[AstroPy] AstroPy CfA workshop summary

Erik Tollerud erik.tollerud@gmail....
Tue Oct 18 12:58:16 CDT 2011

> I'm so happy this meeting happened! Did ya'll talk about when the next one
> will be? or the necessary frequency of them?

There was some discussion - we definitely thought a spring meeting
this year would be a good idea to keep up the momentum, although no
definitive decision was reached.  Location was not definitively
decided, although STScI seems like a logical choice.  The other
possibility might be to try for a location on the west coast, to try
to pull in more people from there.

Depending on how the development pace proceeds, we thought at least
once per year would be good, and perhaps twice.  We also discussed
having a AAS session and concluded we probably didn't want to do that
for this winter, but possibly next summer or next winter.  If there's
enough interest, we could hold some sort of informal AAS meeting this
winter (not that many of those who were present last week will be at
AAS, but I will, so I'm happy to meet with a group if desired).

> Also, I think that the larger astro community should be informed of these
> efforts and progress. Could someone generate an update from the meeting
> that's readable by a more general audience. It can be posted to Astropython,
> Tom (or I) can post it to AstroBetter...it can also be posted to the
> Astronomers FB group, and maybe even go out as an announcement in the AAS
> Newsletter.
> We want the community to know that there is coordinated effort going into
> Python to further facilitate the transition from IDL/IRAF.

We discussed this a little, and are a bit wary of making big
announcements until we have at least some sort of package that can
actually be installed and provide some functionality.  Michael
Droettboom and Erik Bray are going to move PyWCS and PyFITS into
astropy, and we have at least initial scaffolding for some of the
modules that can be put in place soon.  The tentative plan would be
for something like a "pre-release" this winter, to give an opportunity
to start battle-testing it by early adopters, and then a first actual
release (with associated "PR campaign") next year.

Having said this, you have a good point that it's worthwhile to at
least start spreading the word that something is happening, even if
the package itself isn't quite ready.  I think we'd want to hold off
on a AAS type of announcement, but a post on AstroBetter and similar
is definitely a good idea.

Erik Tollerud

> On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 5:18 PM, Thomas Robitaille
> <thomas.robitaille@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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:
>> https://github.com/astropy/astropy/wiki/CfAMeeting2011Agenda
>> https://github.com/astropy/astropy/wiki/CfAMeeting2011Minutes
>> 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:
>> http://groups.google.com/group/astropy-dev
>> or by sending an empty email to:
>> astropy-dev+subscribe@googlegroups.com
>> 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
>> https://github.com/astropy/astropy/wiki/Developers
>> 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
>> (https://github.com/astropy/astropy/blob/master/licenses/LICENSE.rst)
>> * 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
>> https://github.com/astropy/astropy.
>> Please do not hesitate if you would like clarifications or have any
>> questions!
>> Thomas
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