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Proceedings Paper

The use of Flex as a viable toolkit for astronomy software applications
Author(s): Kim Gillies; Alberto Conti; Anthony Rogers
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Paper Abstract

The challenges facing the developers of user interfaces for astronomy applications has never been greater. Astronomers and engineers often use well-designed commercial and web applications outside their work environment and have come to expect a similar user experience with applications developed for their work tasks. The connectivity provided by the Internet and the ability to work from anywhere can improve user productivity, but it is a challenge to provide the kind of interactivity and responsiveness needed for astronomical applications to web based projects. It is fair to say that browserbased applications have not been adequate for many kinds of workhorse astronomy applications. The Flex/Actionscript framework from Adobe has been used successfully at the Space Telescope Science Institute in a variety of situations that were not possible with other technologies. In this paper, the Flex framework and technology is briefly introduced followed by a discussion of its advantages and disadvantages and how it addresses user expectations. Three astronomy applications will be presented demonstrating the technology capabilities with useful performance data. Flex/Actionscript is not well known within the astronomy development community, and our goal is to demonstrate that it can be the right choice for many astronomy applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7740, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy, 774014 (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857865
Show Author Affiliations
Kim Gillies, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Alberto Conti, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Anthony Rogers, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7740:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy
Nicole M. Radziwill; Alan Bridger, Editor(s)

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