ROB LANCASTER WROTE: "I think the issue is just the stable version because the stable PPA is building the old version of KStars that doesn't have the kstars updates to use the new StellarSolver API that I added yesterday. "
Exactly. It's a mismatch in the ubuntu ppa between the "stable" Kstars and StellarSolver.
I was on stable Kstars ppa but my stellarsolver updated anyway and killed Kstars completely.
Once I updated to Kstars nightly ppa, I can run again.
But there's no point to having a "stable" Kstars that can't run!
Jussi, please check that this helps the detected crash in KStars if INDI gets disconnected while running Watney or ASTAP. I believe what was happening was that StellarSolver was logging that it was aborting when it was getting deleted, but KStars hadn't disconnected it from the object it had been logging to, but the object it was logging to had already been deleted, so it was logging to a non-existent object. There really is no need for any logging if it is getting deleted, so I think this is a good solution.
Right, so the crashes are solved. I haven't really found anything after that. Just very, very minor details: in KStars, the tooltip for both Watney solver and ASTAP solver reads 'Astrometry.net solve-field binary'
With regards to detecting out of focus donut stars. I had thoughts about whether it would be more robust if two star detection passes with different algorithms could be employed. One algorithm tailored to large FWHM donut star shape; then switch to a reliable point like star algorithm such as gaussian when donuts are not detected.