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Paper: One Hop: In The Right Direction
Volume: 475, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXII
Page: 59
Authors: Glotfelty, K. J.
Abstract: Accelerated by the ease of access to data triggered by growing archive registries and common search protocols, many more application than before are now directly interfacing with archives. Gone and going are the days when data sat behind proprietary archive interfaces. What were once exclusively considered analysis tools designed to consume files on disk are now becoming first-class front ends to archives to discover and retrieve remote data-sets. More than that, whether by saving files to disk or sending and servicing SAMP messages, these applications are themselves now local data service providers for other local applications. The problem is that often data that are retrieve remotely are directly cast into the applications internal data model – likely altering the data in the process. Content may be added (e.g. new columns), nonessential information (to the current application) may be purged, provenance altered, or content directly modified (e.g. WCS conventions). This possibly insufficient or incompatible view of the data is then what is presented to postliminary tools in the work-flow. The remote data have in essence become trapped in the application that retrieved it from the remote service. In this paper we will discuss this “one hop” effect and the strain it imposes on application developers. We will showcase a current example of this problem and discuss why a “return to source” model of sending all applications back to the original remote source is, in general, insufficient.
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