Students: Apply to work on Astropy as part of the Google Summer of Code!

by Tom March 3, 2014

As one of the co-ordinators of the Astropy project, I am very happy to announce that Astropy will be participating in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014 edition! For anyone not familiar with GSoC, it is a program that allows students around the world to spend three months during the summer contributing to an […]


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Announcing Astropy v0.2: The First Release of the Community Built Astronomy Python Package

by Tom April 10, 2013

A little over a year ago, I wrote about the Astropy project. The aim of the project is to co-ordinate the Python code development efforts in Astronomy so as to be able to present users with a coherent set of tools to perform their work. On February 20th, we released the first public version, Astropy […]

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Astropy website/logo design competition

by Tom February 6, 2012

Last Monday, I wrote about the Astropy project, and mentioned various ways of contributing to the project code and documentation. We’ve now launched a competition to design the website and logo for Astropy, with a prize for the winning entry, so if you’re looking for a fun way to contribute to Astropy, this is your […]


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The Astropy Project: A core Python package for Astronomy

by Tom January 30, 2012

In June 2011, the announcement of a new Python package for Astronomy on the astropy mailing list prompted a long thread that started as a criticism of the proliferation of independently-developed Astronomy Python packages but quickly became the start of a common effort to develop a single core package for Astronomy. Many hundreds of emails, […]


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Python Tutorial for Astronomers

by Tom May 25, 2011

On Monday, a group of CfA astronomers (Tom Aldcroft, Brian Refsdal, Gus Muench, and myself) announced the availability of a web tutorial aimed at teaching Python to astronomers through a series of interactive workshops: Practical Python for Astronomers is a series of hands-on workshops to explore the Python language and the analysis tools it […]


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Mute noisy conversations in GMail

by Tom February 14, 2011

I occasionally get added to endless email conversations which I have no time to read and/or contribute to. If I archive the message, it will pop back into the inbox every time someone replies and sets off the GMail notifier. However, I recently discovered that GMail has a nice ‘mute’ feature, which archives the message […]


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Version Control Demystified, Part 3: Git and Mercurial

by Tom December 20, 2010

This post is the third in a series devoted to version control. In Part 1, I talked about version control features that are already integrated into everyday tools, such as Dropbox or Google Docs. In Part 2, I gave an introduction to Subversion, which is a ‘traditional’ command-line version control system. In this post, I […]


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Version Control Demystified, Part 2: A Subversion Primer

by Tom November 29, 2010

Introduction A couple of weeks ago, I outlined how version control, which I defined as the management of changes to documents, code, or information is both something you should care about, and something that you may already have been using or can easily use with Time Machine, Dropbox,, etc. One of the areas where […]


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Version Control Demystified, Part 1: Version Control in Apps you already use

by Tom November 15, 2010

Have you heard about ‘version control’ but don’t know what it is, don’t see the point, don’t want to invest time finding out about it, or think that it is only accessible to the tech-savvy? Think again! This is the first in a series of posts devoted to demystifying version control. By ‘version control’, what […]


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How to easily create, read, write and manipulate tables and databases in Python with ATpy and asciitable

by Tom September 6, 2010

With the release of ATpy 0.9.4 and asciitable 0.2.4, it’s about time we told our readers how incredibly easy it is to create, read, write, and manipulate tables and databases of data in Python!   Most, if not all of us have to manage tabular data at one point or another, and it is safe […]


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