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Change Requests and Planned Enhancements

IdDate AddedRequestorDescriptionResponseStatusRelease Date
46 06/03/2024 Andrew Wilson Minor changes to the form to view data and the light curve for PEP observations. Complete 06/03/2024
45 16/06/2023 Ian Sharp Upload throws a duplicate check error when trying to upload observations from different telescopes and locations of the same target at the same time. Making parallel observations of an eclipsing binary from the UK and Spain. Need to add checks on location and instrument that work correctly with null data. Complete 17/06/2023
44 20/06/2021 John Toone Can an add column facility be provided that would allow me to insert older sequences and keep all sequences in date order left to right? This is possible but may need some minor structural changes to the database and changes to webpages. In planning for Winter 2022
43 12/06/2021 John Toone Ability to have different latest sequence and recalculation sequence. This will require database, webpage and recalculation code changes. Not huge changes but could take a day or two. In planning for Winter 2022
42 08/08/2021 Andrew Wilson It would be useful to create additional database statistics automation to help with the annual report, in particular to avoid timing differences between different people who write the report and to make the task easier. Perhaps add program flags or tables to enable stars to be added to programs. Maybe also have a data file export summarising the report statistics. Need to check with the report contributors to see what is needed, worthwhile and feasible. These are Andrew Wilson, Gary Poyner (Cataclysmic Variables and Eruptive Stars) , Shaun Albrighton (Pulsating Stars) and possibly Des Loughney (Eclipsing Binaries). Under review
41 15/07/2021 David Boyd When using the filter to select stars to review their data you can get multiple stars with similar names. This is a problem where you specify an exact star name but there are other stars with that name as a part of their name, e.g. T CrB and BT CrB. This is due to the way the search works. It can either be precise and only return exact matches or it can return partial matches as it does in this case. It may be possible to refine the search so that exact matches appear at the top of the list. Under review
40 02/06/2020 George Fleming Could the maximum number of files be increased and to a round number. Increased to 35. Complete 02/06/2020
39 23/06/2019 Paul Leyland Could the duplicate observation failure message provide the JD, at least, and preferably the magnitude and filter of the troublesome observation(s)? A good idea. Under review
38 23/04/2018 Ivan Walton New stars are not being automatically created from the manual observation entry screen. An unhandled error message is created if an observation is entered manually for a new star. The short term fix is to ask the database manager to add the star. In the long run a fix will be implemented. Under review
37 12/09/2017 Tracie Heywood When uploading observations with no light estimate the error message 'INSERT visual estimates failed' is displayed. These should either be prevented from loading or a default value entered. Will require some changes and testing to the upload routines. Under review
36 30/09/2016 Philip Withers When looking at data for LPVs it is obvious what the trend is. However, this is sometimes difficult for semi - regulars, such as RR Tau. I wonder whether it would be possible to have the option of linking consecutive observations by a line. I know that the pureists will probably not like this, but I believe that it is a great help in understanding complicated brightness variations. This will be considered when making other enhancements to the light curve generator. This will probably work for some stars and not others. It will also be dependent on how consistent observations are from different observers, otherwise it could be a very jagged line. Under review
35 20/08/2016 Philip Withers When viewing data for stars that have a small variable range, the scatter of the data can make it difficult to see trends. So would it be possible to include a facility for defining the magnitude range of the displayed data? A good idea. There are a number of requests around the light curves. I will attempt to tackle these in one go when time permits. Under review
34 15/05/2016 Hazel McGee / Roger Pickard / Others Larger Light Curve Axes Labels The Light Curves would be better for displaying if the font size was larger. (Perhaps even a flexible font size, Andy Wilson.) Feasibility Review
33 08/05/2016 John Toone Light Curve Export It would be nice to have the ability to export the online light curves as an image. Feasibility Review
32 18/09/2015 Roger Pickard Add variable star type to the variable stars. Fairly straight forward to implement the capability, but will take more work to populate the values. Under review
31 03/01/2015 Tony Markham One peculiarity that I've noticed when processing my EB observations, in which I record the magnitude to 2dp, is that although the software checks that my calculation is accurate to 2dp, it reports the "correct" magnitude to just 1dp. I need to look into this further but I think that although your magnitude is recorded to 2dp the magnitude recalculation and check only works to 1dp. Under Review
30 07/11/2014 Tony Markham / David Boyd / Roger Pickard Timeouts on the observation upload webpages appear to be happening more frequently and are a problem. Also the general speed of uploading observations is slower than desirable. Initial tuning was carried out on 28th Dec 2014. There is the possibility of further tuning but the next stage will be to see what difference these changes make. Complete 28/12/2014
29 23/10/2014 Gary Poyner An error occurred while committing CCD observations using the online entry screen. Only 2 out of 6 observations loaded. This is an error with the manual entry screen. It would appear that if a star name is in the object list but not an object alias then it will fail. It needs to be corrected to work in the same way as when loading a data file of observations. Priority change
28 20/10/2014 Gary Poyner A new observation file format to allow CCD observations of multiple stars to be loaded in a single file. This is something I've had in mind for a while. There may be a relatively straight forward way to do this, but it will require investigation and testing. Otherwise it will be a fairly big piece of work, but one that needs doing. Complete 08/01/2017
27 11/10/2014 Roger Pickard Add a summary by star and date to the observer summary page, along with the ability to download it as a table. This is certainly possible. It will result in large tables for some observers which may take a little while to download on slower connections. Complete
26 03/09/2014 Roger Pickard & Gary Poyner When using the mouse to zoom in on a light curve it does not update the list of observers. This will be difficult to resolve. The zoom function is part of a JavaScript package that creates the light curve, while the list of observers uses a standard PHP and SQL query, and so is not linked to changes in the light curve. Review in future to see what is possible
25 25/05/2014 Roger Pickard JT has one obs of pi Ser in the dbase (for 27th Jun 2013) but when you bring up the light curve there is no date shown. Change to JD and all is OK. So it would seem to be the single date is causing a small problem. I'll be doing some work on the light curve generator soon, so I shall take a look then. Needs investigation
24 06/05/2014 Tony Markham / Gary Poyner / Roger Pickard Tony Markham - Start light curves just before the first data point and just after last one rather than have these two data points right on the border of the light curve and so not easy to see.
Gary Poyner - Might it be possible to set the default setting of the x axis to be one (or more) months 'past' the current time. This would then ensure that the most recent data points do not lie directly on the right hand y axis.
A good idea but I've yet to find a way to do this with Flot, the JavaScript graphing package used for the Light Curve generator. There may be a way to do this with Flot, or a way to get around it by creating an invisible data point (that might not be possible). Under investigation
23 03/05/2014 Tony Markham (& Andy Wilson) The form will need to request start and end calendar dates.
There will also be a need to specify the elements (Epoch & Period) to use to calculate the JDs. It would probably be simplest to have it default to the GCVS values (I can supply these for the EB programme stars) but also allow alternatives (e.g. Krakow (SAC) elements) to be specified. The Krakow elements change for many stars each year so it wouldn't be feasible to keep these up to date.
Calculating the JD should be straightforward. Strictly we should allow for light travel time effects (e.g. Earth's location in orbit, star's ecliptic coordinates, shape of Earth's orbit, ...) but on the scale of the plots the discrepancies shouldn't be noticeable. We can always put a disclaimer somewhere.
Once the plot has been displayed, there will be a second step. For Algol type variables, people will usually only want to see the section around primary eclipse and so they need to be allowed to specify start and end phases. In general, these light curves are also usually presented so as to show a deep narrow eclipse, so there will be a need to be able to change the dimensions of the plot so that it isn't stretched out across the whole screen width. For beta Lyr and W UMa variables, we would probably always want the whole phase range but might want to adjust the start phase so that the y axis doesn't go through an eclipse.
The ability to specify a title for the plot (e.g. to say that it shows the primary eclipse and used the SAC 2013 elements) is the sort of option that might also be beneficial for light curves in general.
Might release a simple version first. All features might take 1-3 years. Pending
22 03/05/2014 David Boyd When you present the summary of the dataset on the Uncommitted Observation Summary page, could you include a box which shows the filter used. When submitting several datasets on the same object taken with different filters, it would help to check that you are uploading the correct one each time. This should be possible and not too difficult. Pending
21 21/04/2014 Gary Poyner Can the font sizes on the light curve axes be made a little larger? At present the light curve generator uses the default sizes in Flot (the graphing package). I expect there are options to alter the font size but I need to investigate Under review
20 08/04/2014 Roger Pickard / Andrew Wilson Improve automatic colour selection for the light curves so that common observation methods use distinct colours, possibly similar to AAVSO colours. Make filter colours on light curves consistent. The auto-colour selection in the light curve generator needs to be overridden. Complete 09/04/2014
19 03/03/2014 Tony Markham The upload software does not always pick out duplicate observations as errors. This is because for visual observations some historic julian dates are recorded to 4 d.p. while new uploads are to 3 d.p.. Similarly some historic visual estimates have magnitudes recorded to 2 d.p. while all modern visual magnitudes are recorded to 1 d.p.. I agree enhancing the duplicate check to pick out more duplicate observations is highly desirable. Implementing this may be tricky. At present the routine only picks out exact matches and then prevents the observations from being loaded. Any enhancement will need to be based around tolerance checks on julian dates and magnitudes. It might even be that this would then be better as a warning rather than an error, so that observations can still be uploaded. Under review
18 23/02/2014 Andrew Wilson A new page to show a bar chart of number of observations by observer by year and month. Possibly with options so that it is not one enormous bar chart, but initially show as years with option to drill into a year to show months. This should be possible but may take a while to develop. Rejected for time being
17 23/02/2014 Various Ability to change the location of the legend on the light curve. Relocating the legend to one of the corners should be relatively straight forward. Probably make this change at the same time as adding a button to go back to the selection criteria. Pending
16 23/02/2014 Gary Poyner It would be easier if the entry boxes were vertical in the manual entry screen rather than horizontal. That way you wouldn't have to scroll across the page. The manual entry and observation edit screens are all the same page but with different parameters passed to alter what the page does. This is possible but it might require separate pages for manual entry to editing. Under consideration
15 23/02/2014 Andy Wilson Replace text links on the main navigation screens with image links of the text. This will mean you don't have to exactly click on the text but anywhere within the image to be sent to the page. Done with css rather than images. Complete
14 23/02/2014 Andy Wilson Add functionality to recalculate magnitudes from visual estimates and CCD/DSLR instrumental magnitudes. The magnitude recalculation procedure already has this ability built in. To complete the work some modifications to the database and web pages are required. This will be small in comparison to the developments already made but will none the less be at least 1-2 months of work. Complete 04/01/2019
13 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson / Roger Pickard Load the PEP observations into the online database. This may require some changes to the database and web pages, but hopefully not significant. This is now a high priority. 1-2 years
12 22/02/2014 Tony Markham / Andy Wilson Add filters to Sequence and Location to the Bulk Edit Screen. Should be straight forward. Complete 02/03/2014
11 22/02/2014 Tony Markham / Andy Wilson When pressing the back button on the light curve generator your selections are lost. Getting the back button to work would be tricky. However, an alternative would be to add a new button to the light curve generator to go back to the selection screen which will keep the original user selections. Complete 27/02/2014
10 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson / Gary Poyner It would be very good if the light curve could show both UT and JD simultaneously. I've already made an attempt at doing this but so far I have not succeeded. I will continue to try to get this working as time allows. 1 year
9 22/02/2014 Tony Markham It would be very good if the UT precision on the light curve could vary so the hh:mm are not shown when the axis covers a long time period. I agree this would be very good, but it is tricky with the graphing package. I have implemented a basic change so that hh:mm is only shown for dates of 5 days or less. Though this will not change while zooming, only when the dates are set on the selection screen. Complete 28/02/2014
8 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson Create a screen to enable observers to reset their own passwords. Although beneficial, this will need to be approached with great care so as not to compromise site security. Under consideration
7 22/02/2014 Roger Pickard / Tony Markham On the observation edit and entry screen it would be useful if the JD could be calculated and automatically populated from the UT and vice versa. The same as the functionality on the screen for selecting observations for a light curve. I attempted to build this into the new web pages, but the observation edit and entry screens are sufficiently different to the light curve selection screen that the approach taken there did not work. I still hope to find a way to implement this, but it may take a while. 1-2 years
6 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson A new or modified Observation Data table to show an enhanced view of observations, including the visual estimates and CCD measurements. This would be very useful and should be possible by adding another view option to the observation edit and entry screen. Complete
5 22/02/2014 Tony Markham The import checks do not warn if observations are duplicated within a file, only if observations are duplicates of observations already in the dataabse. The current process cannot spot duplicates within a file. It should be possible to build a check for duplicates within a file though it may take some time to develop. 1-2 years
4 22/02/2014 Tony Markham Enable a default instrument for observers in the observation entry screen. This should be possible by adding it as an option to the user maintenance screen. However, this will take quite a bit of work and is lower priority than other tasks. 1-3 years
3 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson When observations have been uploaded, add a button to revalidate observations so the warnings messages can be re-reviewed if required. I think this will be a useful feature but may take sometime to build. 1 year+
2 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson In the Officer view of uploading observations, add the ability to commit observations by observer. So if observations from several observers are loaded, then it will be possible to load some but not all. This could be useful if observations need to be queried with an observer. Low priority and may not be needed. Under consideration
1 22/02/2014 Andy Wilson The new database contains a table of all changes made to observations made by the edit observation web pages. Create a web page to allow observers to view all these changes, or perhaps a button on existing web pages to view this data. Would be very useful to add but is not a priority at present. 1-3 years