[SciPy-dev] chararray docstrings

Perry Greenfield perry@stsci....
Mon Oct 12 13:05:08 CDT 2009


On Oct 12, 2009, at 1:09 PM, Ralf Gommers wrote:
>
>
> It would still be nice to have a slightly longer (tutorial-style)  
> discussion somewhere in the docs. Or otherwise maybe a link to FITS  
> docs that are illustrative? I still have a hard time understanding  
> why operating on astronomical images with Python string methods is a  
> good idea.

The short answer is that the FITS package deals with reading table  
data as well (which is used for all sorts of things like sky target  
lists or other catalog-like information). Such tables often have  
fields with string content (e.g., target name). It is common to select  
rows based on the content of these character fields. These tables can  
have tens of thousands of rows so efficiency is an issue.

Perry



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