentage of the SNPro feature set

    it would be nice to have a few more options in some of the pulldowns or the ability to set custom view angle (to match my 15x70 Oberwerks), and more "historical" or "background" info on objects. Betelgeuse Abs Mag, RA and Dec info are fine, but a bit dry... describing its size, class, and comparative scale versus Sol is often more instructive and palatable reading. depends on the skill levels of your target audience, i suppose.

    (interesting help info on changing calendar systems, for example... and the nice footnote on Galileo's moving comment... this level of detail about objects would be excellent, but a ton of work, no doubt.)

    perhaps most of this enhanced "Web info on object" could be linked from web resources, but some of that info is similarly dry, and a certain library of it ought to reside locally so that laptop users can pre-cache content prior to gazing out of range of even Airport web access

    the active window in the horizon-90 and horizon-120 views could certainly use a larger percentage of the screen, but perhaps i'm missing the full effect in safari and need to poke around the display options and new windows

    i'll play with it more once i get clear skies and can compare,

    but given it's free and seems to do what commercial tools do,

    definitely recommended
  • Reply 2 of 2
    ijerryijerry Posts: 615member
    That is sweet man. I have to take an astronomy class, and this is going to come in handy for that. Especially since I can tell it where I am. Awesome!
Sign In or Register to comment.