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Tycho-2, star catalogs in Debian, and the stardata-common policy

Hi all,

I am currently creating index file packages for the upcoming "astrometry.net" package from the Tycho-2 catalog [1][2]. The Tycho-2 catalog is now DFSG-free (under BSD-2-Clause).

The catalog is a comparably huge catalog: Containing 2.5 million stars, its uncomressed size is ~500 MB, with xz compression it is still 120 MB.

I am now looking what is the most effective way to package this catalog. The simplest (and currently implemented) way would be to just have the catalog as source, and package the index files from there. If other programs need the catalog as input, I could just add the procedures to create them in debian/rules.

There is also the "stardata-common" package that defines some standard way to handle the data. However, stardata-common seems to be quite old and not be used very widely (only for the "gliese" and "yale" catalogs, right?). There were some discussions about a Hipparcos catalog [3], but it seemed not to have packaged.

Also, I have the feeling that stardata-common is not really applicable for me, since it is a huge download, while some people need only smaller index files (20 MB or so). Creating it on the fly also takes some time.

So, I am wondering, what the status of the stardata-common package (and policy) is. Is is considered (almost) dead now (popconn=325, however)?

Is there an interest to keep an unchanged version of Tycho-2 in a binary package? What about the Hipparcos catalog?

Best regards


P.S. Kevin, Francisco and Noel: I added you to the list since you were involved in the stardata-common policy, or may have some interest in a Tycho-2 package. You could also consider becoming a member of the Debian-Astro team

[1] http://bugs.debian.org/795933
[2] http://anonscm.debian.org/cgit/debian-astro/packages/tycho2.git
[3] https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2008/04/msg00010.html

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