by Brandon Rhodes • Home

PyEphem, now on Launchpad!

Date: 14 June 2008
Tags:computing, pyephem, python, web notes

PyEphem logo I have decided to give my PyEphem astronomy library for Python a public source code repository, an open forum for user questions, and a bug tracker where my users can see the progress of their bug reports out in the open rather than having them scattered across our email inboxes. To accomplish all of this, I simply registered PyEphem with Launchpad, a site built to host software projects that is already used by several projects for which I have great respect.

Because users might become confused now that PyEphem is spread across three web sites — the home page is here at, releases are posted over at the Python Package Index, and, again, the development project is now hosted at Launchpad — I have completely redesigned the PyEphem home page with the goal of making the three-site distinction clear, coherent, and easy to navigate. The new home page and documentation are generated by the wonderful Sphinx documentation engine, and I am still thrilled about how pretty my code samples look (check out the one on the PyEphem home page!) now that Sphinx is coloring them in with the renowned Pygments system.

I have simultaneously released a new version of PyEphem that includes the new Sphinx-based documentation, along with several important fixes to the software itself. From now on, rather than cluttering my own blog with every minor version of PyEphem that I might release, fans of the software should visit its News and announcements page on Launchpad and subscribe themselves to its Atom/RSS feed. You will still see the project mentioned here whenever a technical or scientific issue becomes interesting enough for me to write about; but the audience of astronomers and hobbyists who just need to know when the next version is released should not have to wade through my blog to do so!

My users have already begun transferring their questions and problems to Lauchpad, and I look forward to offering much greater accountability through a fully public development process.