Elite Observatory - Search your journal for potentially interesting objects, or notify you of new ones on the fly while exploring!

Absolutely awesome tool, Vithigar! Thanks for all the hard work you put in to maintaining it!

I had a quick question about the built in criteria, and if there's any way to modify them, or get a little bit of insight into how they function. I'd like to widen the criteria for planets or moons that orbit close to their parent, but I've been struggling with custom criteria for it given that as far as I know, the "value" in the custom criteria lua file has to be a number and not an expression like "2*Parent:Radius". Is there something I'm missing?
 
Absolutely awesome tool, Vithigar! Thanks for all the hard work you put in to maintaining it!

I had a quick question about the built in criteria, and if there's any way to modify them, or get a little bit of insight into how they function. I'd like to widen the criteria for planets or moons that orbit close to their parent, but I've been struggling with custom criteria for it given that as far as I know, the "value" in the custom criteria lua file has to be a number and not an expression like "2*Parent:Radius". Is there something I'm missing?
For a simple criteria expressions are correct, but you do need to indicate what you're comparing more clearly and with the correct names.

Also, you say you want to widen the check but close orbit is already 3x the parent radius. More generous than your 2x example expression.

That said, the built in check, written as a custom criteria, would be something like this:
Code:
::Close Orbit::
parents and scan.SemiMajorAxis < parents[0].Scan.Radius * 3

I'm pretty sure that's correct. I'm on my phone right now so writing scripts is awkward. ;)

The documentation for writing them is here: https://github.com/Xjph/ObservatoryCore/wiki/Lua-Custom-Criteria

And although I'm going to bed now if you need more help then hopefully someone will jump in here, or you can check on the Observatory discord server which is linked at the bottom of the first post.
 
For a simple criteria expressions are correct, but you do need to indicate what you're comparing more clearly and with the correct names.

Also, you say you want to widen the check but close orbit is already 3x the parent radius. More generous than your 2x example expression.

That said, the built in check, written as a custom criteria, would be something like this:
Code:
::Close Orbit::
parents and scan.SemiMajorAxis < parents[0].Scan.Radius * 3

I'm pretty sure that's correct. I'm on my phone right now so writing scripts is awkward. ;)

The documentation for writing them is here: https://github.com/Xjph/ObservatoryCore/wiki/Lua-Custom-Criteria

And although I'm going to bed now if you need more help then hopefully someone will jump in here, or you can check on the Observatory discord server which is linked at the bottom of the first post.

Thanks so much for the quick response! I somehow completely missed that page of documentation. I think I should be able to figure it out from here! I find that sometimes planets 4LS or so away from the parent star have awesome views from the surface, but don't trigger the criteria. I may try setting it to 4*Radius and go from there.

EDIT: For some reason, I keep getting this error in a popup now, and every time I start monitoring, EO unchecks custom criteria. It appears to happen whether custom criteria are enabled or not. I haven't had a chance to test whether the custom criteria work or not yet because the ED servers just went down for maintenance.

[string "chunk"]:2: attempt to index a nil value (field 'scan')
 
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Thanks so much for the quick response! I somehow completely missed that page of documentation. I think I should be able to figure it out from here! I find that sometimes planets 4LS or so away from the parent star have awesome views from the surface, but don't trigger the criteria. I may try setting it to 4*Radius and go from there.

EDIT: For some reason, I keep getting this error in a popup now, and every time I start monitoring, EO unchecks custom criteria. It appears to happen whether custom criteria are enabled or not. I haven't had a chance to test whether the custom criteria work or not yet because the ED servers just went down for maintenance.

[string "chunk"]:2: attempt to index a nil value (field 'scan')
Oops, need to ensure that the first parent scan actually exists in order to check its values.

Code:
::Close Orbit::
parents and parents[0].Scan and scan.SemiMajorAxis < parents[0].Scan.Radius * 3

No idea why you'd be getting the error with custom criteria disabled though.
 
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That is a very strange error.

Oops, need to ensure that the first parent scan actually exists in order to check its values.

Code:
::Close Orbit::
parents and parents[0].Scan and scan.SemiMajorAxis < parents[0].Scan.Radius * 3

No idea why you'd be getting the error with custom criteria disabled though.

Fixed! Everything is back to normal, looks like the custom criteria were being disabled whenever the error popped up.
 
Fixed! Everything is back to normal, looks like the custom criteria were being disabled whenever the error popped up.
Yes, that's correct. They self-disable on error to prevent spamming it as the long continues to be read.
I have plans to make that behavior a bit more intelligent in the future and hopefully more intuitive.
 
Small hotfix available for some minor framework issues that were causing errors in some (non-exploration related) situations. If you haven't been getting errors don't worry about it. If you have then see the latest release page for how to get the fix.
 
The last couple of updates have brought Observatory Core into what seems to be a pretty stable place, so I wanted to take this oppotunity to talk about what's next for development.

First up, I wanted to talk about the Herald plugin a little. The addition of cloud-based speech synthesis brings with it the very first telemetry reporting for the application (other than github's traffic monitoring) and the usage was more enthusiastic than I actually anticipated. Between all of Observatory's users you synthesised over 200,000 characters of unique text since Herald launched.
HeraldUsage.png

(For anyone concerned, I cannot see the specifics of any individual person's requests to Azure, just high level aggregate metrics like this.)
The actual amount spoken is likely quite a lot higher than that, as Herald creates a local cache of previously spoken lines. Dig into %appdata%\ObservatoryCore\ObservatoryHerald if you want to see it. I'm actually quite surprised that the amount being actually requested from Azure has remained so consistent for so long, as the text spoken by Herald is typically very cacheable; it will say "landable with atmosphere" a lot. I do have some internal changes planned for Herald that will improve caching by creating a hosted online cache which is shared between players, so... heads up if you're making Herald say naughty things that it might be stored somewhere other than your own computer at some point in the future. ;)
In the immediate future there are a couple of other enhancements planned for Herald which will come with the shared caching, such as control over volume and speech rate. So stay tuned for that.
Which brings me to my first big point. Beyond a certain modicum of usage Azure speech synthesis is not free. I'm still within the limits of a free account for now (though it was looking dicey for a while with the initial usage spike), but I also have plans to expand what Observatory can do with voice, so it is possible that some future functionality might end up gated behind patreon or something. Before anyone asks I don't currently have a patreon, it's just a future possibility. Also before anyone flies off the handle about locking things behind paywalls I'll lay this out now:
No functionality that is currently in any version of Observatory will ever be paywalled. Additionally, no functionality that runs entirely locally on your own machine will ever be paywalled. It is purely an option that I'm considering for future functionality that involves a heavier load on cloud-based services than Herald — and therefore costs me actual money to provide.

With that out of the way, I'd like to talk a bit about what people can expect to see in the near-to-medium term future. My number one elephant-in-the-room issue that's been looming at the back of my mind for quite a while is how the UI in Observatory Core is managed, so the next big piece of work I want to undertake is a complete overhaul of how plugin UIs are handled. Under the hood the settings panel in the "Core" tab is a complete disaster that desperately needs a major refactor, and to say that the current grid that plugins use to present data to the user is "janky" is a gross understatement. I believe the settings panel is salvageable without changing how settings work on the plugin side, but the grid in its current form has got to go and will be seeing a complete rewrite. This will break every existing plugin and require how they handle their UI to be rewritten, but I believe it's for the better.
This will bring with it some missing functionality that people have been asking for in Core for a long time. Sortable columns, exportable data, copying from the grid... you know, basic things that exist almost everywhere except here. :D It should also give plugins greater control over how the grid is handled, which I know is something @MattG has been wanting for quite some time now.

Finally one last piece that was promised long ago and has not yet come to light, Observatory Prospector, the mining plugin, will also debut with the UI overhaul to showcase some of the fancy new features that will be added, so look forward to that!
 
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