This is a long winded post… my apologies up front for that. Its purpose, however, is to solicit feedback from both new and veteran users that help shape this stuff before we spend any time and effort on it… This stuff is of no use if it just obscures the original complexity with a new one.
SGPro has grown over the years and, like most software, it rarely becomes simpler to use. There are lots of complex programs out there that require some amount of effort to learn (Photoshop, PI, etc). The thought that you can coordinate a complex array of gear to run a complex sequence of events with very little effort is kind of preposterous. That said, we are not averse to lowering the curve when possible. Increasing complexity is born primarily from three areas of concern:
- A necessity to support as much equipment as possible
- A necessity to support automation for countless permutations of gear
- A necessity to adapt to the imaging environment
As such (and based on lots of “SGPro is too complex” feedback), we have decided to add some helper wizards into SGPro. They will look like standard Windows Wizards (like when you add a printer) and be far more guided than just cracking open the help manual. The downside of wizards is that you don’t learn where a setting is stored if you want to change something you did at a later time… but the forum can help with that.
When thinking about how to approach this, there were lots of variants bouncing around… but the underlying theme was that there is simply no way to provide a singular wizard for all your needs. This approach will likely be no better than just throwing you the help manual. The wizards need to be targeted, fairly short and have a great deal of focus. In order to support this idea, we are considering the following Wizards:
- Equipment Profile Wizard: Explain the profile system (often a sticking point), have user connect all gear to the PC, gather basic settings for all your gear, make sure connections work, save it, then end with some screenshots showing usage of the profile in different ways. Query ASCOM props to auto fill applicable fields (user overridable of course)
- Sequence / Target Wizard: Explain the basics of a sequence, ask about profiles to use, gather information on targets you want to image, auto populate location, ask about centering, slewing, rotation, etc. Provide a way to enter events (and use them in the targets you asked for). Maybe a wizard for a single target where you can append it to a sequence… not sure just yet
- Auto Focus Wizard: Explain how AF works, guided collection of information about how your AF should run, ability to transfer (save) collected info to the current sequence or a profile.
- Auto Meridian Flip Wizard: Explain how auto MF works, ask user to connect mount, collect info detailing when to flip (wizard will determine if your mount supports flipping before meridian and explain why (if not).
Please use this thread to detail any thoughts about this stuff…