Three people resources could support activities here: D. Chandler, A.
Klinger, B. Darrah. This page covers material from the first in some detail.
It also links to an introduction to initial thoughts of the second person.
My wife and I run a small company producing astronomy-related products,
including software (see our web page).
The software (written in Pascal, operates under DOS) needs to be ported to a
Windows environment: Java is what has been chosen. (I've begun studying Java
and expect to use Borland J-Builder; I'm a
self-taught part-time programmer.)
I've been working on Java with just the documentation and a stack of how-to
books: small roadblocks become major obstacles. The
immaturity of the language (language and
development environments change faster than I can learn them) is a
started with Symantec's Café, but abandoned it when I found that it
difficulty parsing manual coding back to a visual environment.
J-Builder is also somewhat buggy, but seems to be much better. I have
just started getting into J-Builder 3, which uses the Java 2
components. Some of my books rely on the AWT, whereas others warn that
the AWT should be avoided altogether. Some seemingly simple tasks don't
work as advertised (for instance I have had endless trouble simply
implementing a ScrollPane). I have just upgraded to J-Builder 3 (which
uses the Java 2 JFC/Swing components).
To speed my learning curve I could use (and so could others) well-documented
working examples of the basic structures and processes: especially those
needed in my projects. Some would be very routine, others
would require research into the more advanced features of Java. I'm
interested mostly in Java Applications, but may write versions of some
of the features as Applets too.
Specific Features Needed
--Construct a graphic display (using line drawing, shading, and text) on
screen, and print the result to the resolution of the printer. The
printout should be able to show the whole screen panel or a selected
region. The scale of the printout should be controllable. The printing
features of the earlier Java implementations seem very crude.
Presumably the current 2D features allow better printing. A demo
putting this through its paces would be helpful.
--On the graphic display I would like to be able to place moveable
labels, with controllable font size. The image on-screen should give an
exact indication of the size and location of the label on the printout.
If it is possible to rotate graphical text (on screen and in the
printout) implement this as well.
--Create animations in the 2D and 3D models using threads
appropriately. (Think solar system. Perhaps you could let one ball
orbit another.) Control the horizontal and vertical angles of the
viewpoint and the zoom factor in the 3D model with appropriate widgits.
--Import video footage and display it in a small box. Alongside it
display a synchronized animation. The animation would be used to
interpret the video. Your samples need not be meaningfully related, but
they should display synchronization. Perhaps you could take video
footage of someone counting and the animation could show marks being
drawn, keeping in step with the video. Both should be controllable with
pause, fast forward, rewind, etc.
--Implement buffered serial port communication (send and receive) with
some kind of device. (I can loan you a telescope interface box. It
waits for an ASCII code, then sends a fixed-length stream of bytes.
Other devices send variable length strings and require the program to
look for a termination character.)
--From within a program, access a dialer and initiate an internet
connection, if necessary, then download a text file from a specified web
site. Invoke the default html browser (user's choice of Navigator,
Explorer, etc.) to read and write text materials, such as help files,
observing logs, etc.