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Proceedings Paper

Code sharing and collaboration: experiences from the Scientist's Expert Assistant project and their relevance to the virtual observatory
Author(s): Anuradha Koratkar; Sandy Grosvenor; Jeremy E. Jones; Connie Li; Jennifer Mackey; Ken Neher; Karl R. Wolf
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Paper Abstract

In the Virtual Observatory (VO), software tools will perform the functions that have traditionally been performed by physical observatories and their instruments. These tools will not be adjuncts to VO functionality but will make up the very core of the VO. Consequently, the tradition of observatory and system independent tools serving a small user base is not valid for the VO. For the VO to succeed, we must improve software collaboration and code sharing between projects and groups. A significant goal of the Scientist's Expert Assistant (SEA) project has been promoting effective collaboration and code sharing among groups. During the past three years, the SEA project has been developing prototypes for new observation planning software tools and strategies. Initially funded by the Next Generation Space Telescope, parts of the SEA code have since been adopted by the Space Telescope Science Institute. SEA has also supplied code for the SIRTF planning tools, and the JSky Open Source Java library. The potential benefits of sharing code are clear. The recipient gains functionality for considerably less cost. The provider gains additional developers working with their code. If enough users groups adopt a set of common code and tools, de facto standards can emerge (as demonstrated by the success of the FITS standard). Code sharing also raises a number of challenges related to the management of the code. In this talk, we will review our experiences with SEA - both successes and failures, and offer some lessons learned that might promote further successes in collaboration and re-use.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4477, Astronomical Data Analysis, (1 November 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.447175
Show Author Affiliations
Anuradha Koratkar, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Sandy Grosvenor, Booz-Allen Hamilton (United States)
Jeremy E. Jones, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Connie Li, Commerce One (United States)
Jennifer Mackey, Commerce One (United States)
Ken Neher, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Karl R. Wolf, Commerce One (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4477:
Astronomical Data Analysis
Jean-Luc Starck; Fionn D. Murtagh, Editor(s)

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