[Spice_announce] Three Questions

Charles H. Acton Charles.H.Acton at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Aug 7 11:11:37 PDT 2007

Dear SPICE Users-

The following has to do with determining SPICE user's interest in:

   1) SPICE customers using the SPICE Toolkit with their own FORTRAN 95 code

   2) a Python interface to the SPICE Toolkit;

   3) a JAVA Native Interface (JNI) to the SPICE Toolkit.


1) NAIF received several inquires concerning use of the current 
SPICELIB (FORTRAN) distribution in an F95 environment and the 
availability of a F95 native version of SPICELIB routines. NAIF tried 
one or two F95 compilers in this scenario. They compiled the  F77 
SPICELIB library, NAIF utilities, and the tspice test application 
(this includes the 4.2 version of gfortran, though not supported by 
NAIF) when using the appropriate compile flags to process F77 code. 
So it appears SPICELIB should link in an F95 project without 
problems, although NAIF cannot guarantee this.

NAIF does not intend to provide an F95 native version of the SPICELIB 
toolkit as there doesn't seem to be enough interest to warrant 
spending time on this versus working on other programming 
environments (see below), and, since it appears customers can get by 
with using the F77 library.

If you have any comments on the above, please reply to the NAIF 
manager (charles.acton at jpl.nasa.gov). You could also cc the the 
spice_discussion mailman list (spice_discussion at naif.jpl.nasa.gov) to 
place your thoughts in this public forum.

2) and 3)  NAIF has had some inquiries about Python and JAVA 
interfaces to SPICE.  We have in fact done quite a bit of work on the 
Python interface and on a JAVA Native Interface (JNI).  (We have no 
plans to re-do the Toolkit from the bottom up in JAVA.)

We're contemplating completing both of these products, including all 
of the necessary test code and updates to Toolkit documentation and 
tutorials, so they could be added to the officially supported SPICE 
programming environments. However, since achieving this "officially 
supported" status will entail a good deal more work, NAIF feels it is 
prudent to first get some sense for the level of interest in both of 

   - Python SPICE

(If interested in both, which is of greater interest?)

Please provide any feedback to the NAIF manager (charles.acton at jpl.nasa.gov).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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