[AstroPy] Re: functional interface for PyFITS?

Joe Harrington jh at oobleck.astro.cornell.edu
Tue Mar 22 08:30:42 CST 2005

In IDL, it is very common to inline a FITS keyword read into a math

x = 7 * sxpar(file, keyword) + sqrt(grandmothersage)

So, I strongly agree that having the python equivalent return a
properly-typed value is important.  There might also be an option to
return the naked string.

> img=getdata('foo.fits[2]')  for the 2nd extension, as a valid alternative to

Be careful here.  How do you distinguish that from a file whose name
is literally foo.fits[2]?  And if you do 'foo.fits'[2], how do you
distinguish that from the second element of a string array (bar, in
this case): getdata(bar[2])?  The first is contrived but possible in
the grand universe of file-naming schemes.  The second I use *all the
time* to address a list of filenames in sequence.  Stick with
getdata('foo.fits', ext=2).  It's just a few extra characters longer
than the shorthand, and is much clearer.


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