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Paper: Overview of the FTOOLS Software Development Philosophy
Volume: 125, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VI
Page: 30
Authors: Pence, W.
Abstract: This talk will describe some of the features that have lead to the success of the ftools project and have enabled it to produce and manage a large package of software with low development costs. The ftools software package is a modular, platform-independent set of programs for analyzing FITS format data files in general, with a strong emphasis on data from high energy astrophysics missions. Ftools development began in 1991 and has produced the main set of data analysis software for the current ASCA and XTE space missions and for other archival sets of X-ray and gamma-ray data. One of the original requirements of ftools was to support both the IRAF and non-IRAF user communities, therefore the ftools software can be built either as an IRAF package or as a set of stand-alone executables that can be run directly from the host operating system. Platform-independence has been achieved in part by adopting FITS as the run-time data analysis format. Other external projects are now developing their own ftools analysis tools that can be layered on top of the existing ftools packages. We encourage further such collaborations as a cost effective way to develop new software.
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