[AstroPy] POLL: vision for a common Astronomy package

Thomas Robitaille thomas.robitaille at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 04:00:24 EDT 2011

Thanks for all the feedback!

I agree that we'll probably want to require Python 2.6+ as well as
support Python 3. We deliberately left out specific coding
requirements like this for now, as there are many similar specific
issues to consider (docstring format, testing framework, C extensions,
Cython, etc.). We've been keeping a list, and if the vision is
approved and we can move ahead, then we can start listing coding
guidelines such as these on the wiki.


On 28 June 2011 07:44, Wolfgang Kerzendorf <wkerzendorf at googlemail.com> wrote:
> I think we should write python 3 compliant code as most of it is written
> new anyways. Why not save us future pain.
> Cheers
>    W
> On 28/06/11 2:55 PM, Erik Tollerud wrote:
>> To clarify, we're not intending  to completely disallow other
>> dependencies, but only stating that they should not be used
>> *initially* when the package is imported.  The idea is that someone
>> should be able to use everything that doesn't specifically require
>> another dependency without getting an ImportError.  If something
>> requires an extra dependency, it should only end up issuing a
>> dependency error when that particular functionality is needed.  For
>> example, "import astropy" and "import astropy.submodule" should always
>> work, but "import astropy.submodule.guiapp" or
>> "astropy.submodule.showgui()" should assue an ImportError if you don't
>> have the appropriate toolkit installed.
>> We also plan to keep watch on the external dependencies to make sure
>> they don't spiral out-of-control, but that will be done case-by-case.
>> You're both right that we should be a bit clearer about what parts of
>> the standard library, though.  My opinion is that we should definitely
>> count everything up to 2.6 (2.6 includes some absolutely crucial
>> features like ABCs), but 2.7 stdlib and anything that's optionally
>> included should be put in the same category as external deps
>> (shouldn't be necessary for the base imports).
>> On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 6:32 PM, Matthew Turk<matthewturk at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> Agreed -- since dependencies are a focus of this vision statement, it
>>> might also be worthwhile to state whether or not modules that are
>>> conditionally compiled (sqlite, ctypes, tkinter, although that is
>>> covered under "GUI" in the statement) in CPython are allowable for
>>> dependencies.
>>> -Matt
>>> On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM, James Turner<jturner at gemini.edu>  wrote:
>>>> Just another (perhaps overly-obvious) thought. When you list the
>>>> "Python Standard Library", we probably need to decide what version(s)
>>>> of Python we're targeting (can I depend on a standard library module
>>>> that's only in Python 2.7?). Likewise for the other allowed
>>>> dependencies, otherwise people might depend on conflicting versions
>>>> or something.
>>>> On 27/06/11 18:51, James Turner wrote:
>>>>> Sounds pretty good, but I'm balking a little bit at NO external
>>>>> dependencies. Obviously we can't have an unmanageable proliferation
>>>>> of them, but having none would seem to imply, for example, that we
>>>>> can't include anything that uses a database -- unless we're going to
>>>>> bundle the whole database into *each* "affiliated package" that needs
>>>>> it. It's no good making that an optional import if the database is
>>>>> central to what the module does. Perhaps one of you can elaborate a
>>>>> bit on what you were thinking here? Are you expecting AstroPy only to
>>>>> include lower-level algorithmic/library functionality? I'd have
>>>>> thought there is also room for library routines that are closer to an
>>>>> application level, which a user can interact with more directly.
>>>>> Maybe I'm looking at this from the wrong angle though (it's quite
>>>>> late here and I haven't thought about it that long yet)? I won't
>>>>> suggest an alternative until I understand better what you had in mind.
>>>>> Yes to calling it AstroPy.
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>> James.
>>>>> On 27/06/11 16:16, Thomas Robitaille wrote:
>>>>>> Hi everyone,
>>>>>> In the last week, Erik, Perry, and myself have been discussing how
>>>>>> best to coordinate the development of the common Python Astronomy
>>>>>> package. We have now converged on a common vision, and would now like
>>>>>> to know whether you would be happy with it too. The vision and a
>>>>>> poll are available at the following pages:
>>>>>> vision: http://astropy.wikispaces.com/vision
>>>>>> poll: http://astropy.wikispaces.com/vision-polls
>>>>>> In addition, 'astropy' has been suggested by several people as a name
>>>>>> for this common package, so rather than creating a multi-option poll,
>>>>>> we've created a simple yes/no poll to find out whether you would agree
>>>>>> with this name. The idea is to have a name that does not endorse any
>>>>>> specific existing project, is in line with numpy/scipy, and reflects
>>>>>> its initial development via this mailing list. The poll is located at
>>>>>> the same URL as before.
>>>>>> The polls will be open unti Friday 1st July at 9pm EST.
>>>>>> Thanks!
>>>>>> Thomas
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