This page is intended to list out some small jobs that, if completed, would help KStars become better and more usable. There are both easy ones and hard ones.
If you are interested in contributing to KStars, but don't know where to start, this is probably the best place.
The best way to keep track of Development in KStars is to use the mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org See The List Information Page to subscribe.
Chat with other KStars developer at KStars Official Chat Channel.
We keep track of bugs and wishlists on The KDE bugzilla
Please do not hesitate to ask if you need help with contributing! We're always looking out for contributors and will be happy to help you out.
Import Washington Double Star catalog into KStars. This is a very challenging task because KStars does not support double-stars metadata natively. Neither starData nor deepStarData structures contain fields for double star metadata like separation angle, discovery date..etc. Furthermore, many star in WDS exist already in KStars own Hipparchus and Tycho2 catalogs. To avoid duplication and since Tycho2 is the larger data set of the two, one solution is to update Tycho2 to accommodate WDS data by cross-referencing. If there is another solution to duplicate stars, please suggest it.
Many classes in KStars are still using KPlotting library but since it is not actively developed, we would like to migrate away either to QCustomPlot class or Qt Charts module. You can start by migrating the AVT widget from KPlotting to QCustomPlot or Qt Charts.
KStars FITS Viewer tool can calculate the overall Half-Flux-Radius (HFR) of stars in an image by summing each star's own HFR and then taking the average. Some users are interested to know the HFR of a single star, in addition to Full-Width-Half-Modulation (FWHM) and star profile (pixel distance from center vs. intensity). A tool-tip like popup when clicking on individual stars in the FITS image would be ideal as it would give users a quick access to some important information regarding a particular star.
Start by looking at how stars are detected and how HFR is calculated in FITSData class. Then calculate FWHM and construct a simple stellar profile diagram if the user clicks on a particular star.
Aim: To auto-suggest objects that are well-placed in the night sky to users
Step 1: Move the wishlist feature into a database and support multiple wishlists, and rename it to something else. Ship pre-loaded wish-lists along with KStars, of varying levels of difficulty / experience / instrument requirements.
Step 2: Create a backend that will efficiently determine which objects are well-placed (lower than some threshold airmass set by the user) from one or more wishlists.
Step 3: Create a UI that will present one well-placed object to the user. The user may skip objects / cycle through suggestions. Skipped objects should not be displayed for a long time.
For more details, contact Akarsh Simha
The Sky Calendar tool lives in the Tools menu of KStars. The tool now has the labels that it needed badly. However, some lines still don't get labelled because the code isn't robust. The tool also fails at high latitudes. It would be helpful if the Sky Calendar was made complete and bug-free.
Because the refraction correction and its inverse are not perfect inverses, there are a whole bunch of problems when refraction corrections are turned on. It would greatly help KStars if this was fixed.
Now, this is a big task.
SkyObject classes (see skyobject.h under kstars/skyobjects) should have some standard way of storing names. Currently, some SkyObjects store untranslated names and some store translated names, leading to a big mess. SkyObject should probably store untranslated name strings internally, and return untranslated names upon calling name(). The objectNames() hashes should ideally have untranslated names as well.
So how do we find by translated name? The best way, probably is to have a "reverse translation hash". Since very few objects have translated names, it might be easy to maintain a global hash of translated names vs. untranslated names in some convenient place (probably as a static member of SkyComposite) and do searches for translated names through this.
Implementing this will fix a whole lot of translation-related bugs that are on our bugzilla, and make life for people who use localized versions easier.
This was originally a GSoC idea, but I thought it was a bit too "small" for a whole summer. The idea is to implement a class that handles moons of planets in the solar system in KStars. Calculations for Jupiter Moons are incorrect which forced us to disable the tool until it is fixed. Identify what is wrong the algorithm and fix it.
Currently, we have the JupiterMoons classes. What should be done now, is to pack the machinery that goes into this class into a generic class (probably called 'SolarSystemMoons'), various instances of which, could represent the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars...
All our class would need to do, to assume the form of say, JupiterMoons, would be to read off data corresponding to JupiterMoons from some file, say "solarsystemmoons.dat"!
See Tools -> Jupiter's Moons. What if I could do this in general with SolarSystemMoons? [See earlier task for details]
Light pollution unfortunately affects most astronomers around the world, amateurs and professionals alike. Introduce a way to simulate the effect of the light pollution using the Bortle scale by limiting the brightness and number of stars and other objects drawn in the screen.
KStars documentation could always need some help to improve it. Here is what you can do: + Make new screenshots if the old ones are out of date. + Annotate the screenshot to help users easily find what each control means. + Add new sections for any missing tools or feature that is yet undocumented. + Revise and expand existing documentation. Check spelling & grammar issues. + Update the keyboard shortcuts commands.
Introduce a tutorial mode for new users upon startup. The tutorial should utilize no more than 4-5 screen to explains the basic feature of KStars like searching, panning, zooming, time and simulation settings, downloading data..etc.
It should enable new users to utilize KStars a lot faster than blind exploration of the application. It is similar to the kind of tutorials used for mobile apps.
If you are a user of KStars and have some cool, simple ideas that would make your experience with KStars better, you are welcome to add them to the list above, or discuss them on the kstars-devel mailing list (or post them as wishlists / bug reports on the bugzilla).