Welcome to the AstroBin forum!

Written by on Nov. 18, 2015 .

Hey everybody!

I would like to warmly welcome you all to the fresh and new AstroBin Forum! I know, I know, you're probably making a face and thinking… "Uh-oh… yet another forum?"

After the announcement earlier this month regarding AstroBin's future paid plans, I have been receiving tons of feedback, literally hundreds of emails. This made me realize that there is a disconnect in the community (several people called it clique, not sure why), and I would like to bring you all closer to each other.

Besides that, it is my firm intention to let the community (that's you!) participate as much as possible in the decision making and general direction of AstroBin. This is the reason for the AstroBin Meta sub-forums: together we can make this place better for all of us!

Additionally, there's a bunch of other sub-forums, the usual topics can be covered there. If anybody has suggestions on how to better organize the AstroBin Forum, please use this topic (see? I'm already involving you!)

Thanks for reading, and I hope I'll be reading you in the forum!

PS: feel free to discuss this blog entry in its forum post!

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Discussions : 4 comments

Hello! My name is Salvatore Iovene, and I started AstroBin back in November 2010. As a new astrophotographer, I wanted a centralized place for the whole community, for everybody to get together and share their work. It took me a year to release the first version, and today, 5 years later, I find myself still doing fixes and small additions, and of course making sure that the website runs smoothly.

However, there is now a big problem. AstroBin is getting old. Maintaining it, fixing it, and improving it are tasks that get harder and harder. Additionally, AstroBin relies upon hundreds of other software components, called libraries. Over the course of the years, they have reached obsolescence. Many of them are now so outdated, that if I were to try and update them, doing so would require massive changes to AstroBin. So massive, that it would almost be like a complete rewrite.

All of this means that AstroBin cannot be left as it is, and incremental improvements cannot be applied anymore. After much thought and analysis, I have come to the conclusion that AstroBin needs a full rewrite.

To finance that, and the future maintenance work, I have decided to make AstroBin a paid service, starting in 2016. The price for a full membership will be $36 USD per year. Free accounts will be able to upload up to 10 images, and fully participate in the community aspects of AstroBin (comment, like, etc.) Premium accounts will enjoy the full feature list currently available on AstroBin, and an ad-free experience. If you currently have more than 10 images on AstroBin, and decide not to upgrade, nothing will happen to your images, but you will not be able to upload new images before you upgrade to a Premium account.

The AstroBin rewrite and overhaul mentioned above would include:

  • • A complete rewrite of the platform in a modular way (of course salvaging what is salvageable!)

  • • A complete suite of unit tests to ensure the robustness of the new platform

  • • A clean and easy-to -extend code base, thanks to everything I have learned so far

  • • The release of the new AstroBin as free and Open Source software.

New features would include:

  • • A personal, self-hosted, version of AstroBin without the community aspects.

  • • A much improved plate-solution experience.

  • • The ability to organize your gallery in custom folders.

  • • Bulk uploading and editing.

  • • Likes, comments and notes to individual image revisions.

  • • A monthly and yearly contest platform completely driven by community voting.

  • • A much better user interface for equipment items and image acquisition.

  • • A complete API.

  • • An official and complete app for Android and iOS.

  • • Digest notification emails.

  • • A new and awesome official AstroBin Forum.

  • • Many improvements to the Raw Data platform.

  • • Improvements to the search engine.

  • • ..and more!

Here's answers to some questions you might have:

What if I am already a donor?
Feel free to cancel your current PayPal recurrent donation if you decide to become a Premium member.

What about ads?
Premium members will not see ads.

What about the Raw Data platform?
That will remain paid for separately, but I will reconsider things depending on how the finances do.

How long will it take for the rewrite and the new features to be finished?
That's really hard to say. If I were able to work on AstroBin full time, I would say 4-6 months. If not, then 1-2 years.

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Discussions : 68 comments

You can now disable comments for individual images

Following a request from a user, I have added a simple settings to enable/disable comments on single images.

It's called Allow comments and it's in Edit basic information, at the bottom of the form right under the image description.

It defaults to true, so if you want to disable comments for your past images, you need to go through them one by one and do it.

Hope you will find this useful!

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Discussions : No comments yet. Be first to comment!

Czy mówisz po polsku?

Written by on Oct. 29, 2015 .

Czy mówisz po polsku?

Thanks to the work of Łukasz Sujka, who built on top of the work by Milosz Wasilewski (who, by the way, used to be a colleague of mine and now runs a business selling dew heaters) AstroBin is now available in Polish language.

Thank you Łukasz, Milosz, and others who contributed!

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Discussions : 2 comments

Finally: support for ICC profiles

Written by on Oct. 15, 2015 .

Apologies for taking so long, but after 4 years, AstroBin finally supports ICC profiles. So feel free to embed a color profile in your images, and AstroBin will now preserve that across the thumbnails.

Note that this will only apply to new images and image revisions.

Clear skies!

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Discussions : 3 comments

I'm glad to announce that AstroBin is providing a small Raw Data subscription for free! It's only 512 MB, so it's not really suitable for backup purposes, but we couldn't realistically offer a larger one for free.

However, you can use it to share your FIT files, or raw files coming from your DSLR, with other AstroBin users!

In addition to the gift of a free Raw Data subscription, from now on all Private Shared Folders are available to AstroBin users who are not subscribers to the Raw Data platform. That means that if you have a larger Raw Data plan, and want to share a large folder, you can do it with anybody with an AstroBin account!

So, if you haven't already, go check out the Raw Data platform and activate your free plan!

Of course, if you want to get a larger plan to support AstroBin, please do! We accept payments via PayPal.


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Discussions : 2 comments

AstroBin is now open source

Written by on July 22, 2014 .

Dear all,
I'm really happy to announce that after careful consideration, I have decided to open source AstroBin.

The source code available at the following BitBucket repository: https://bitbucket.org/siovene/astrobin/src/.

The code is licensed under the Affero General Public License.

I will personally coordinate the efforts of the people willing to contribute. I came to realize that the list of things that need to be done is much larger than what I can do by myself, so it's for the best to put it all in the hands of the community.

The issue list is vast, as it's visible on BitBucket.

Please get in touch if you wish to contribute, and together we can make AstroBin better and better!


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Discussions : 4 comments

Changes to the "Image of the Day"

Written by on May 29, 2014 .

Dear all,
many of you have recently brought a little problem to my attention, and I have received a lot of e-mails and feedback with pretty much the same complaint: lately, the "Image of the Day" on AstroBin is not anymore about which image is the best, but it's about who has the most friends and followers.

I agree with your sentiment. I understand that "Likes" are given freely, but too often a mediocre image has been selected as "Image of the Day" when far greater images could have, just because the author of that image probably spends more time networking and making friends than others.

I have decided to improve the situation by giving up on a totally automated algorithm to select the "Image of the Day".

From tomorrow on, a semi-automated approach will be used. Every day, an algorithm will present me (or other individuals whose judgement I trust deeply) with a list of candidates for the "Image of the Day." The one that's deemed the best will be selected manually.

I understand that this takes away a little of the previously entirely democratic approach, but, as a benevolent dictator, my interest is to allow great images to be rewarded with the recognition they deserve.

I hope this decision finds your approval!


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Discussions : 48 comments

As many of you have heard, OpenSSL was recently found vulnerable to a pretty serious exploit, called Heartbleed.

AstroBin was affected by the problem, and has been patched, so it's safe now.

However, we'd like to advise you change your password, just to be on the safe side.

Here's the direct link to the form: change your password now.

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Discussions : 1 comment

AstroBin accepting donations

Written by on Jan. 28, 2014 .

Dear all,
many of you have asked to be able to donate to AstroBin.

We've tried to keep the website ad-free for the longest possible time, but AstroBin's growth has exceeded our wildest dreams, and maintaining it's getting more expensive every month.

A couple of months ago we have started publishing ads on AstroBin, and that's helping a little, but not enough, for the time being.

No need to panic, but it would be great if you could contribute with a small recurring donation to help us keep the servers running!

We have added a small button next to your user's menu, in the top-right corner.

Thank you!

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Discussions : 6 comments