I just built a new beta DMG for KStars for Mac which is ready for testing. This is KStars 3.5.4 beta. There was a massive overhaul of the Deep Sky Object catalogs, there was an improvement in the way textures are organized in the data directory, I fixed a bug with the Whats Interesting Description downloads, I updated to the latest gphoto version, and there were many bug fixes.
Please be sure to test with different equipment to make sure there are no issues with the INDI build and try some different things in KStars and let me know if there are any Mac specific issues.
I currently have the HIPS overlay turned on in my KStars on my Mac and it is working correctly. Let's see if we can figure out why yours is not. I have some ideas:
1. HIPS requires an internet connection to the server, do you have a good connection?
2. HIPS takes time to download, and I think it can be induced to update by changing your view in the sky map such as zooming in or out or panning around a little maybe focus on something you know to be bright in DSS, like the Orion Nebula, and zoom in and out and pan a bit and then wait to see if it updates. You could also try turning HIPS off and then on again.
3. Did you try any of the other HIPS overlays, or just DSS? I myself mainly use DSS, but just a thing to try.
4. Maybe check your HIPS settings, in the HIPS menu?
1) Yes, great internet connection. Home network with reliable fast download speed.
2) I have tried zooming in and out, turning HIPS on and off, hitting "refresh" and waiting for data to redownload, etc
3) I just went through several of them (2MASS, Fermi, etc) and nothing shows at any zoom level
4) HIPS Menu settings screenshots attached. Also M42 shown.
Nothing. No HIPS overlay at all.
Oddly, I also tried on a different Mac and HIPS is fine! The "bad" one is a 13-inch MBP (2016) and the "good" one is a 27-inch iMac (2017), both running fully updated MacOS 11.4 and Kstars 3.5.4 beta.
Is there some *other* HIPS menu (other than the one in the HIPS toolbar pull-down?
I don't know why it isn't downloading on the one computer. since it sounds like it is all correct. You could always try moving/renaming your data directory so that it recreates a new one (backing up the old one of course to save all your data) and just see if that does anything.
About the usage of HIPS in the field. . . yes and no is the answer. So, since HIPS is totally an online resource, just like google maps, you can't download new data in the field. However, you can choose an area of the sky to focus on and then make sure all the images in that area are cached before you go into the field. This isn't an exact science, but if you set the cache pretty high and then zoom in, zoom out on the area, pan around it, so that hips downloads data, and then make sure you don't do too much in other areas of the sky, you might download enough information so that when you are out in the field, it is still in the cache and works for what you need. I do this all the time and it works pretty well. And if I forget to do it, its inconvenient, but not a huge problem usually.
Yes it is downloaded in files in the cache, but only what is needed currently. So if it is still in the cache, it will still work in the field. I find that works pretty well as I said. You just need to make sure that the images for the region of sky you are interested in imaging that night are already in the cache.