[AstroPy] Deployment and packaging

Vicki Laidler laidler at stsci.edu
Wed Jun 15 11:10:34 EDT 2011

Just a quick comment sparked by Erik's comment about PyRAF:

>As for packages that have external, non-Python dependencies (PyRAF for
>example), I do not by any means think they should be excluded
>altogether.  But they should be able to work on a multitude of system
>configurations, and should be excluded from any installation where their
>dependencies are not bet.  At any rate, where IRAF is concerned the goal
>should be to gradually replace its pieces with Python modules.  PyRAF is
>invaluable in the meantime, but in a "perfect" world it wouldn't have to
>exist at all :)

Let's remember that there is a segment of the astronomy community that not only does not use IRAF, but wants nothing to do with IRAF, and will actively run away from any project that needs IRAF to be installed. There seems to be an IRAF vs IDL split in the community (though it is by no means hard and fast), and I'd argue that we want to attract the IDL users. The IRAF/PyRAF users already have an on-ramp to Python, and the IDL Astron-library users are our natural user base given that the project goal has repeatedly been stated (not just in this specific discussion, but from the start) in terms of "something like the IDL Astron library for Python".


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