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Heads up ... re program crashing

For your information, Joakim ... on the Noel Tyl astrology forum, a member has installed 6.5 and reported that :-

"I downloaded the software and installed it in its default folder, which really should be modifiable/selectable by the user. I am running 64-bit Windows 8.1. I started the programs, clicked on "New" to enter a birth date, and the program bombs when I try to enter a country or a latitude.

Other operations are now also bombing the program."

Hopefully, the member will report the problem to you here in due course - since I can say only that no problems are currently being encountered by me, with the 6.5 program running on my wife's Windows 10 Lenovo computer.

Thanks for the info tfive, I will look into and see if I can find what may be the weak spot there. Users have different way to do things, and there may be local circumstances, but quite possible I have overlooked something as well.

And as I write on the download page, it's an early version so some issues are expected, even if I have made test. It's just that I know the program too well, and have something of  a builtin "bad behaviour" block.

HI, thank you for the updates and the new version - well done

Ive just downloaded programme - no problem with that. As an update to earlier post - I tried to enter my details and it will not save it, wont allow me to go into any other parts and it crashes. I have windows 10.

Karen, if it doesn't allow you to save a chart, it's usually due to that it doesn't pass the data validation routine, in other words some of the data you have put there is wrong any any way. And if you don't have any chart at all for the program to refer to, that may lead to unexpected data situations as you try other menus and buttons. If you take a screenshot of the Data Entry screen before you are ready to click on Add button or Add & New button, and post it here, then I may be able to see what possibly could be wrong.

tfive, still investigating that case, but I think it due to an unexpected user behaviour. The general "convention" is to ignore the "Country" and focus on the Place. In a practical sense, the Country field is merely a filter that can be used when searching for a place. Admittedly, the input layout is a bit confusing here and it's really one of the legacy parts I would like to change.

In the current and first release of Astrocalc 6.5 I have generally just moved the input fields from the main startup screen to a screen of its own, because once a chart is added you mostly don't change anything, at least not with the birth details, so it made sense to me to remove that complexity from the startup. Maybe it needs some further proofing to make it more crash safe.

This seems important to me so I will probably be out with a new release very soon.

Still waiting for account approval at Noel Tyl forums, so I can reply directly to the comments there, but meanwhile if any finds it way here... It seems that some people insist on doing things the hard way, like typing in geographical co-ordinates manually (and I have obviously missed with some error catching there) as well as typing in country manually. That's simply not how it's intended, although I agree it ought to be an option, although using the Atlas is what you want to do in 99% of the cases, to also get the time zone with possible DST and historical corrections.

The intended way is to type into the Place field and press Enter to search for a place in the atlas OR to click the Place... button to open the Atlas Manager to pick and Load a place, which would fill out the lat and long fields automatically as well as the Zone, if a date has been given first, which is the natural flow of date entry. The Country drop down selector essentially works as a filter, unless you make world wide search, and it also see to that the Manager is open directly displaying places for that Nation (or state for the US).

Admittedly, the layout with the Country field/selector is a bit confusing, and is, and have been, like this for legacy reasons. Originally the atlas was made up of text files, one for each country (or state for the US), and the country had to be selected first to tell which file to look in. After the atlas was rewritten by me, after I took over Astrocalc, and put into a database, which removed this limitation, the layout was left the same, mostly not to confuse old users too much, but also while I figured out the best and intuitive way to do it. This change should have been in 6.5, but the urge from users to address some other issues, and some transits battling in my own life, forced the release a bit earlier maybe than I anticipated.

However, I am rewriting the Data Entry screen as I write here and there will be a new release soon addressing it, hopefully during the coming week.

As for crashes and errors in general, as I write at the very start of the download page, this is an early release and some issues hard to catch during "in house" testing are expected and will be addressed promptly.

Unfortunately ... the following message was posted earlier to-day, by a well-respected member of the Noel Tyl forum :-

"With all the red warning signs going off.....and danger of crashing my computer....I would never RISK downloading this program, to replace reliable programmes like SOLAR FIRE, SIRIUR, HALLORAN SOFTWARE, JANUS, ETC."

[However, most (and perhaps all) of the members on that forum will own/use commercial software already - so a free program is probably not an incentive for them to "get on board" with what you are trying to do here, Joakim.]

Yes, it's a bit unfortunate, although "...and danger of crashing my computer..." is fear mongering in my view as a program crash is very different to a computer crash and nothing of the sort is happening here. Anyway, I have got my account on the forum approved now, and will address the situation personally soon, but would like to have a new (almost done) release ready first that should address the issue.

And BTW, any software can have issue, especially in early releases, and although don't use any of the software mentioned here, I am sure they both have and have had issues in the past, as that's just the nature of software development today where even if everyone runs the same version of Windows, the environments presented to run in come with lots of variation, both in terms of configurations and other software installed that may interfere one way or the other.

My main problem currently is that I basically have no beta testers, but hope establish a beta group after the holidays.

And thanks for your support btw, both here and over there. Appreciated.

How many down loads have there now been since you announced that 6.5 is free?

To date there have been 438 downloads from unique ip addresses, but not sure what to make out of that figure. Maybe it's low, I don't know but I haven't really advertised it. It's just a number after all and maybe some have been scared off due to the problem with the initial release and the crash reports here and that "warning" in the Noel Tyl forum. It's okay, I believe in transparency and there are always going to be someone that has a problem for one reason or the other. The forums are here so anyone who cares can report, and I will fix anything that is reproducible.

Already working on next release for some time in January, probably, and it will have the function/feature you requested in other topic. Indeed, it's almost in place but will soon take a break over New Year. Interested in being part of the beta tester group I will begin setting up after New Year?