Re: from data reduction to publication

Doug Mink (
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 09:14:08 -0400

William Deich wrote:
> If some of the delay can be traced to flaws in the system for reducing
> and publishing data, we should address these flaws. In particular, there
> is a wide gap between the relatively sophisticated tools for presenting
> both raw and reduced data to the astronomer in a form suitable for
> analysss, and the mediocre tools for converting the same data to
> publishable form.

I'll second this one. I've pretty much mastered the tools available on my
workstation, my own graphics programs, xwd, xv, and pbmplus, for producing
maps and images for transparencies, posters, and the Web, adding
IslandWrite and IslandDraw for transparencies and posters. When it comes
time to write the paper, I'm back to vi and LaTeX, experimenting to make
the graphics fit with the text. At least xdvi means I don't have to
repeatedly print the paper until I get it right. My first ADASS paper
lacked graphics only because I didn't have time to master the placement
procedure. The difficulty of this whole procedure was brought home to
me this week when I tried to explain to a colleague the whole process
of getting a screen image into a paper. It seems straightforward until
you have to explain it to someone who hasn't spent half their life converting
data from one format to another.

The direction things in the real world seem to be moving is toward SGML or
its HTML subset. With multiple editors available and a much larger market
than TeX, we should look in that direction.
-Doug Mink