The status of the CHARM2 add-on
The CHARM2 add-on was generated using the old version of the Celestia star database (stars.dat). Celestia 1.6.0 will include a new version of stars.dat which is generated from the new reduction of the Hipparcos data - this version is the current one in the Celestia Subversion repository. This means that using the CHARM2 add-on with the new database will regress the affected stars to the parameters given in the old database (which had numerous issues with it, see this very long thread on shatters.net for details), which is bad.
Updating CHARM2 for 1.6.0 is not simply a matter of re-running the code I used to generate it against the new database however. Firstly, the add-on as it stands does not include this code: this is obviously not good if you want to check that I have not made any silly mistakes in preparing the add-on. Secondly, the code is written in Visual Basic, which makes it only useful to those who are using the Windows operating system. Since I now primarily use Ubuntu Linux, I am thus going to rewrite the code in Perl. (I have previously used Perl to write the code which generates the updated star database).
Secondly, I want to take advantage of the new syntax in Celestia 1.6.0 which allows you to modify the definitions of stars without having to specify every single property (RA/Dec/orbit/spectral type), which should cut down the size a bit!