The Orekit project includes some tutorials as small (or not-so-small) standalone programs that can be run from a console or an IDE. These include things like simple frame and propagation tutorials up to a full-blown orbit determination program.
These tutorials are not easily found by new users and require some manual steps to get working. As an example, when using the Eclipse IDE, the
src/tutorials/resources folders must be added to the build path because they are not standard maven paths and are ignored by default. The tutorials also require
orekit-data to be fetch separately and installed in the home directory. The tutorials are not built by the Continuous Integration server and sometimes get out of synch with respect to the library. Some tutorials need configuration files that are parsed using a very limited
key=value parser. This is becoming more and more cumbersome as the configuration becomes more complex (see for example the ugly configuration of ground stations in the orbit determination program). As the tutorials are in the main Orekit library, we cannot use any external dependencies in them because we do not want to add dependencies to Orekit itself.
For all these reasons, we would like to propose to remove the tutorials from the main project and to move them to a side project, also on the forge. This would be another maven project, with regular paths. As the project would be separate from the main Orekit library, we could use as many dependencies as we want to them and improve the tutorials with better configuration files (using a Yaml parser library), with graphical output (using a plotting library) or even some 3D display if we want.
What do you think about this proposal?