Caglow Library: Intro to the Caglow Library

Posted July 21, 2014 by User 1

The Caglow Library (libcaglow) will form the basis of the next-generation of the Caglow platform. Once complete, it will replace Aloac as the Caglow project's standard library of astronomical and physical algorithms which other projects can then utilize.

The fundamental difference between libcaglow and many other astronomical libraries, including Aloac, is that libcaglow is optimized for operating on large sets of related data. It's structured in a way that encourages caching of results from computationally intensive methods to prevent necessitating the computation of identical transformations repeatedly thanks to extensive use of linear transformations. While this process creates some unnecessary overhead for singular computations -- for example, in finding the position of the Moon alone -- it greatly accelerates the process of, say, finding the position of a million stars at once for a given time. As a result, it is well-suited for creating simulations of objects the sky.

As part of an overall transition of the Caglow project, libcaglow is being written in the Ada programming language -- specifically, Ada 2012. Ada was selected for its ability to scale well and its mission-critical design to help produce properly working code with minimal debugging. As a side effect, however, only other Ada programs will be able to make use of the library.

An initial (likely incomplete) release of libcaglow is expected for the end of December, 2014 as part of the first milestone of the Caglow 3 platform.

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