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VStar development update

VStar development has continued since my August entry after returning from the first Citizen Sky workshop. For the last several weeks, the VStar Development Team has been been making weekly releases that are available via WebStart (TM) from the Citizen Sky VStar Team page (see “Download VStar Now” button).

See also the SourceForge site for more information regarding ongoing activities.

My main focus is still upon code and unit test. Phase plots can be created but further integration with all views is required. This has most of my attention at the moment but numerous other bugs and improvements have also been addressed (see bug and feature tracker).

The plan for the early New Year is to bring phase 1 to an end and move on to period analysis and other functionality.

This and other matters were discussed during the annual AAVSO meeting in Boston in November into which I Skyped for a VStar session. Sara Beck, Michael Umbricht, Grant Foster (developer of the original VStar), and from, Geir Klingenberg and Michael Kran. The possibility of adding photometrica as another data source to VStar was discussed. Grant shared his ideas regarding period analysis algorithms. Michael Umbricht also gave a presentation about VStar to AAVSO meeting attendees.

A  relatively recent development is that along with AAVSO staff members and Michael Umbricht, I’m an author on a poster paper to be presented by Arne Henden at the January meeting of the American Astronomical Society: “Statistical Software Development as an Example of a Citizen Sky Participant Team”.

In February 2010, I will be giving a talk to the Astronomical Society of South Australia about VStar, Citizen Sky, and Epslion Aurigae.

I would again like to acknowledge the ongoing assistance of Sara Beck, Michael Umbricht, Adam Weber, others at AAVSO and Citizen Sky participants who are using VStar.

All the best for the New Year.

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