If anyone reads an angry tone into this, please know that it was not written in that way at all.
I don't know if anyone will even read this, but I wasn't aware of this thread until today, and I must say some of the things said here are rather unpleasant. Let me first say that the "coming soon" message on my web site has been there for only a few months. The original text, which was placed about a year ago, actually said "later this year" ! After it became clear that didn't happen, I changed it to "coming soon." Believe me, I felt bad about having to do that, and it is embarrassing. I wanted it done in 2018. I worked very hard toward that goal. But just wanting something doesn't always make it so.
I don't generally tell people when software will be finished because there is absolutely no way for me to know. That is the simple truth. It is hard to predict how much time it will take, and it is equally hard to predict how much time I will have available. I am only one person, and I wear many, many hats. I have a business to run, support questions to answer, etc. I think of SkyTools as being like a giant mansion with many rooms. I am renovating one room a time, and I steadfastly believe in being open to last moment improvements while I am in there. Maybe that's my curse. Or maybe that's what makes my software deeper (one might go as far as saying better) than others. In the end, it is difficult to know how long the current room will take, much less the whole thing. All I can do is apologize to everyone for these things and keep working.
One last thing: I sincerely don't get mad at people for asking when SkyTools 4 will be finished. The truth is that some people get mad at me when I don't give them the answer they want, or if they push me so hard that I give them an answer that turns out to be wishful thinking. But there is one thing that does make me upset and angry, and that is the "Greg no longer thinks visual observing is important and has gone over to imaging and we visual observers are second class citizens" sort of comment. As a visual observer myself, I feel that visual observers should hold their heads high, and this sort of insecure whining about imaging is beneath them. If I have ever gotten angry, that is the real reason.
Astronomy as a hobby is not a zero sum game. Imaging is not ruining the hobby. Visual observing is not dead. In my experience amateur astronomy is not made up of angry mobs of visual observers fighting in the streets with imagers. I do both, just as I am both an amateur and professional astronomer. When amateurs say ugly things about the pros, that upsets me. When pros say ugly things about amateurs, ditto. Same goes for visual observation and imaging. I must admit, this sort of thing really does bug me. I can see how my annoyance at such comments could have been misconstrued.
ST4 Visual is coming along nicely. I am currently able to devote almost all of my attention to it, and there is not that much left to be done. But I am not going to hurry it just so some people can complain that I released an unfinished or buggy product. I will work hard, and it will tell me when it is ready. I will let it loose for a short beta test period (just a couple of weeks are planned), and then it will be out. Exactly when that will happen, I can't say. I do hereby promise not to throw things at you if you ask me. :-) But don't expect an answer either.
Edited by theskyhound, 09 September 2019 - 09:54 PM.