Gpredict 0.6 finally out!

Well, it seems that I have finally managed to release the first official version of Gpredict that uses Gtk+ 2. It was about time since the old Gtk+/Gnome 1 version was getting impossible to maintain, and it was included in both Debian and FreeBSD.

It didn’t take long before I got some reactions. First, I received a patch from Denis Leroy fixing some installation issues as detailed in this entry in the patch tracker. As it turned out, he was preparing an RPM for Fedora Extras. Cool!
Then, I got an email from Hamish, who is the maintainer of the Debian package. He wanted to know whether I would recommend upgrading the 0.5.3 package to the new 0.6 release. Of course I did recommend to upgrade. One of the most important factors motivating me to finish a usable Gtk+ 2 version of gpredict was to get the Gtk/Gnome 1 version out of the way. I am not sure that I would able to maintain/support it anymore, since it is difficult to have a well functioning development infrastructure for so old software.

To conclude the successful release of gpredict 0.6, here is a list of new features as compared to 0.5.3:

  • New module design: A module is no longer either a list or a map. A module can contain up to three views that can be any combination of map, list, polar and single satellite view.
  • Each module can be configured individually (colours, views, location) or it can use the global default settings.
  • Module have three states: Docked, Window and fullscreen.
  • Improved map view quality and performance with possibility to highlight areas covered by satellites.
  • List View is fully configurable with respect to which columns should be visible. Furthermore, the list view has a lots of new columns.
  • The upcoming passes dialogs can show much more details like TCA, duration and maximum elevation.
  • Context sensitive pop-up menus instead of buttons to access the most important functions.
  • Geographical coordinates can be shown using N, S, E and W suffixes instead og sign. This should settle the debate on whether negative longitude is East or West of Greenwich (I know which one is the correct one ;-).
  • Added support for imperial units (default is still the metric system).
  • Added support for user specified time format strings.
  • No upper limit on the number of satellites.
  • Uses SGP4/SDP4 algorithms for element set propagation.
  • Requires Gtk+ 2.8 or later and GNOME dependencies are gone for good!
  • Gpredict is now much more robust against configuration errors. If something goes wrong you can simply delete all user configuration files and start from fresh. Besides that, gpredict only uses human readable configuration files, which can be edited using a text editor. It should, however, never be necessary to alter the configuration files manually.
  • Draft User Manual and Design Document.