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[fitsbits] Automated FITS correction tools?



 
 
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Old December 4th 10, 06:57 AM posted to sci.astro.fits
Rob Seaman
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Default [fitsbits] Automated FITS correction tools?

On Dec 3, 2010, at 10:26 PM, Rob Seaman wrote:

Note that problems with conformance to the standard are different than problems generated in some particular workflow. Not only might strict conformance be a much higher bar than would otherwise be required for clean sailing through the workflow (eg, "save-the-bits" requires the minimum level of compliance with the fundamental structural keywords possible since it seeks to handle any FITS HDU object whatsoever) - but conformance gets mixed up with other requirements the workflow places on FITS keyword values, etc. That is, workflow requirements are simultaneously more and less strict than formal conformance requirements.


The more basic question to ask is "what is FITS"?

Is FITS limited to files that are strictly compliant with the standard? Or is FITS deemed to include the many times as many files whose creators were "aiming for" FITS? Sometimes nonconformance is intentional. Sometimes unintentional.

Otherwise my original question is nonsensical. One cannot "fix" a FITS file that is nonconformant - because such a file is not FITS in the first place. Rather:

1) Given a file that resembles FITS to a greater or lesser degree, and

2) Making assumptions (obscure or obvious) about the intentions of the creator of that file, then

3) Can one design a tool to generate a new file that does conform to the FITS standard while preserving the intent of the creator as well as conveying the same "information" (scientific, structural, logistical, provenance, etc of the data and metadata)?

Further:

4) Can this be done in a general purpose enough manner to make the tool of broad utility?

Rob


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