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SkyTools 4 Visual is Finally Here
#1
Hello everyone,

It has been a long road to the release of SkyTools 4 Visual. There were so many changes made, both large and small, that it had to be thoroughly tested and debugged--to a much higher degree than had I had anticipated. We started the test process at the end of November, and I expected it to only take a few weeks. I was very determined to have it ready before Christmas, but despite long hours, and the best test team ever, that was not to be. When the new year came, I decided to take some extra time to finish the job as thoroughly as possible. There were so many weeks that I was absolutely convinced would be the last, followed by so many days that I was equally convinced would be the last. But every day brought a new set of challenges, from bugs to obscure features that were not yet properly finished. At each step, what I thought would take an hour or two would take days. Even when it was done, it wasn't really done! After stealth-releasing it without any sort of announcement, it took a full week to get all aspects of the web site ordering working properly.

In the end, it is tested, finished, and polished as thoroughly as possible. There will, of course, be problems--there always are--but I know that we gave it our all and that we did not release it until it was ready. 

The Test Team
All of us owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Best Test Team Ever. They worked long hours and tested everything to the breaking point. They made useful suggestions and asked insightful questions that forced me to re-evaluate decisions. It was really hard work, but it was also a lot of fun. They can be proud of a job very well done and without real compensation. You will see many of the team members here on the forum answering questions, and sharing their expertise on SkyTools 4. I cannot begin to express my appreciation and am dumbfounded that people would devote so much time and energy to this project.

Editions and Choices
In the end, SkyTools 4 is two products, SkyTools Imaging, which comes in a single edition, and SkyTools Visual, which comes in three editions: Standard, Standard plus Real Time, and Pro. Real Time is devoted to use in the field at the telescope and features the new SkyTour. As before, it also includes the telescope control interface. The Pro Edition includes Real Time along with a deeper database and other advanced features. 

SkyTools 4 Visual + Imaging Bundle
The bundle shares the core data and much of the basic code between the imaging and visual versions of SkyTools. It is two separate apps, and yet in many ways it is a single app. If you have the bundle, things like the current data downloads and software updates are shared between the two, but they run completely separately. They will always be the same version, so there is no need to apply software updates more than once. 

If you have any questions about SkyTools 4, please feel free to ask.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer

What is support? Anything you run into that does not seem to be working right. Please use the appropriate support forum for that. It is vitally important to include the following information in your post: SkyTools product, edition, and version. E.g. SkyTools 4 Visual Standard Edition V4.0g. It is also important to be specific about the tool you are reporting on: E.g. Nightly Planner, Scheduler, and if Visual Real Time, be sure to include if you are using Best Now or SkyTour. Including this information right away means that I won't have to ask for it, which just takes longer. Please do not seek support in more than one place.
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SkyTools 4 Visual is Finally Here - by theskyhound - 2020-03-16, 12:09 AM

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