[AstroPy] Re: functional interface for PyFITS?

John Blakeslee jpb at pha.jhu.edu
Tue Mar 22 08:41:12 CST 2005

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

I want to agree whole-heartedly with this comment!
We use pyfits a lot and find it amazingly useful,
and the syntax fairly clear and consistent.  Allowing
something like 'foo.fits[2]' in a function call to 
refer to the 2nd extenstion in the file would open
a Pandora's box of inconsistency and confusion, or 
at least set a very bad precedent.


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