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Paper: Funtools: An Experiment with Minimal Buy-in Software
Volume: 238, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems X
Page: 225
Authors: Mandel, E.; Murray, S. S.; Roll, J. B.
Abstract: Minimal buy-in software seeks to hide from its users the complexity of complex code. This means striking a balance between the extremes of full functionality (in which one can do everything, but it is hard to do anything in particular) and naive simplicity (in which it is easy to do the obvious things, but one can't do anything interesting). Minimal buy-in acknowledges that design decisions must be made up-front in order to achieve this balance. Reported here are recent efforts to explore minimal buy-in software through the implementation of Funtools, a small suite of FITS library routines and analysis programs that attempts to hide the complexity of FITS coding. In particular, the use of ``natural order'' in the Funtools design enables it to ``do the right thing'' automatically.
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