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PyMidas - a Python interface to ESO-MIDAS. Appeal for testers.

Dear MIDAS users,

The Sampo project (*) has developed a new interface between the dominant
modern scripting language in astronomy - Python - and the major ESO legacy
general purpose data processing system, MIDAS. This software is called
PyMidas and will be demonstrated and presented at the forthcoming ADASS
conference (www.adass.org) in Spain in early October 2005. We hope that
you may be interested in this product and perhaps willing to test a "beta"
release that we will make available in the very near future.

PyMidas allows the large and highly developed body of code in MIDAS to be
integrated with modern data reduction and analysis. It allows scripting
in Python to evoke MIDAS commands, it retains the full power of the original
MIDAS system, using identical syntax, and allows flexible mixing with other
Python-based systems, in particular access to IRAF through Pyraf.

We are in the process of preparing a "tester's bundle" of PyMidas to be
easily downloaded and installed for trying out. We are keen to contact
interested users and groups in the community so that we get early feedback and

In the future PyMidas may be included in MIDAS releases and also as
part of the ESO Scisoft software bundle (www.eso.org/scisoft). Note that PyMidas
is an experimental product from a pilot project and is not supported ESO

If you think you may be interested in PyMidas, or are willing to try it
out, we would be very grateful if you would send us a short email.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Richard Hook (Sampo Project Manager)
Palle Moller (Sampo Project Scientist)

*  Finland joined ESO in June 2004 and part of the joining fee was a
contribution "in kind" of significant software effort which forms a project
called Sampo (www.eso.org/sampo). Sampo is looking at the future needs of the
ESO user community in the areas of data reduction and analysis and will
perform several pilot projects to assess different approaches and technologies
that will be needed to cope with data from ESO facilities during the next
decade and beyond. PyMidas is the first Sampo pilot project.

For more details about Sampo and its roll in ESO's plans for software support
of the community in the future please see the ESO Messenger, issue 120,
page 17 (http://www.eso.org/gen-fac/pubs/messenger/archive/no.120-jun05/messenger-no120.pdf).