Subject: Re: [boost] [gsoc18] New Astronomy Library
From: JC Passy (jcpassy_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-01-21 20:10:49
Dear Pranam, dear Vinicius,
not sure that my initial email made it to the mailing list. If it did, sorry for repeating myself.
I am working as a computer scientist at the MPI for Intelligent Systems in TÃ¼bingen. Before that, I did my PhD in astrophysics and a postdoc. In general, I am also interested in using boost and developing a library that could be used by astronomers and astrophysicists.
Looking at your proposal, I would second Viniciusâ opinion in the sense that one should try to make it a bit more specific. In particular, you should emphasize the why (what do you wish to accomplish? why would someone need/use it?) and the who (who is your target audience?). Regarding the latter, I see two options:
1) amateur astronomers: I personally do not know what their needs are, but I could try to find out. There are some open source projects dedicated to amateur astronomers (for instance https://openphdguiding.org <instancehttps://openphdguiding.org> to which we contributed), so that could be an option;
2) professional astronomers: I think a lot can be done, in particular regarding observational data analysis. They used REALLY old tools (IDL, IRAF, â¦) and given the future and upcoming surveys that will produce very large amount of data, they might have serious performance issues. This is why I believe they might benefit from using cutting-edge C++ libraries.
I would be quite interested in option 2, and it could impact potentially a large audience IMHO. Of course, the âsellingâ part wonât be easy (people, especially astrophysicists :) wonât give up their old methods easily even though the new method is 10x faster) but we can facilitate this process by pin-pointing features that they really need. I will try to talk to some of my former colleagues this week and see what they think about that. In this case, this is a project that would need a bit of time to be properly defined and the deadline for GSoC18 is coming too soon. As far as I am concerned, this is no problem as this project does not need to be tied to it.
> On 21. Jan 2018, at 15:00, VinÃcius dos Santos Oliveira via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> 2018-01-21 8:07 GMT-03:00 Pranam Lashkari <plashkari628_at_[hidden]>:
>> I have made this proposal for this new library(check attachment)
>> Suggestions are invited.
> You need to focus more on "selling your project". Why is it important to
> have such library in C++ specifically? Isn't this one of those projects
> where other languages will do just fine? What market are we missing by not
> having this library? What C++ have to offer to make such library be
> inviting to write in C++?
> You mention "gather information from observation data". Does this mean
> you'll include a parser for some format?
> Can you compare this library with some non-C++ library and detail a little
> how will scope between the two differ (e.g. your library will focus
> initially only on X given the library is only starting)?
> For now, this should be good. When it's time to submit the student form
> through the GSoC platform, you'll also focus on selling yourself. I'll give
> more feedback on this when the time comes. Don't worry.
> Should I publish this on the wiki page of Boost GSoC 2018?
> Yes, please. You can put my name as a potential mentor.
> VinÃcius dos Santos Oliveira
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