I am happy to announce that a new version of VStar is now available, thanks to a lot of hard work on the part of David Benn, Maksym Pyatnytskyy and others.
Many of the changes had to do with bug fixes both to VStar itself and to various plugins. The full list of changes can be seen here:
In order to see the updated plug-ins in the "Plug-in Manager", you will need to open "Preferences" (the pink gear icon), select the "Plug-ins" tab and click "Set Defaults".
We also wanted to announce that Java Web Start will no longer be supported. This means that if you were using vstar.jnlp to launch VStar, you should stop using that, delete the link from your computer, and instead, download the latest version of VStar from here: https://www.aavso.org/vstar. The Web Start app will still work until August 1, 2022 but it only uses the previous version and will not be up-to-date.
The reason for this change is that Java Web Start technology has been deprecated by its developers and that most operating systems are not happy to support it. The only drawback is that whenever a new version of VStar is released, you will have to download it from the AAVSO website (or GitHub) again, but we feel that this change is worth the effort because of the aggravation associated with Web Start for many users.
Thanks Sara, as always.
As we have done for awhile now, Max and I shared much of the development load, reviewing each others' code and generally bouncing ideas off one another. He's great at finding bugs too.
I'd like to add a particular vote of thanks to Max, given that our collaboration for this release has been under what can only be described as difficult personal circumstances for him in recent months. Thank you.
Further to Sara's comments, I'd like to point to a few interesting features/updates:
- There have been a number of documentation refinements, e.g.
- AIC, BIC, RMS equations in the polynomial fit section
- WWZ time step computation details
- Period uncertainty is now available when creating Fourier models in conjunction with a DCDFT period search. See the period search section of the user manual for details. Thanks to Brad Walter for his guidance on this.
- A lot of "invisible" work was done to improve the robustness of test runs, allowing multiple Java versions to be tested against automatically (via GitHub), along with the addition of plugin test framework.
- There were several VeLa improvements and bugs fixes.
- A new series can be created from an existing one (see View menu) with an arbitrary name, useful in conjunction with a tool like the magnitude baseline shifter, for example. Thanks to Paul York for conversations about this and other features.
EDIT: see also Max's comments about new and improved plugins below; I deleted a less useful bullet point above about plugins
There are things we didn't get time for, as usual of course. You can see existing open/closed issues here:
Anyway, enjoy and please report any bugs to the forum or by adding an issue to the GitHub repository. It's generally worth asking a question on the forum or via email first though because the issue may already be a known one.
Thank you for the warm words.
I should say, however, that VSX Query, QLP FITS were introduced in the previous release. This time the other new plug-in was developed: "New Star from VeLa model".
Also, "Heliocentric JD converter" was improved; "Descriptive Statistic by Series", "JD to Calendar date" were redesigned.
I'm glad to work with you.
"Come together, yeah!"