[AstroPy] AstroPy CfA workshop summary

Thomas Robitaille thomas.robitaille@gmail....
Mon Oct 17 16:18:39 CDT 2011

Hi everyone,

The first AstroPy development coordination meeting took place last
week at the CfA in Cambridge, MA, and was attended by 20 participants
(16 local and 4 remote). We made significant progress on all fronts. A
detailed agenda and minutes are available here:


so if you are interested in all the decisions that were made, and the
motivation behind these, I encourage you to read through these!

Below I summarize some of the main decisions:

* Discussions relating to development of the AstroPy package will now
take place on the astropy-dev@googlegroups.com mailing list. If you
are interesting in the astropy development, please sign up for this
mailing list, either at:


or by sending an empty email to:


You can use the web interface to catch up with any discussions you
might have missed.

* We decided on initial areas of development. These areas are listed
below, along with names in square brackets which indicate participants
who volunteered to (at least temporarily) coordinate efforts in these
areas in the short term. The aim was to guarantee that leaving the
workshop, we had at least one person who is happy to coordinate
getting things started.

- astropy.constants (with cgs and si sub-modules) [Erik Tollerud,
Thomas Robitaille]
- astropy.units - unit conversion routines [Perry Greenfield]
- astropy.io.fits - FITS file I/O [Erik Bray]
- astropy.io.vo - VO tables and communication (both technically I/O)
[Mike Droettboom]
- astropy.table - a base class for tables (and registry facility for
read/write functions) [Tom Aldcroft and Thomas Robitaille]
- astropy.wcs - WCS transformations [Mike Droettboom and Nadia Dencheva]
- astropy.coords - coordinate transformations (ultimately including
Alt/Az type conversions that depend on time) [Erik Tollerud]
- astropy.time - handling of astronomical times (e.g. julian dates,
etc.) [Wolfgang K. and Erik Tollerud]
- astropy.nddata - arbitrary n-dimensional datasets with WCS [Steve Crawford]
- astropy.image - image-specific routines [Thomas Robitaille]
- astropy.spectrum - spectrum-specific routines [Wolfgang Kerzendorf,
Erik Tollerud, Adam Ginsburg]

The coordinators will get in touch with people listed on


to coordinate things. You are also free to contact these people
directly to let them know of your interests in contributing.

* AstroPy will be released under a 3-clause BSD license

* The py.test testing framework will be used for developing tests
(instructions and guidelines for testing will be uploaded to the
http://www.astropy.org website shortly).

* The main aspects of the core package layout were finalized.

* API decisions regarding low-level data objects (NDData,
Spectral/Spectrum1D/Spectrum2D, Image, etc.) were made (details
available in the minutes).

* We plan to hold a logo/website design competition, and will send
details out to this mailing list shortly!

Additionally, we held a coding sprint on Friday, and made significant
progress in certain areas. You can follow the progress at

Please do not hesitate if you would like clarifications or have any questions!


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