Weekends are nice. Shelving a problem for a few days is sometimes the best way to solve the problem. After spending the weekend doing things other than working on the SuN project, I came in this morning feeling ready to tackle the problem of unavailable wavelengths.
As you know, we decided to include two different versions of the software in the final package. The first would be the SuN, which retrieves images live from the web, and the second would be the Offline Version, which directly grabs the images from a downloaded library. The SuN has basically reached its finally stages, and the Offline Version is already near completion as well.
Before today, the Offline Version did not exist at all. By the end of the day, we managed to get the Offline Version working beautifully. I created a modified version of the SuN program that instead of retrieving images from an online database, it retrieves images directly from the directories in the SuN laptop. This provides three main advantages over the live SuN version.
1. No need for an internet connection.
2. Loading the program takes very little time.
3. Because the program does not need to retrieve images by creating and using potentially broken URLs, we can grab wavelength sets whose URLs were too inconsistent for our program to generate reliably. Yes, this means that the SDO’s most visually appealing wavelength sets are now available to view in the SuN.
Of course being an offline and non-live version, there are a few downsides. Most prominently, the images shown are not the most recent and up to date. Also, storing potentially thousands of images in the laptop takes up a decent amount of memory space.
These problems however, are not very very problematic. As mentioned before, we do not intend for this program to be used for research purposes (although the live version may still be useful in that area). The offline version offers wavelengths unavailable in the live version that are still cool to look at and can still offer lots of information. The issue with taking up memory space really is not a big deal either. The 600 images that we have currently on the laptop take up around 120 megabytes of storage. I can’t imagine us filling up 1000 gigabyte (1,000,000 megabyte) hard drives with images of the SuN very easily.
Overall, I think we made the right decision by following solution B.
On a side note, Rajabk, Austin, and Nick also started to write the instruction manual and record the supplementary “how-to” video. Yay!