[AstroPy] POLL: vision for a common Astronomy package

Frédéric Grollier fred.grollier at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 08:07:27 EDT 2011

In my opinion, development/packaging/deployment problems when using
third-party libraries are quite easily addressed, and the real point on
this is just about license.

That said, I can't find anything in the "vision" document about licensing
of the proposed astropy software, and I guess this discussion can
continue endlessly until something has been decided. I'm pretty sure
almost everyone has "something free" in mind, but the devil is in the

On the other hand, there's the possibility to make the reverse choice:
we decide that we *want* to use SOFA/NOVAS/TMP/whatever, so we pick the
type of license which is appropriate (note that I'm not very fond of
this approach).

Regarding this particular SOFA example, I agree with Tom and Mark that
the viral "acknowledgment statement" is something that may be a bit
challenging to handle.

On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 07:06:08AM -0400, Tom Aldcroft wrote:
> Assuming that astropy will include a full-featured date and time
> capability in the core,

Arguably, having an astro-specialized datetime-like object which is able
to handle switching between calendar representations, timescales, extended
range of years, leap seconds, enhanced strftime(), etc. is clearly something
that should be included in the core.

(Once upon a time I wrote a C extension implementing such an object, but
the design choices I made proved to be inefficient and difficult to code
with, so was never published)


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