Author Topic: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released  (Read 5028 times)

Offline Juan Conejero

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PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« on: 2019 January 23 03:46:43 »
Installation packages for a new version of PixInsight are now available to all users: 1.8.6.1457 for Linux, macOS and Windows. This is a bugfix/update release. It solves all confirmed bugs discovered since the initial 1.8.6 release and provides important new features, which I'll describe succinctly in this document.


Installation

As most new versions of the PixInsight core application, this one is not available as an automatic update. You have to uninstall the previous version, be it 1.8.6 or an older one, then download and install the new version manually. Of course, if you have already activated version 1.8.6 on your computer, no additional license activation will be required.


Bug Fixes

Version 1.8.6.1457 solves the following problems detected since the initial 1.8.6 version:

All platforms: All bug fixes in the previous 1.8.6.1448 version are included.

All platforms: Fixed a regression in core screen rendering routines that was causing sporadic segmentation faults, especially with relatively large images (16 Mpx and larger).

All platforms: Fixed a regression in core screen rendering routines that was causing sporadic segmentation faults with masked images.

All platforms: A rare race condition in the core event loop was causing sporadic segmentation faults when changing the current workspace by clicking on a workspace selector (the small square gray icons on the bottom tool bar). This has been fixed.

All platforms: When the on profile mismatch policy is convert to the default profile (as defined in global color management preferences), images with mismatched ICC profiles were not being converted to the default profile, that is, the policy was not being applied. This is actually an old bug that was introduced as a regression in one of the latest 1.8.5 versions, and had passed unnoticed. See the original bug report.

All platforms: Loading CFA raw frames with the new RAW module was leading to excessive memory consumption (2-4 times more memory than what is strictly necessary, depending on RAW settings). This is now fixed.

All platforms: White balance settings were not being applied to raw CFA frames loaded with the new RAW module. This works now as expected for all raw frames, included Bayer and XTrans CFA patterns. See the original bug report.

All platforms: The HistogramTransformation tool was causing a segmentation fault under very special conditions (the HT tool is open with track view enabled on a hidden workspace with an active grayscale image, then the workspace in question is activated, a different color image is selected by the user, and this causes HT to segfault). This obscure bug has not been reported by users. We have discovered and fixed it during the intensive stress tests we have applied to version 1.8.6.

All platforms: Project files opened from the File Explorer window, or with the open command from the console, were not being added to the list of recently opened project files (File > Open Recent > Project Files). This is now fixed.

Windows: The SubframeSelector tool was crashing the WebView control included in its Measurements window quite frequently on Windows (more or less frequently depending on graphics drivers). As a result, no more graphics could be generated after the crash unless the core application was restarted. Actually, the same potential problem was present on all platforms, but its incidence was very small on Linux and macOS. This bug has been reported in multiple occasions. With the changes I have implemented in this version, this problem should not happen anymore under normal working conditions.

macOS: Script windows and other dialog windows were not resizable when they should. This is now fixed. See the original bug report.

macOS: Top-level tool windows were being maximized spontaneously by the Cocoa window manager (NSWindow class), especially when changing the current workspace, and when windows were minimized and then restored immediately. This should not happen anymore with the changes I have implemented in this version.


New Features

Bundled projects. Projects can now be generated packed into single folders with the .pxiproject suffix. This integrates naturally with macOS (where document packages are supported natively), and also integrates well on Windows and Linux with the KDE desktop environment. This is a very important new feature requiring a thorough description, which I'll post on the release information forum board.


Screen rendering routines are now faster, especially for representation of reduced images (zoom ratios 1:2 and smaller). This is an initial improvement that will be followed by additional, more significant ones in the next version. These improvements are necessary to support the new mosaic generation tool, where we'll have to work fluently with very large images (for example, mosaics of several Giga pixels in 32-bit floating point format).

Screen rendering performance measurements, which I need to evaluate the changes described in the preceding paragraph. You'll find them on the View Explorer window, in the render-rates section (read the tooltips for more information). Again, this requires a separate description on the release information board.


New functionality implemented in the RAW module. Improved memory management. White balancing and wavelet denoising options are now fully functional for raw CFA data.

New command-line arguments. These new arguments facilitate installation on machines with nonstandard screen resolutions (mainly laptops and virtual machines) where automatic UI scaling factors cannot be calculated reliably. Excerpted from the command line help text:

         --ui-scaling=<n>|auto

               Set the core UI scaling factor to <n> in the range [1,4], or allow the
               core application to calculate a suitable scaling factor automatically.
               The specified value or setting will persist in application preferences.

         --ui-font-resolution=<n>

               Set the core font resolution to <n> in the range [10,1000] dpi. The
               specified value will persist in application preferences. The default
               font resolution is 100 dpi.
         


Command-line arguments enhanced to control the integrated web browser. In particular, the following command-line arguments provide more control on GPU usage for the Chromium-based browser component (Process Explorer, graphs on SubframeSelector and PhotometricColortCalibration, etc):

         --opengl=<impl>

               Forces the use of a particular OpenGL implementation. This option can be
               useful to troubleshoot OpenGL problems, especially on Windows platforms.
               The <impl> argument value must be one of:

               raster         Use pure raster surfaces on all top-level windows. This
                              option effectively disables the use of OpenGL hardware
                              acceleration in the entire PixInsight platform. GPU
                              acceleration will be also disabled in the integrated
                              Chromium browser component.

               software       Use a platform-dependent, software-based OpenGL 2.1 or
                              higher implementation. GPU acceleration will be also
                              disabled in the integrated Chromium browser component.

               ES             Use an OpenGL ES 2.0 or higher implementation distributed
                              with the core application on Windows. This option has no
                              effect on other platforms.

               desktop        Force the use of desktop OpenGL hardware acceleration,
                              even if the host graphics driver/adapter has been
                              blacklisted, even if the host graphics hardware is known
                              to be buggy or crash-prone.
         


Hopefully, the --opengl=raster option will now solve most issues caused by bad graphics drivers on Windows, although really bad drivers may continue causing some problems. Problems caused by misbehaving 'utility' applications, poor virus protection programs and wrong/buggy Windows updates cannot be solved this way, though.

Improved X11 installer program, which generates now much better MIME descriptions for file type associations and installs scalable application and file type icons (SVG format). The installer also inserts the PixInsight application in the Astronomy, Science/Math and Graphics standard application categories (previously only in Graphics).

Improved multiplatform directory selection dialogs. The non-native directory selection dialog can now remember its window size and side bar selections, just as regular file selection dialogs.

Delta T database updated with the latest data available from IERS Rapid Service/Prediction Center online files, as of 2019 January 19. Delta T is the difference in seconds between the TT (Terrestrial Time) and UT1 timescales for a given date. It is an essential observational quantity for ephemeris calculations and reduction of astronomical positions.

CIP-ITRS database  updated with the latest data available from IERS Rapid Service/Prediction Center online files, as of 2019 January 19. This database provides the coordinates of the Celestial Intermediate Pole (CIP) referred to the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS). These coordinates are necessary to account for polar motion in calculation of topocentric coordinates of solar system objects. These corrections are only relevant for objects very close to Earth, including calculation of high-precision topocentric coordinates of the Moon (to milliarcsecond accuracy).


Breaking Changes

All Linux and macOS versions of PixInsight require now support for SSE4.1 instructions. SSE4.1 is supported on Intel Core 2 (Penryn), Intel Core i7 (Nehalem), Intel Atom (Silvermont core), AMD Bulldozer, AMD Jaguar, and later processors. Some 2007 or 2008 machines could have processors without SSE4.1 support. 2006 and earlier CPUs won't support PixInsight 1.8.6. This mainly affects vintage AMD-based machines on Linux. This should have no repercussion on macOS.

Asynchronous exceptions on Windows are now reported exclusively on the console window, just as happens on Linux and macOS. This should make sporadic system exceptions less intrusive on Windows.

Script Editor: The Home and End keys behave now as a developer expects on macOS. The default behavior of these keys on macOS platforms, that is, move the cursor to the beginning and end of the document, respectively, is simply useless. Home and End work now just the same on macOS as on Linux and Windows, that is, move to the beginning and end of the current line, including smart Home functionality.


___________________

As always, thank you for your support and patience while I work to solve problems, some of them critical. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: 2019 January 23 09:09:37 by Juan Conejero »
Juan Conejero
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Offline pfile

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #1 on: 2019 January 23 15:27:06 »
Quote
macOS: Top-level tool windows were being maximized spontaneously by the Cocoa window manager (NSWindow class), especially when changing the current workspace, and when windows were minimized and then restored immediately. This should not
happen anymore with the changes I have implemented in this version.

good to hear this is fixed; it happened to me from time to time but i could not figure out how to reproduce it.

rob



Offline Juan Conejero

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #2 on: 2019 January 24 00:25:55 »
Thanks Rob. This 'spontaneous maximization' thing is probably a bug in Cocoa. The way I have avoided it is tricky but so far seems to work reliably. Please let me know if you see one of these window booms again!
Juan Conejero
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Offline jerryyyyy

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #3 on: 2019 January 24 07:50:25 »
Thanks.  I will install.  My Windows install has been behaving after disabling the graphics chip(s).  Like to see if I could re-enable at some point.  I guess I can just run without the flag. 
Takahashi 180ED
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PixInsight Maxim DL 6 CCDComander TheSkyX FocusMax

Offline tom886

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #4 on: 2019 January 24 08:22:20 »
Wow, reading the change log and new features makes me think this is worth a new major release number.  :tongue: Thanks a lot, already downloaded, will check.

CheersTom
Edit: I like the new logo in the Process Explorer when starting Pixinsight  :cheesy: (At least I hope it is new  :tongue: , don't tell me I haven't noticed before)
« Last Edit: 2019 January 24 08:44:29 by tom886 »

Offline scottstirling

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #5 on: 2019 January 24 08:53:11 »
Awesome! It was crashing for me on Windows 10 - sometimes just a script or process or new window would fail then would work when I tried again.  Occasionally it would totally crash.  I almost went back to the older version, which was very stable, very very occasional crash before.  So this is great. THANK YOU!!!

Scott Stirling
Graham, NC

P.S. That HistogramTransformation segfault when switching views with tracking checked/enabled, I have definitely encountered that too, and had taken to disabling tracking view on HT when switching between lots of views because it seemed random.  But you figured it out, thank you.

Offline pfile

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #6 on: 2019 January 24 10:04:09 »
oh yeah the ascii graphic text is pretty cool! like the colors too.

rob

Offline msmythers

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #7 on: 2019 January 24 10:29:38 »
rob

I thought I had gone back to the 80's, dial up modems and bulletin boards.



Mike

Offline dpastern

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #8 on: 2019 January 24 15:26:31 »

All Linux and macOS versions of PixInsight require now support for SSE4.1 instructions. SSE4.1 is supported on Intel Core 2 (Penryn), Intel Core i7 (Nehalem), Intel Atom (Silvermont core), AMD Bulldozer, AMD Jaguar, and later processors. Some 2007 or 2008 machines could have processors without SSE4.1 support. 2006 and earlier CPUs won't support PixInsight 1.8.6. This mainly affects vintage AMD-based machines on Linux. This should have no repercussion on macOS.
___________________

As always, thank you for your support and patience while I work to solve problems, some of them critical. Enjoy!

Will the 1.8.6.1457 update still work with OS X 10.11.x? 

I have an ageing MacBook Pro 2009 - system report does not show the type of CPU, other than it is an Intel Core Duo.  It would be nice if Apple gave some more information on CPU type in their systems...I'll have to google it or ring Apple and get dicked around. 

Offline BobinBend

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #9 on: 2019 January 24 16:34:31 »
Windows: The SubframeSelector tool was crashing the WebView control included in its Measurements window quite frequently on Windows (more or less frequently depending on graphics drivers).

Juan, I just loaded this latest version of PixInsight and the SubframeSelector tool is still crashing on my Windows 8.1 system. I'm running it on a MicroSurface Pro3 machine. I'm loading about 25 subframes of .CR2, setting my System Parameter/Subframe Scale to my camera's arcseconds per pixel and selecting the MEASURE button. After processing a few subframes I get a "PixInsight has stopped working" message on my screen and it terminates the application. I've tried this operation multiple times with the same result.

I just ran this process again but with only 14 subframes and it worked. This could be useful in troubleshooting the problem.

Please advise,
Bob

Offline pfile

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #10 on: 2019 January 24 19:31:06 »

All Linux and macOS versions of PixInsight require now support for SSE4.1 instructions. SSE4.1 is supported on Intel Core 2 (Penryn), Intel Core i7 (Nehalem), Intel Atom (Silvermont core), AMD Bulldozer, AMD Jaguar, and later processors. Some 2007 or 2008 machines could have processors without SSE4.1 support. 2006 and earlier CPUs won't support PixInsight 1.8.6. This mainly affects vintage AMD-based machines on Linux. This should have no repercussion on macOS.
___________________

As always, thank you for your support and patience while I work to solve problems, some of them critical. Enjoy!

Will the 1.8.6.1457 update still work with OS X 10.11.x? 

I have an ageing MacBook Pro 2009 - system report does not show the type of CPU, other than it is an Intel Core Duo.  It would be nice if Apple gave some more information on CPU type in their systems...I'll have to google it or ring Apple and get dicked around.

you can open terminal.app and type the following in

sysctl -n machdep.cpu | grep SSE


 if you see SSE4.1 you are good to go.

you can also do

 sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string

to get the full name of the CPU.

rob

Offline Juan Conejero

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #11 on: 2019 January 25 03:01:42 »
Quote
Will the 1.8.6.1457 update still work with OS X 10.11.x? 

I have an ageing MacBook Pro 2009 - system report does not show the type of CPU, other than it is an Intel Core Duo.  It would be nice if Apple gave some more information on CPU type in their systems...I'll have to google it or ring Apple and get dicked around.

I'm afraid not. Version 1.8.6 is no longer compatible with OS X 10.10, quoting myself from a previous post:


Quote
Will future upgrades to PixInsight drop support for the older pre MacOS versions of OS X

Yes. That will happen, it is unavoidable. The current version 1.8.6 supports Mac OS X 10.11, macOS 10.12, 10.13 and 10.14. Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) is no longer supported.

Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) is still supported, but the next release in the 1.8.6 series will probably drop support for it, and then macOS 10.12 will be the oldest version we'll support.

Please note that I am not happy when this happens. I am also a victim of Apple's policy regarding support for previous operating system versions. With each new SDK version released by Apple, something becomes unsupported in older versions of the operating system. I always have to use one of the latest SDKs when I build a new version of PixInsight, or otherwise I'd be generating incompatibilities, security issues and lack of support for the latest versions. On the other hand, PixInsight depends on 3rd party libraries, which have their own requirements.
Juan Conejero
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Offline Juan Conejero

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #12 on: 2019 January 25 03:41:17 »
oh yeah the ascii graphic text is pretty cool! like the colors too.

I thought I had gone back to the 80's, dial up modems and bulletin boards.

I had already told you that I am not a millennial ;D

Glad to know you like it! By the way, the banner is loaded from the following file:

<installation-folder>/PixInsight/etc/startup/banner

which must be a plain text file. If this file is present, it is written to the console upon startup.
Juan Conejero
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Offline Corries

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #13 on: 2019 January 26 16:54:17 »
I have a question about the latest version of PixInsight.

When using the SubframeSelector tool I get different values for FWHM in the Graph (Y-axis) and the Table than I get with the earlier version.  Can you please explain what is happening here?

Also, when using Output Files there is no option to Move the files, only Copy. 

Many thanks, Terry.

Offline Juan Conejero

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Re: PixInsight 1.8.6.1457 Released
« Reply #14 on: 2019 January 27 00:34:02 »
Hi Terry,

The SubframeSelector script and the new SubframeSelector tool use different algorithms to evaluate measurement values. In the case of FWHM, the set of detected stars used to compute this parameter may be different. Also take into account that in version 1.8.6 of PixInsight I have improved the goodness-of-fit estimators used internally by the star fitting routines, which are now more robust and accurate. This can also lead to some differences with respect to version 1.8.5. The differences should be small in general, but this may vary depending on particular data sets.

Users should realize that fitted function parameters such as FWHM are estimates, not fixed quantities as, for example, the value of a given pixel. As such, different methodologies and implementations necessarily lead to different results.
Juan Conejero
PixInsight Development Team
http://pixinsight.com/