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Mac compatible astrology software?
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Paul
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Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's two things to consider here, one is a web based app as per Gene's solution - this would require some bandwidth and streaming of data but again nothing like, say, streaming a youtube clip. I think if bandwidth problems are so great that we cannot collect a JSON file of at most a few hundred kilobytes (I can't imagine they'd be much greater than that) then astrology software will be the least of our worries.

The other thing is having native applications for each platform, which bypasses the problem completely.

Curtis

Do you think, considering increasing competition from the mobile/tablet market that you would ever consider programming Delphic Oracle for multiple platforms? I admit it may mean changing a business model for it to be profitable of course.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the bigger worry as far as net neutrality is concerned is the gradual increase in costs imposed by web hosting providers and ISP's to pay for the high speed lanes that Comcast, Verizon, etc want. It has the potential to cause trouble for everyone on the web regardless of whether your app is web hosted or not because as these corporations increase fees at the top, each company below will attempt to pass on the costs (in B to B relationships) to businesses lower down on the food chain. Those at the bottom will not be able to pass on this cost. The danger of course is that consumers will drop the service and low level business dries up.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
I think there's two things to consider here, one is a web based app as per Gene's solution - this would require some bandwidth and streaming of data but again nothing like, say, streaming a youtube clip.


Don't forget animation can be similar to video. There are ways to reduce video but the issue that comes up with breaking "net neutrality" is "how much" and these corps have demonstrated that they are willing to game the system for profit.

Paul wrote:
Do you think, considering increasing competition from the mobile/tablet market that you would ever consider programming Delphic Oracle for multiple platforms? I admit it may mean changing a business model for it to be profitable of course.


Change it how? When you have 14 employees you can easily ask one of them to do an iPad version of Solar Fire and stick it up on the web for free.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I don't think that it's as much increased competition as it is diffusion. The difference is that each has it's own area separate from other areas and are not in the same environment competing. Most users have multiple devices now and the habits observed on Google Analytics show that users use mobile and tablet during the day and desktop at night. So each has their own area.

There's no way that Delphic Oracle would work on a small screen so mobile iPads, Android, etc are out. Tablets are a possibility. Mobile apps are designed not as "do everything" applications like DO, but are really "mini apps". This suggests that Delphic Oracle could be broken up into about 50 mini apps each dedicated to a different subject (like the Zodiacal Releasing (Aphesis) app I did in 1997).
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Tara



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Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to all of you who responded to my question. I confess I'll be handing this information over to my husband (blush) to apply as I have next to no grip on the technical realm. This does not diminish my appreciation however for those of you who took the time and trouble to help me out.

Much appreciated!
Tara
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jventura



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
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Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

(it was not my intention, but it seems we have hijacked this thread, any chance for moderators moving this discussion to another topic? Should we create a specific topic for discussing subjects for independent astrology software development?)

Astraea and Hervaro, thanks for your input! I would like very much to know if you could somehow specify which data do you have concerns for privacy. Is it your own data? Is it data for your clients (if you do professional consultations)?


Curtis, Paul and Gene
: You have raised other things which are of a more technical nature.

About desktop cross-platform, there are many tools which can assist you. For instance, my skyplux beta was implemented in Qt, which is a C++ cross-platform UI toolkit. There are small differences between platforms, but you can reuse lots of code. However, it comes with a large dependency on the Qt libs which are enormous.

For Android/iOS, the things are not so stable, but a lot can be done in cross-platform ways, like writing most of your business logic in C/C++ and use JNI to send data to a Java UI in Android, or ObjectiveC for iOS. I've written a tutorial in my technical blog on how to do that with a Python interpreter which is quite cross-platform (http://techventura.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/embedding-python-in-android-series/)

The thing is not technically hard, but you would need a team of at least 3/4 good developers and up-front guarantees that it people would pay for the applications. However, it seems that the market for astrology applications is saturated (lots of programs for sale in the net, and you both having this discussion here Smile ), and I don't know how much benefits a true cross-platform solution would bring to existing astrologers (translation: would people be willing to pay for such a solution).

Finally, about the bandwidth issue, in my skyplux web application (http://skyplux.webfactional.com/skyPlux/) the communication with the server is entirely Json-based which means very low bandwidth consumption. The chart is a base64 png image which is sent compressed. Furthermore, a new version that I would like to see deployed sends a JSON table with planet positions and uses javascript to draw an svg chart in the client's browser. Technically, it is a very efficient solution.

However, I agree with Curtis that animations would be troublesome. A brute-force technical solution could be to send the data for a chart in intervals of X minutes, and do interpolations of houses/objects in the client's browser using javascript for the "missing" positions..

But despite the current solutions, my feeling is that people still prefer desktop solutions, even more when current desktop solutions are more than enough for their current needs.

Finally, a question for Curtis and Gene, if you would not feel offended to answer: the number of costumers you have today are enough to make a living out of the software? I sincerely ask this because I'm in this limbo whether I should try to enter the mainstream commercial astrological software as an independent developer, or should I follow a different route..


Thanks,
Joćo Ventura
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Astraea



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Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jventura wrote:
Astraea and Hervaro, thanks for your input! I would like very much to know if you could somehow specify which data do you have concerns for privacy. Is it your own data? Is it data for your clients (if you do professional consultations)?

For me, the issue is mainly vulnerability of my own account information in the cloud - I wouldn't get past that, to worry about client data! Smile

I am not well-versed in computer programming, but the techs at my Mac dealership have warned me about the vulnerability to hacking and malware in the cloud environment. Maybe I have been ill-informed, either partially or in full, as Gene seems to say. I know that computing is going in the direction of the cloud and it will be inescapable at some point, but for the moment I resist it.
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gene_v



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Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea wrote:
jventura wrote:
Astraea and Hervaro, thanks for your input! I would like very much to know if you could somehow specify which data do you have concerns for privacy. Is it your own data? Is it data for your clients (if you do professional consultations)?

For me, the issue is mainly vulnerability of my own account information in the cloud - I wouldn't get past that, to worry about client data! Smile


Well, in case of AstroApp, no payment or any other sensitive information is ever being passed through or stored on the astroapp.com server. Such info is being handled by Paypal and credit cards companies and so there is no additional risk there. And you can decide what info to provide about yourself such as your name and email. Nothing else is required really.

As for malware concerns, I think they're referring to malicious sites that are specifically designed to trick users into downloading infected files. This has nothing to do with the cloud computing per se, rather it reiterates the point that any downloadable software may cause harm to your computer and to your mobile devices if it is infected.

thanks,
gene
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Astraea



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Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Gene - that clarifies things considerably!
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Wade



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Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it appears that there have been a number of suggestions made, but for what it's worth I have a Mac and use Kairon (available at: http://www.kairon.cc/).

Kairon produces gorgeous chart graphics and is preparing for a decent upgrade, but it doesn't have the full functionality that some expect from their software. I prefer to just look at a chart without extraneous detail so this works just fine for me (although I would like Kairon to show planet velocities).
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can add that I have seen the chart graphics that Kairon produces and they are very nice. I also agree that many programs include too much information on the horary print-out, cluttering up the page with details that should be obvious or are so rarely used that it would be better to look it up if needed, to keep the chart presentation clearer. For example, if someone doesn't know how to tell if a planet is oriental or occidental, then they probably shouldn't be trying to make use of that in interpretation, and many programs include the the declinations of the planets whilst omitting latitude - in horary, the latitude of a planet has meaning, but there is not a lot of interpretational value attached to planetary declination.

It is important to have easy access to the planet velocities, but most programs don't include information on whether the planet is gaining or losing speed (or latitude). Knowing whether a planet is moving quickly or slowly tells us something, but knowing whether it is gaining or losing speed tells us a whole lot more. Currently I flick between horary and electional modules to check that. I Just thought I'd throw these thoughts out in case developers are checking in. Concern about software that facilitates horary and electional astrology is the main reason I've avoided getting a MAC so far. Seeing the graphics on Wade's horary chart forms did make me want to reconsider.
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jventura



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Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
I can add that I have seen the chart graphics that Kairon produces and they are very nice. I also agree that many programs include too much information on the horary print-out, cluttering up the page with details that should be obvious or are so rarely used that it would be better to look it up if needed, to keep the chart presentation clearer. For example, if someone doesn't know how to tell if a planet is oriental or occidental, then they probably shouldn't be trying to make use of that in interpretation, and many programs include the the declinations of the planets whilst omitting latitude - in horary, the latitude of a planet has meaning, but there is not a lot of interpretational value attached to planetary declination.

It is important to have easy access to the planet velocities, but most programs don't include information on whether the planet is gaining or losing speed (or latitude). Knowing whether a planet is moving quickly or slowly tells us something, but knowing whether it is gaining or losing speed tells us a whole lot more. Currently I flick between horary and electional modules to check that. I Just thought I'd throw these thoughts out in case developers are checking in. Concern about software that facilitates horary and electional astrology is the main reason I've avoided getting a MAC so far. Seeing the graphics on Wade's horary chart forms did make me want to reconsider.


Hi there Deb and everyone,

picking Deb's quote above, I've decided to take the risk of building my own software mini-startup (ad)venture, so I can focus full-time on building a nice astrology tool for people. I've been delaying this for so often, but the lack of "polishment" of most astrology applications and the fact that most applications are "over-crowded" with information, has long-time ago made me consider to roll out my own solution (skyplux was my "beta" attempt).

Deb's post above makes me realize that even power users would sometimes prefer simplicity and a good user experience above "all-features-in-the-screen-at-same-time". That is what I am trying to head to, somewhere along the lines of "traditional astrology made simple", which is a good moto by the way.. Smile By the way, Ike made last year a good review of my beta project about the clean interface (http://beyondtheheaven.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/review-skyplux-traditional-astrology-software/).

Also I would like to make my software to really respect "traditional astrology" standards. For instance, I've seen software which allows to make Solar Returns from Profection charts, which is something really stupid. Other things like Solar Return chart relocations are not standard in traditional astrology, etc..

Finally, it seems to me that most software are filled with useless features, but that is an open discussion. For instance, I would prefer to improve user experience, or create a method for the exportation of chars/tables for embedding in Word documents or internet forums, than a 3D model of a chart which could be useful for only one or two persons.

Well, consider the above as a mix of a rant and expectations, since I really don't know what will come out of it. I'll still have to figure out a new name for the project since my skyplux.com domain was hijacked, and start building many things from scratch again.

I'll create a thread when I have something to show, and I will really appreciate some feedback at that time. Until then, I'll be working hard on this..


Joćo Ventura

Edit: To keep this ontopic, I'm aiming for a cross-platform solution which includes Mac, and I would really like to make it work on tablets. I'm a Linux user, but I've even bought an iPad for testing.. Smile
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds interesting. I also think a key element is to make features as customisable as possible. For example, not just the ability to use Lilly's version of the Ptolemaic terms or the Egyptian system, but to be able to user-define the terms so that if someone prefers to set the Ptolemaic terms to what is published in the Robbins edition of the Tetrabiblos (for example) they can. Or if they don't personally use the terms they can turn that feature off.
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gene_v



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Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
For example, not just the ability to use Lilly's version of the Ptolemaic terms or the Egyptian system, but to be able to user-define the terms so that if someone prefers to set the Ptolemaic terms to what is published in the Robbins edition of the Tetrabiblos (for example) they can. Or if they don't personally use the terms they can turn that feature off.


Joćo - good luck with your project.

Deb, I have 5 versions of terms in AstroApp but I'm not sure how Robbins one is different. Could you please point me in the right direction. If this is offtopic, lets pm.

gene
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hervaro



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Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(havng little access to computer these days, so chiming in a bit late to react on Joao's question)

With me it's more a gut-feeling or a hunch (?) that perhaps some solar "burp" might burn up all cloud-access. I have this maybe totally unrealistic idea that all my data would then still be safe on my local HD. It is not so much hacking that I am afraid off, just inaccessability of data.
(I guess Saturn ruling my 3d and disposing of L1 sitting on my asc may have to do with this... Secret )
Being abroad for the moment I do see the value of cloud-based computing, though.
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