[AstroPy] Proliferating py-astro-libs

Jaime Perea jaime at iaa.es
Tue Jun 14 17:37:58 EDT 2011

Hello list

My first post to this list.

I have been working for a while now in a rather complicated data reduction pipeline. I don't considerer myself as an 
expert, no way, but it's a long time ago when I wrote my first python script. I firmly  agree with the idea of an 
astropy meeting, I guess that there is lot of people here in the old Europe that will enjoy  meeting other people and 
share knowledge.

In some sense I think that python is just like a lego, there are basic pieces, bricks that put together allow the 
programmer to write smart code.  With this idea I would like to you to help me to identify such bricks, some of them are 
easy, some maybe not.

- Numpy / SciPy - obvious, 
- Matplotlib for the 2D, there exist some other alternatives such as plplot.

- pyfits - This is a master piece of software I still remember something like 
open(unit=lun,file=fits,form='unformatted',recl=2880) and I don't want to see it again.

- *wcs, for this time of big catalogs, they are also mandatory.

- pyraf - this allow to access tons of astronomy sofware already there 

With such building blocks you can do a lot of things.  But I still would like to have an interface to other stuff that 
we use a lot: 

- Statistics - something handful, easy, scipy contains a lot, but there are astronomical tasks that are so repetive that 
perhaps may  deserve their own building block.

- Access to databases and eventually Virtual Observatory. e.g. For calibration we access 2MASS very often, we use 
urllib, but I would like to have something with a more general scope. 

- Also I tend to think at short wavelengths, but I would love to identify to what extent software such as AIPS or GIPSY 
is pythonic enough now, and if we can assume that there exist interfaces to such soft.

- number crunching - with stuff such as numpy anv even going further to mpi4py or pypar or whatever it turns possible  
to write numeric (modeling) code. At least for the analysis stage.

- interactive data analysis, can we turn ipython or whatever "more astronomical" or do we have to do something 

I think we need to identify such pieces and write glue code that allow us to interact with them. So perhaps the first 
task has to be an inventory of sofware and human resources. And if this is done perhaps we may realize the way
we have to manage the Project.
I support the idea of a meeting in fall.

Receive all my best


           Jaime D. Perea Duarte. <jaime at iaa dot es>
             Linux registered user #10472

           Dep. Astrofisica Extragalactica.
           Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (CSIC)
           Apdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain. 

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