[AstroPy] The trouble with FITS.

Tim Jenness tim.jenness at gmail.com
Fri Jul 19 14:27:06 EDT 2013

Brian Thomas started a similar discussion with a group of like-minded
individuals after the Urbana ADASS. Frossie Economou and Brian have got a
draft whitepaper discussing many of the issues. It might be worth building
on that discussion rather than starting from scratch again.

Tim Jenness

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM, Demitri Muna <demitri.muna at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello,
> I started a thread on astropy-dev [1] about a problem I was having reading
> a very large (~2GB) FITS file, and it led to a discussion about the FITS
> format itself. I wanted to redirect that conversation here as this list is
> more appropriate and deserves as wide an audience in the astronomical
> community as possible. (Not that this is it, but it's wider than
> astropy-dev.)
> There are two - separate - issues here:
> 1) The FITS format is problematic, often hard to deal with, and its
> maintainers have given us the impression that there is negligible
> interest/resources to properly update the format into the 21st century.
> However, we acknowledge that FITS as a format is not going anywhere and
> needs to be supported into the indefinite future - there are literally
> decades of astronomical data in that format that cannot - should not! - be
> abandoned.
> 2) It is worth discussing a new astronomical format that is more modern
> and better to deal with. The first step in that process is coming up with a
> community sourced list of requirements that we would all have for this
> format.
> To this end I'd like to open discussion. I've created two Google Drive
> documents (one for each point above) that anyone can edit. I'd recommend
> that discussion be kept on this list (as opposed to the documents), and
> that the documents contain the points distilled from the discussion.
> The first document is here:
> http://bit.ly/12Pjt98
> I will post the second one on a separate thread as I think these two
> discussions should remain separate.
> Cheers,
> Demitri
> _________________________________________
> Demitri Muna
> Department of Astronomy
> Ohio State University
> http://scicoder.org/
> [1] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/astropy-dev/zRIZ6rr4JPg
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