A: It is the Astronomical Instrumentation Software Framework, which is an implementation of the Astronomical Instrumentation Software Specification. AISF is therefore a set of functions to control astronomical instruments (telescopes, CCD cameras etc).
Q: What is the AISS?
A: It is a specification outlining a set of simple interfaces to Astronomical Instruments. The goal of AISS is to make programing a CCD camera as easy as calling a function (expose) and looking at a well defined image data structure.
Q: So this
is all like INDI?
A: No, not quite INDI, is a system of drivers that uses XML to create interfaces. Where as AISF is a standard that allows a person to write a driver or a wrapper for a driver and talk to it by calling C functions.
NOTE: One of the wishlist items is cross compatibility with INDI.
Q: Whats with the wishlist?
A: All Santa gives me every year is a lump of coal.
Actually since I am only human I cannot add all of the cool features this software is capable of, hence Sourceforge and the GPL. If you are capable of submitting something on the wishlist please by all means do.
Q: So if I submit something it automatically goes into the software?
A: No. Aaron Smith, the project leader, and project members will review your submission and check it for bugs to the extent possible. Then if we feel comfortable we will include your submission in the development branch.
Q: Doesn't look like there is much there.
A: Thats not a question thats a statement of fact. Anyway the project is just getting started this is the implementation of the data structures and command functions. If you don't like it, contribute, too lazy to contribute donate, too poor to donate and too lazy to work on the project sit down, just don't know how to program, then I assure you there is plenty there.
Q: Why C?
A: Why not C? The fact is that this is a low level system similar in principal to GTK+. The goal is to provide simple but powerful functions for the operation of a range of instruments. AISS can however be implemented in any sufficiently objective language.
Q: What is ASTRIX?
A: ASTRIX is an software suite whose goal is to be as useful as CCDsoft or MIRA AP but at the same time modular, and free, software so that people can improve upon it to the point that it surpasses these venerable, if monolithic, packages.
Q: What do you mean free? My mom always said there is no such thing as a free lunch.
A: Well I am not going to fight with your mother on that one, this software isn't completely free, if you change it you have to make the changes open source so that anyone who you give the software to gets a copy of this source code and your additions. Its all apart of the GPL.
Q: Why is this code so hard to read and poorly commented?
A: Well, if you can do better please submit patches. I am not perfect and I would love some help. Its open source and you get to keep your copyright.....