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INDI Library v1.8.5 Released (19 Apr 2020)

April 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.5 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

Help For INDI Website

1 month 3 weeks ago
Platone
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Help For INDI Website #55935
Hi all,
We're updating the website of INDIlib.org with a new theme and lookup.
The new website will have a new menu, and we're needing some help to add topics and menu items.
The INDI community is the hearth of INDILib, so if anybody can and wants to contribute with a topic of interest, for example a project that uses INDI that is useful for others is welcome to discuss for addition into the website new menu.
It is possible to write a complete website section to his/her project, so text, pictures, stories are welcome!

Thank You!

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1 month 3 weeks ago
knro
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Help For INDI Website #55936
We'd like for the new website to be both attractive and informative for all users. So we have devised the following primary groups:

1. Research: Resource for all observatories, universities, and research programs out there that are interested in INDI technology.
2. Industry: Resource for manufacturers and developers to aid in development of INDI drivers and associated tools and eco-system.
3. Individuals: Resource for end-users to get the latest INDI and learn about the technology.
4. Community: Where all the above meet in the forum and elsewhere to discuss and share ideas and thoughts.

A very early preview of the website is available here . This is still very much Work-In-Progress, so all feedback would be appreciated it.

All of this would require quite a bit of write-up as you can imagine, so we're turning to this great community to help us with this process. So specifically, here is what we need:

1. Feedback on the new design.
2. Front-page layout
3. What sections/information required for each section? what exists today and what needs to be written?
4. How to make the website more accessible regarding content-contribution?
5. Who can volunteer for the website maintenance?

Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
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1 month 3 weeks ago
Kaczorek
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Help For INDI Website #55954
This is great initiative! I love the idea and will be supporting it as much as I can.

General feeling is that front page must be light, much lighter than it is now and what it is in early preview. And I don't mean color only. It should be light, not heavy. The front page preview is full of heavy boxes. Let's not go this way.
And the new color palette should be revised or simplified. Simple, web compliant colors, flat graphics, responsive design.

Regarding the structure it must be clear and concise. Instead of Home, What is INDI, Research, Industry, Individuals, Support, Get INDI , I would go for (order matters):
Home
About [What is INDI, Features, Blog]
Use [KStars & Ekos, Compatible software, Supported devices, ...]
Develop [INDI API, Source code, Manual & Tutorials, Vendor Guidelines, ...]
Research [Articles, Projects, ...]
Community [Forum, INDI Wiki, ...]
Download [...]

Notes:
- Research / Articles & Research / Projects are in fact users' blogs tagged as article or project.
- For the sake of clarity we need to stop using terms like INDI clients etc.

All the best!

--
Radek Kaczorek
Astroberry Server | NEQ6 | Atik 460EX | Atik EFW2 | ASI 120MM
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1 month 3 weeks ago 1 month 3 weeks ago by Lead_weight.
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Help For INDI Website #55959

Kaczorek wrote: This is great initiative! I love the idea and will be supporting it as much as I can.

<strong>General feeling</strong> is that front page must be light, much lighter than it is now and what it is in early preview. And I don't mean color only. It should be light, not heavy. The front page preview is full of heavy boxes. Let's not go this way.
And the new color palette should be revised or simplified. Simple, web compliant colors, flat graphics, responsive design.

<strong>Regarding the structure</strong> it must be clear and concise. Instead of Home, What is INDI, Research, Industry, Individuals, Support, Get INDI , I would go for (order matters):
Home
About [What is INDI, Features, Blog]
Use [KStars & Ekos, Compatible software, Supported devices, ...]
Develop [INDI API, Source code, Manual & Tutorials, Vendor Guidelines, ...]
Research [Articles, Projects, ...]
Community [Forum, INDI Wiki, ...]
Download [...]

Notes:
- Research / Articles & Research / Projects are in fact users' blogs tagged as article or project.
- For the sake of clarity we need to stop using terms like INDI clients etc.

All the best!


I like this approach too. There needs to be something right up front on the home page with what INDI is. Right now, it's a collection of components (driver lists, news highlights, something about EKOS at the bottom. The footer message, should be the headline at the top of the page. "INDI Library is an Open Source Architecture for Control & Automation of Astronomical Devices. Powered by the community for the community."

The home page should be "What is it?", "What does it do?", "Why would I want it?" It should answer those basic questions. This should be answered for each "persona" on the site. You've identified three on the home page "Research, Industry, Individuals" but you also need Developers.

I've been in marketing for 20+ years, and am a graphic designer by trade. The site as it stands is made by / for developers. End users hit a wall of complexity when visiting. And judging from my own web site experience running a Mac Astrophotography site, most users are extremely novice, and need very basic information. I get questions all the time from my own visitors that are extremely basic. If you hope to get masses of people to adopt and use INDI and its client programs, then access needs to be basic and straightforward.

Obviously this is an attempt to do just those things. But I think it could be further refined. I'll spend some time thinking about it and report back with some ideas.

<em>A couple of notes: I don't have all the answers, and I don't know the developer or research side of things very well. But as an end users, I can provide lots of support in that area, and help with the overall messaging.
</em>

-Andrew
––––––––––
Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/
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1 month 3 weeks ago 1 month 3 weeks ago by Lead_weight.
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Help For INDI Website #55968
OK, I've had a few hours to think about it. Here's what I have for home page and main navigation. Note on the navigation. Some sections could be duplicated to other sections (where I've listed an item under two drop downs). In some cases, it would be pertinent to have that duplicate section contain different content specific to that persona. So, this is merely an outline. I also put the navigation into an order based on who I estimate to have the largest portion of traffic. So Individuals came right after What is INDI. They'll be using the site the most, and need more navigation options than other sections. I think Get INDI also needs to be a part of the appropriate sections. So the client list under Individuals could have ways to download the various INDI clients. Roll your own hardware, would have options for installing on different RPI configurations for various OS setups.

Home Page messages:

  • What is INDI, What does it do, Why would I want it?
  • Each section could have a bulleted list answering this for all personas (End users, Developers, Equipment Manufacturers, and Research institutions.

  • Latest News

    Gallery showcasing recent images
    Gallery showcasing equipment setups
    Gallery showcasing INDI projects or clients


    Main navigation

    <strong>What is INDI</strong>
    INDI is…
    INDI Features
    INDI Components
    Supported Platforms
    Current Contributors
    Supported Hardware Vendors
    Donate to INDI

    <strong>Individuals</strong>
    What is INDI
    What is an INDI system (ie combining software + hardware)
    INDI Hardware (ie Stellarmate)
    Roll your own Hardware (Raspberry Pi + Astroberry, Stellarmate OS, etc)
    Supported Astronomy Equipment
    INDI Clients
    KSTars / EKOS
    Forum
    Tutorials

    <strong>Research</strong>
    Research with INDI
    Observatories using INDI (Submit observatory on page)
    Articles (Submit articles on page)
    Projects

    <strong>Equipment Manufacturers</strong>
    What is INDI
    Supported Platforms
    How to get Involved
    Writing Drivers (submit a driver on page)
    Writing Clients
    Resources
    Examples

    <strong>Developers</strong>
    Supporting INDI
    How to get started
    Developer Resources
    Writing Drivers
    Writing Clients

    <strong>Support</strong>
    Faq
    Forum
    Tutorials

    -Andrew
    ––––––––––
    Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
    Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/
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    1 month 3 weeks ago
    Platone
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    Help For INDI Website #56031
    Allright I removed the Industry section, so this is named "manufacturers", which includes features for both manufacturers and developers, in fact when you visit that link it shows the Developer section with the old new layout.
    I can't change the dark aspect because was in project and it would take a long time to change the overall layout.
    I also added the project section but there's actually nothing there, just because I need a specific article category for users' projects. There's the need to publish a section where users write their projects or experiences with INDI powered instrumentation, in Articles and Projects respectively.

    If something has worked, it will work again.

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    1 month 3 weeks ago
    Lead_weight
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    Help For INDI Website #56032

    Platone wrote: Allright I removed the Industry section, so this is named "manufacturers", which includes features for both manufacturers and developers, in fact when you visit that link it shows the Developer section with the old new layout.
    I can't change the dark aspect because was in project and it would take a long time to change the overall layout.
    I also added the project section but there's actually nothing there, just because I need a specific article category for users' projects. There's the need to publish a section where users write their projects or experiences with INDI powered instrumentation, in Articles and Projects respectively.


    The reason I separated out developers, is I was considering people contributing to INDI and INDI clients like KStars/EKOS separate from Manufacturers which might only supply INDI drivers or spin off their own branded version clients.

    So I thought the messaging for those two groups would be different. The reason you might contribute as a developer would be to incorporate a new feature you want or have knowledge in, but a manufacture has different motivations. Though some parts of their nav could contain the same or similar information, like developing drivers, which any normal dev could contribute to.

    I think for any section where there's not sufficient information we just leave it out for now. So my nav is just a suggestion of the things I think should be in there.

    -Andrew
    ––––––––––
    Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
    Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/

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    1 month 2 weeks ago
    dencoded
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    Help For INDI Website #56086
    Hi everyone!

    I like the idea and would be happy to help with content and ideas about layout/design.

    So my 1st pass thoughts:

    1. Might worth to think about making web-site colour schema lighter. I think "dark mode" is good for visual observers, say if they read forum and do visual observation at the same time. The INDI with its remote/non visual nature seems to be different situation.

    2. I can definitely prepare write up (probably in Research section) about INDIHUB.space network and how to use it/contribute your images to it.

    3. Responsive design - this seems to be just a choice of UI/CSS framework with responsive design built in. Integrating forum might be tricky but I think doable. I think forum is its own thing and doesn't necessary have to look exactly like Web-site.

    4. When I started looking into INDI - it was very clear that I can build a lot with it. However, it wasn't clear what exactly I can build. I think it would be nice to have some page where new INDI-users would land and see the full picture of all pieces connected, something like quick start guide. Say some graphics displaying mount, OTA with main camera, guiding scope with auto guiding camera, filter wheel, motorized auto-focuser, OTA flip caps.. - how it is all connected to computer/RPI with INDI-server and then how it is controlled via KStars/Ekos. Some high level view diagram but with reference that you can connect lots of devices available on the market. I see INDI as tool to make all astrophotography equipment to be Lego-pieces, where you can build different setups. Also, users should get understanding that things like imaging sessions planner, Go-To, plate-solving, polar alignment assistance, auto-guiding, meridian flip, auto-focus and etc - all these things are already solved and automated by INDI.

    Denis
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    1 month 2 weeks ago
    Platone
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    Help For INDI Website #56088
    Hi Denis,
    Please, write a description for INDIHub and post it as attachment and, separately add an article into the research section about it.
    Thanks,
    Ilia.

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    1 month 2 weeks ago
    knro
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    Help For INDI Website #56090
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I will try to break the main page content to several blocks, each with its own text/image as following:

    1. What's INDI?

    INDI Library is an open source software to control astronomical equipment. It is based on the Instrument Neutral Distributed Interface (INDI) protocol and acts as a bridge between software clients and hardware devices. Since it is network transparent, it enables you to communicate with your equipment transparently over any network without requiring any 3rd party software. It is simple enough to control a single backyard telescope, and powerful enough to control state of the art observatories across multiple locations.

    2. Features

    + Open Source: Available for all to contribute to and re-use under the LGPL license.
    + Cross Platform: MacOS, Linux, and Windows* support.
    + Client agnostic: Drivers are written once for all supported clients. No need to update clients when a driver adds new features.
    + Distributed Control: With INDI server/client architecture, you can communicate with devices either locally or remotely transparently. INDI accommodates intermediate servers, broadcasting, and connection topologies ranging from one-to-one on a single system to many-to-many between systems of different genre.
    + ....etc?

    * Windows server support is not available.

    3. Device Support
    Native support for numerous astronomical devices, including:
    + Mounts
    + Cameras: DSLR, CCDs, CMOS, Web Cameras
    + Filter Wheels
    + Focusers
    + Domes
    + Rotators
    + Adaptive Optics
    + Weather Stations
    + Spectrographs & Receivers
    + Auxiliary & DIY devices.

    4. Rich Clients
    When a new device is supported by INDI, it is immediately available for control by any number of INDI clients. Clients are the software you use to communicate with your equipment (e.g. KStars or PHD2). With over 22 clients under Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Web, you get the freedom to choose how to run your equipment using your favorite operating system and software.

    5. Community

    Backed by a strong and vibrant community of professionals and amateurs alike from numerous backgrounds, the INDI project is community-driven and supported. Thousands of amateur and professional astronomers rely on INDI to power their equipment across the globe, join us today!

    Ok, so the above is the first draft for what we should display in the first page (each paragraph a separate block with its own image..etc). Please feel free to revise to make it more intuitive especially for new users.

    Jasem Mutlaq
    Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
    How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
    Add your observatory info

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    1 month 2 weeks ago
    Lead_weight
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    Help For INDI Website #56223
    Jasem, I think this is some good content for the home page, and explains quite well what the INDI system is, what clients are, and what hardware is supported. So this answers lots of questions for most users right up front.

    -Andrew
    ––––––––––
    Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
    Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/

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    1 month 2 weeks ago
    dencoded
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    Help For INDI Website #56250
    Sounds good! I will prepare some text and probably graphics.

    Denis

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