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** VERSION 6.10 **
Release notes for Astrolog version 6.10 (March 2016):
Happy Equinox and start of Aries everyone! :) This file describes the freeware astrology software program Astrolog version 6.10 and the additions and fixes made to it, over the previous version 6.00 which was released three months ago in December 2015. The main things in this update are more usage of the Swiss Ephemeris, and a number of bug fixes.
Here are new additions to version 6.10 that weren't in previous versions:
1. True positions: Astrolog supports true planetary positions, which means where planets actually are in space. Normally Astrolog shows apparent positions, which is where planets appear in the sky, or the true positions adjusted by the travel time of the speed of light. Most astrologers and astrology software work with apparent positions (although there’s no definitive proof that astrological influences travel at the speed of light). True positions will be up to half an arc-minute ahead of apparent positions, e.g. light from the Sun takes about 8 minutes to reach Earth, so the Sun has moved forward another 8 clock minutes through the zodiac. True positions can be turned on with the new -YT command switch. In the Windows version in the Calculation Settings dialog there’s a new “Use True Positions” checkbox. For the -S orbit chart, in which one is looking down at the solar system as a whole, it’s recommended to have true positions on (and topocentric positions off).
2. Topocentric positions: Astrolog supports topocentric positions, which means positions relative to one’s location on the surface of the Earth. Normally Astrolog shows positions relative to the center of the Earth. Most astrologers and astrology software treat the Earth as a single point (although there’s no definitive proof that astrological influences affect everybody on all parts of the Earth equally). Because topocentric is relative to location on Earth, one’s elevation above sea level influences positions, and needs to be set separately (with the -zv switch below). Positions with this setting may be different by more than half a degree, with the maximum change being the Moon (because it’s closest to the Earth) and when planets are near the horizon, because in those cases parallax has the biggest opportunity to alter positioning. Topocentric positions can be turned on with the new -YV command switch. In the Windows version in the Calculation Settings dialog there’s a new “Use Topocentric Positions” checkbox. Topocentric positions require Swiss Ephemeris to be active (which it is by default) in order to work, and also for the chart to be geocentric. For the -Z local horizon chart, in which one is looking at light from the sky from their local position on Earth, it’s recommended to have topocentric positions on (and true positions off).
3. Krusinski houses: Astrolog supports the Krusinski system of house division. Krusinski houses can be selected by passing 10 (or strings like “krusinski”) to the -c house system selection switch. In the Windows version there’s a new “Setting / House System / Krusinski” menu command. Krusinski houses require Swiss Ephemeris to be active (which it is by default) in order to work.
4. Sinusoidal ratio houses: Astrolog supports the new “Pullen (Sinusoidal Ratio)” house system. Sinusoidal Ratio houses can be selected by passing 12 (or strings like “pullen” or “ratio”) to the -c house system selection switch. In the Windows version there’s a new “Setting / House System / Pullen (S-Ratio)” menu command. For more information about sinusoidal house systems, and why they can be considered the “best looking” house systems for wheel charts, see http://www.astrolog.org/astrolog/astsine.htm
5. Custom planets: Astrolog supports custom planets beyond the set of objects it normally works with. The new -Ye switch customizes planet positions. It takes two parameters: One for the object to replace, and another for the object to replace it with. The source object must be one of the objects in the Uranian hypothetical object category (Vulcan or one of the eight Uranians). The destination object is defined by an index in the “seorbel.txt” text file in the Astrolog install directory. For example, “-Ye Cup 9” will replace Cupido with Isis-Transpluto, and “-Ye Had 18” will replace Hades with Proserpina. The name and glyphs in the program won’t change, but the positions will reflect the new object. The -Ye switch requires Swiss Ephemeris to be active (which it is by default) in order to work.
6. All stars field: In the Windows version, the More Object Settings dialog has three new entries labeled "All Stars". They allow one to set the maximum orb, the addition to orbs, and the influence for all fixed stars. These values when set for stars will apply to all stars equally.
7. Graphics text scale: The size for text within graphics charts (such as the text in the wheel chart sidebar, and the text at the bottom of the screen in other charts) can be changed with the new -XS switch. On high resolution monitors with many pixels, the default text size may be small enough to be hard to read. In the Windows version in the Graphics Settings dialog, there’s a new “Text Scale” field to set this. (Also added to the Graphics Setting dialog is a field for the existing -Xs switch “Character Scale” setting.) An entry for this setting also now exists in the astrolog.as default settings file.
8. Default name and location: The default name and location strings used for charts (most commonly for “now” charts) may be specified with the new -zj switch. In the Windows version in the Default Chart Info dialog, there are two new fields for “Name” and “Location”. An entry for these settings also now exists in the default astrolog.as default settings file.
9. Default elevation: The default elevation used in topocentric charts may be specified with the new -zv switch. In the Windows version in the Default Chart Info dialog, there’s a new “Elevation” field. An entry for this setting also now exists in the astrolog.as default settings file. Elevation above sea level can be expressed in meters (with an “m” suffix) or feet (“ft” suffix). Note that this is a global setting, so affects all charts. To fully support topocentric astrology, the standard interface for specifying time and location should also ask for elevation above sea level (although that piece of information would of course be unnecessary for standard non-topocentric charts).
10. Distance units: When Astrolog displays distances, it’s normally in imperial units (feet or miles). The new -Yv switch will instead display distances in metric units (meters or kilometers). In the Windows version in the Obscure Settings dialog, there’s a new “Display Lengths in Metric Instead Of Imperial Format” checkbox. An entry for this setting also now exists in the default astrolog.as default settings file.
Here's a summary of the 7 new command switches in Astrolog 6.10 that weren't in previous versions:
-zv <elev>: Change the default elevation above sea level.
-zj <name> <place>: Change the default name and place strings.
-XS <100,200,300,400>: Change size of graphics chart text by %.
-YT: Compute true positions in space instead of apparent in sky.
-YV: Compute topocentric positions instead of from center of body.
-Yv: Display distance in metric instead of imperial units.
-Ye <obj> <index>: Change orbit of Uranian to seorbel.txt object.
Here's a summary of the 2 new menu commands in the Windows version of Astrolog 6.10 that weren't in previous versions:
Setting - House System - Krusinski
Setting - House System - Pullen (S-Ratio)
A list of improvements to existing features, such as new things you can now do with old features that you couldn’t do before, or ways existing features work better than before:
1. Swiss Ephemeris houses: Astrolog 6.10 now uses the accurate Swiss Ephemeris formulas for calculating house cusps, including the Ascendant, Midheaven, and related variables. Before it only used Swiss Ephemeris for planet positions. This changes the position of the Ascendant and house cusps by several arc-seconds in most charts. This is a minor effect, since on average house cusps change 15 arc-seconds every clock second, however the improvement in accuracy is still present.
2. Graphic latitude ephemeris: The graphic ephemeris, as accessed with the -E -X switch combination, normally graphs zodiac position or longitude versus time. If the -gp or -ap parallel aspects setting is active, then this chart will instead graph planetary latitudes. Normally all planets are clustered near the 0 degree mark. The -YX7 switch setting sets the radius in tenths of degrees to include, e.g. “-YX7 100” shows +/- 10 degrees on either side of 0 degrees latitude, “-YX7 50” shows +/- 5 degrees, and so on.
3. Fractional harmonics: Harmonic charts support non-integer and negative values. Decimal or negative numbers may now be passed to the -x harmonic factor switch. In the Windows version, decimal and negative numbers may be specified in the Calculation Settings dialog in the “Harmonic Chart Factor” field.
4. Numeric latitudes: The -sd switch setting to display positions in numeric degree format will apply to latitude values in charts. This includes the standard -v text chart listing and graphic wheel chart, and the -E text mode ephemeris when listing latitudes.
5. Greater stelliums: The aspect configuration list will now detect and list 3 and 4 planet conjunction stelliums separately. Before, only 3 planet stelliums would be shown, meaning a 4 planet stellium would be listed as three separate 3 planet stelliums. Now, 4 planet stelliums are listed separately, and the redundant 3 planet stelliums within it won’t be shown.
6. Improved glyphs: The default glyphs in graphics charts (the medium or 200% scale size glyphs) have been improved. The glyphs for the signs Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, and both versions of Capricorn look slightly smoother. Similarly, the glyphs for the planets Saturn, the Nodes, and four of the Uranians look smoother.
7. Custom star influences: The -Yj and -YjT switches for setting standard and transiting object influence strengths have been extended beyond the Uranians to include fixed stars. Setting slot #43 (the index of the first fixed star) will set the influence for all stars. Similarly, the command line will parse the string "star" to match this index of the first star. For example, “-Yj star star 4” will set the influence of all stars to 4.
8. Star influences and Rays: The text mode -j switch influence chart and -7 switch esoteric Ray chart now support fixed stars, and will include them in the chart if they’re unrestricted.
9. Moon centered charts: The -h switch heliocentric chart setting can now accept the Moon (and related lunar objects such as the Nodes and Lilith) as the central planet. Before, Moon centered charts weren’t supported, but now they’re no different from any other planet with respect to being the central body.
10. Moon orbit view: The zoom level of the graphic -S solar system orbit chart will be a very small 0.006 AU, when the character scale is Huge or 400%, and the -XS graphic text scale is set to 200% or larger. That diameter is just large enough to fit the Moon’s orbit, so works well with geocentric or Moon object centered charts, to see the motion of the Moon, Nodes, and Lilith around the Earth.
11. Default extension improvement: Specification of command switch files doesn’t require the default “.as” extension. For example, “-i mychart” is equivalent to “-i mychart.as”, and the program will check both names before saying a file doesn’t exist.
12. Help improvement: In the Windows version, pressing F1 will show documentation and do the same as the “Help / Documentation / Open Helpfile” command. That’s assuming macro #1 hasn’t been defined (if macro #1 has been defined, F1 will still invoke that macro). Similarly, pressing Alt+F4 will follow the Windows standard and close the program (instead of first displaying an error about macro #40 not being defined, and then closing). If macro #40 has been defined, Alt+F4 will still only invoke that macro.
A few changes that aren't feature additions or bug fixes have been made to this version, which means certain old assumptions are no longer valid. A list of these (which aren't useful to be aware of unless you have used previous versions of the program) follows:
1. DOS graphics dropped: The old DOS graphics versions of the program no longer exist, which means the Microsoft and Borland PC graphics MSG and BGI compile time options have also been removed. They only worked with 16 bit Windows, which Astrolog doesn’t support anymore, so they couldn’t be compiled anyway. As a result, a number of source code and documentation sections have been deleted. The -V switch that set DOS prompt text rows, and the -YX switch that selected PC graphics modes have been removed. (Actually those switches still exist but do nothing, so old command switch files containing them don’t fail.)
2. No Matrix routines: Since Swiss Ephemeris is used for both planet and house positions by default, it’s possible to not even compile in any of the very old much less accurate Matrix routines. The new #define MATRIX compile time option in astrolog.h may be commented out to do this.
3. Default settings on: The command switch settings “-g0 -a0 -m0 -j0 -L0” are now on by default. Specifically the -g text aspect grid also lists aspect configurations, the -a text aspect list also includes a summary of aspects, the -m text midpoint list also includes a summary of midpoints, the -j text influence chart includes sign influences, and the -L text astro-graph includes a list of latitude crossings.
4. Neo-Porphyry renamed: The Neo-Porphyry house system that was first implemented in Astrolog 4.10 has been renamed. It’s now called “Pullen (Sinusoidal Delta)”, which is more descriptive and follows the tradition of house systems being named after their inventor. In the Windows version this house system is now selected with the “Setting / House System / Pullen (S-Delta)” menu command. For more information about this system and its history, see: http://www.astrolog.org/astrolog/astsine.htm
Here are problems with version 6.00, all of which have been corrected in this release:
1. Relationship midpoint display: The text mode comparison midpoint grid as accessed with -r0 -g0 displayed badly, with the rows containing zodiac degrees distorted.
2. Object Settings dialog bug: In the Windows version, in the Object Settings dialog, hitting OK would incorrectly apply each value to the subsequent object indexes, with everything offset by one. That of course would make the dialog very hard to use.
3. Progression inaccuracy: Secondary progressed charts would have inaccurate house cusps (although the actual planet positions would be correct). This could be seen by defining chart A, then doing a secondary progressed chart for the exact same date and time as chart B (with the degree per day value set to 1). The result should be identical to a casting of chart B (which it was for planets, but not house cusps).
4. Planet centric inaccuracy: In a non-geocentric and non-heliocentric chart, with some other planet as the central object, the planet positions with object indexes beyond the central planet would be wrong. For example, in a Jupiter centered chart, Saturn and beyond would have inaccurate positions.
5. Planet centric inaccuracy: If the central planet was restricted (in a non-geocentric and non-heliocentric chart, with some other planet as the central object) then planet positions would be wrong, and would be like they are in heliocentric charts.
6. Uranian centric inaccuracy: If a Uranian were set as the central object, then the other Uranians would be positioned as they are in heliocentric charts, instead of relative to the central object.
7. South Node omission: If the North Node were restricted, then the South Node would always be placed at 0Lib. Internally, Astrolog needed to still calculate the position of the North Node internally, if either node was unrestricted.
8. Node omission: In non-geocentric charts, the Nodes would always be positioned at 0Ari and 0Lib. This was only true when Swiss Ephemeris was on, and was due to Astrolog calling Swiss Ephemeris with wrong parameters in that situation.
9. South Node omission: In the -S switch solar system orbit chart, the South Node’s position in space would be 0, instead of opposite the Moon from the North Node.
10. Graphic orbit display: In the graphic -S solar system orbit chart, if Jupiter was the central object or restricted, then the zodiac lines would be offset.
11. Gauquelin sector omission: In the -l switch text mode Gauquelin sector chart, the velocity of the South Node wouldn’t be displayed.
12. Transit crash: In the -d transit to transit hits search, having more than 150 aspect or other events in a single time slice would crash. This would require a low searching divisions value and many objects unrestricted in order to happen.
13. Astro-graph bug: The graphic astro-graph chart as accessed with the -L -X switches would overwrite the end of a stack array by one. Usually this wouldn’t affect the chart, however certain environments such as compiling and running the debug Windows version would detect and display an error during runtime.
14. Astro-graph display: Clicking on the graphic astro-graph chart as accessed with the -L -X switches, normally resets the main chart’s location to the position clicked. However, doing do would actually place the location one degree too far down (South) and right (East) by a degree.
15. Sidebar display: In the graphic wheel chart sidebar, when the print nearest seconds setting was on, fixed stars would display their latitude with too much precision, and overflow the right edge of the sidebar.
16. Constellation display: In the -XF constellation map display, if the character scale was 300% or more, then extra dots would be incorrectly drawn a pixel beyond the right edge of the chart.
17. Placidus bug: Placidus houses aren’t defined for locations above the Arctic Circle, and attempting to cast such a chart displays an error message, which is good. However, Astrolog would then proceed with a chart containing misaligned houses. Now in such a situation, Astrolog will fall back to Porphyry houses after showing the error.
18. Neo-Porphyry bug: The Neo-Porphyry system (now called Pullen Sinusoidal Delta) would produce overlapping houses when a quadrant was less than 30 degrees in size. Now in this house system, when a small quadrant pinches the smallest middle house to 0 size, it will remain 0 degrees as the quadrant continues to decrease, instead of becoming negative sized.
19. Windows resize display: In the Windows version, the Chart Resizes Window (“Q” hotkey) and Size Window To Cart (“Alt+u” hotkey) menu commands would work, however when repeated they would continually shrink the chart slightly. Now these commands will behave as expected and do nothing more when run multiple times in a row.
20. Defaults display: Starting the program with no astrolog.as default settings file present, would result in invisible black planets on a black background in graphics charts. The Astrolog executable initialized planets to black, which the astrolog.as file when present would replace with the correct colors. Now the planets are initialized internally to standard default colors, so they don’t rely on astrolog.as to set them.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Astrolog and all chart display routines and anything not enumerated below used in this program are Copyright (C) 1991-2016 by Walter D. Pullen (Astara@msn.com, http://www.astrolog.org/astrolog.htm). Permission is granted to freely use, modify, and distribute these routines provided these credits and notices remain unmodified with any altered or distributed versions of the program.
The main ephemeris databases and calculation routines are from the library SWISS EPHEMERIS and are programmed and copyright 1997-2008 by Astrodienst AG. The use of that source code is subject to the license for the Swiss Ephemeris Free Edition, available at http://www.astro.com/swisseph. This copyright notice must not be changed or removed by any user of this program.
Additional ephemeris databases and formulas are from the calculation routines in the program PLACALC and are programmed and Copyright (C) 1989,1991,1993 by Astrodienst AG and Alois Treindl (email@example.com). The use of that source code is subject to regulations made by Astrodienst Zurich, and the code is not in the public domain. This copyright notice must not be changed or removed by any user of this program.
The original planetary calculation routines used in this program have been copyrighted and the initial core of this program was mostly a conversion to C of the routines created by James Neely as listed in 'Manual of Computer Programming for Astrologers', by Michael Erlewine, available from Matrix Software.
The PostScript code within the core graphics routines are programmed and Copyright (C) 1992-1993 by Brian D. Willoughby (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More formally: This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful and inspiring, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details, a copy of which is in the LICENSE.HTM file included with Astrolog, and at http://www.gnu.org
* Walter D. "Cruiser1" Pullen :) ! Astara@msn.com *
O Astrolog 6.10 homepage: http://www.magitech.com/astrolog/astrolog.htm O
* "Who am I, What am I? As I am, I am not. But as we are, I AM. And to *
O you my creation, My Perfect Love is your Perfect Freedom. And I will be O
* with you forever and ever, until the End, and then forever more." - GOD *