Final Comments

Karl Glazebrook, Anglo-Australian Observatory (KGB@aaoepp2.aao.GOV.AU)
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 00:09:15 +0100

I have some final comments, having read through the whole
FADS discussion.

(i) We should not replace monolithic packages with an unwieldy
interoperability layer.

(ii) Users don't really like C, and C++ is beyond the pale much though
programmers like it.

(iii) Portability IS important. Software should not be dependent on

(iv) Look at what they do like: IDL. I often here whinges from IRAF,
FIGARO, STARLINK users about the packages they use - rarely have I
heard that from IDL. (Perhaps this is merely because they paid $$$s
for it? :-))

(v) We should avoid reinventing wheels, but provide extra added
astronomical value to exisiting standards.

(vi) A wise friend told me "standards only work when they are
retrofitted to something that is already well-designed". The canonical
example of a horrid standard is Motif.

Here is an example of what I mean: if we were to invent a language
it would have to be IDL-like but free [ii]. It would have to run
on UNIX/Macs/WinTrash95 [iii] and be based on an already existent
well-designed language which runs on these platforms.

People who know my prejudices will already know what I have
in mind. :-) Those who don't can read my poster next week.
It would certainly be the best candidate for adding astronomy
libraries to upgrade to an IDL-like level.

see ya' all,

Karl Glazebrook

---    [Anglo-Australian Observatory]
----> pubs:
----> pgperl: