[AstroPy] Astrolib relocated to new hosting site

Perry Greenfield perry@stsci....
Wed Jul 14 16:00:01 CDT 2010

We've relocated the astrolib repository to a new hosting site. This  
site we hope will provide both reliable access and ease of giving  
access to people that are willing to make code contributions or  
modifications. Previously we were hosting it at STScI but regulations  
required by NASA for their computer systems made the process of adding  
access to repositories for non-employees cumbersome.

Our hope is that this repository will become a center of astronomy  
community contributed code for Python. If you have written a module  
that you believe is useful for others and would like to make it  
available, please consider keeping the code in the astrolib  
repository. There are a number of benefits to doing so:

- Having your code sitting close to other astronomy tools will help  
other contributors be aware of the tools contained with yours and that  
could very well influence their tools (cross-pollination, awareness of  
inconsistent interfaces, etc.), or provide very useful feedback or  
input for your tools (and perhaps even code modifications or  
enhancements for your tools).
- It makes it easier for those packaging toolsets for astronomy to  
include your module since it is one less site to determine details of  
how to extract the right version for testing and distribution.
- You will get some free testing and building infrastructure as part  
of hosting it there (we plan to run regular builds and regression  
tests on several popular platforms.
- It will help in generating more consistent documentation (perhaps  
not useful to you, but certainly to users).

We (initially anyway) wish to have a very lightweight process for  
contributed code. If the primary developer team for the site thinks  
the code is potentially useful, you will be given commit privileges to  
add the code. Although the commit privileges allow one to modify any  
code on astrolib, we expect people with privileges to only modify code  
on modules and packages they are involved with (and we will list the  
leaders of each package or module so that people interested in making  
contributions or changes can contact them for permission to make  

We will encourage at least minimum level of documentation and tests  
(in order to be included with any distributed software), but we intend  
to err on the side of less restrictiveness. We would like these things  
to be driven mostly by social pressure rather than by bureaucratic  
processes. Many of the details of how this will work haven't really  
been specified, and we intend to go with what works best in practice  
(i.e., let's see how things work first before making rules).

There are some minimal requirements. The software:

- must be useful for astronomy (but we don't rule out general purpose  
tools that aren't available else where (we'll worry about contributing  
to scipy or other more general purpose sets when the software proves  
useful in other fields)
- must have an open source license (preferably BSD, MIT, LGPL, but we  
can accept GPL)
- must be usable from Python
- may call other languages or even executables that are not part of  
the repository.
- may include embedded C, C++, Fortran code called from Python

To see what the repository currently contains:

http://svn6.assembla.com/svn/astrolib/  (subversion URL)
https://trac6.assembla.com/astrolib (trac URL)

We are very interested in feedback about what would make this a more  
useful repository of astronomical software for Python.

We'll be publishing on the site's wiki more details later about what  
we would like to see in contributed code (documentation, installation  
conventions, etc).

To contribute a package or module, or to get commit privileges to  
existing modules, contact Perry Greenfield (perry@stsci.edu) or James  
Turner (jturner@gemini.edu)

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