Search/go to redesign
At the moment, the Search dialog implements a "go to an object" feature, though the search itself is more like a "list lookup with auto-complete" - the results displayed are not full-text search results, but items beginning with the string that has been entered. The feature also sneakily adds results from an on-line, full-text search in the SIMBAD database, which can be a bit confusing.
An improved search/go to feature can be implemented either as a patch or a plug-in. It should provide real full-text search and list the results separately from the auto-complete suggestions. It should also provide an option to turn SIMBAD search on/off (e.g. with a checkbox) and indicate which search results are from SIMBAD and which are from the off-line catalogues.
Another standing problem is Greek character input for Bayer designations (e.g. "α Centauri"). At the moment, Bayer names can be entered by either using a Greek keyboard layout or by typing in the name of the letter (e.g. "Alpha Centauri"). It would be nice to have some kind of visual aid for the beginners.
(The old blueprint can be superseded by this one if it is approved.)
After my Greek character input patch, Mike Storm started redesigning the internal workings of the Search feature, but as far as I know, this hasn't been completed:
Some people have asked for the ability to enter a set of coordinates (right ascension/
I'm going to start looking into this.
First, I'd like to get the GOTO implemented, as it really shouldn't be that difficult, and it does make sense to incorporate that into the Search dialog.
Second, for the Greek letters, perhaps a reference for people to learn how to enter these characters would be good. Different operating systems do it a little differently, but, on Mac anyway it's not that hard. However, having a small pop-up with the characters should be that hard either.
For the Greek pop-up, we can add a decorator in the input field that when clicked, displays a small palate of the characters that the user can click on, to input that character.
I'll also start a branch for this.