[Spice_discussion] Python Interface

Roberto Aguilar roberto.c.aguilar at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Feb 3 14:27:14 PST 2010

On Feb 3, 2010, at 1:28 PM, Darrin Chandler wrote:
> Has anyone thought more about this, or heard back from NAIF on further
> Python news?

Hi Darrin,

I had some communication back in December with SPICE's project lead.  There is an effort to get official Python bindings for SPICE, but currently the effort is running into budget/resource/time constraints, which may delay the official release.

A couple years ago I wrote a wrapper that crawls through the SPICE C implementation and creates a python module out of it.  I've been using the wrapped functions successfully in some code being used at JPL, but it has not received any testing out in "the wild."  Additionally, it doesn't wrap all functions due to one reason or another.  These functions are outlined within the wrapper code itself.

Finally, the wrapper code is not pretty.  There were quite a few hurdles I ran into while writing it and the wrapper would likely benefit from a rewrite, but it has served my purposes so, "if it ain't broke ..."

Anyway, the reason I bring up this code is that, I have asked for and have received a nod to share this code.  To make it easy for people to get the code and contribute changes, I'm hosting the project on Github:


Thanks for reminding me, getting the public repo up and running had fallen off my radar.  ;)  Hope it helps and fits your needs; let me know.


>> The SWIG stuff sounds promising, but I agree with Tom that to avoid
>> doubling the exact same efforts, I would suggest to create a mini open
>> source project for a SWIG python wrapper to SPICE (if the NAIF team
>> has nothing against it?)
>> In which case I volunteer to set a project up at the usual suspects
>> (googlecode, sourceforge) and invite anyone who wants to help to send
>> me a private email. I certainly could need some input from people who
>> have already a working wrapper, I would/could work on a wrapper for
>> Mac and Linux.
>> But I am also interested in how Adrian makes 'proper' Java calls to
>> SPICE. Are you directly talking to the libraries somehow or are you
>> executing SPICE via system calls and then catch the output for further
>> processing (e.g.  for the mentioned exceptions)?
>> Michael
> -- 
> Darrin Chandler                        dwc at ser.asu.edu
> Software Developer                     480.326.9517
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