[AstroPy] STScI update

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Tue Feb 3 12:29:40 CST 2004

<x-flowed>Tom Bridgeman's post reminded us that we need to do something about the
AstroPy web page. We will look into moving to an STScI server soon.

I thought I would take this an opportunity to say a little about our

Right now plotting is our biggest concern. We had staked our plans on
Chaco, but in trying to work with it, we decided it was to complicated
to build on. We then began designing a new plotting package when some
suggested we take a look at matplotlib. That package looks very 
to us and that is what we are now planning to build on. It isn't clear
how soon we will have something available for that. There are a number
of issues related to our use of it, some of which may or may not be
issues with others, namely:

1) it must have a Tkinter-based backend available so that it can be
    used with PyRAF.
2) it must be usable with numarray
3) relatively easily distributable.
4) IDL-style plotting functions (matplotlib is very matlab-based; we 
plan on
    providing more IDL-like functions)
5) image support (it has some psuedo-image support now, but not what we 

We are hoping that we can accomplish 1-3 within a few weeks. At that 
point we
make our changes available (either as part of matplotlib or layered on 
There are many other extensions we hope to make to it. Some may find it 
currently if the Tkinter or numarray requirements are not needed.

Up to now our efforts have been focused primarily on numarray and 
PyFITS (and
plotting, but with no visible product yet). In the coming year our 
will quickly move towards making more libraries available for numarray 
you should see many more announcements regarding these in the next 12 

Perry Greenfield

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