As 2011 approaches a close, we reach out to take your temperature: what should ATel’s resolution for 2012 be? How should we improve ATel to make it more useful to the transient observer community?
In 2010, we heard that our site was getting slow, sluggish, not as responsive. In 2011, we turned around, and deployed a re-write of the entire behind-the-scenes engine. Now, it’s zippy! (And we’re always looking for new speed advantages).
In 2010, we heard that people wanted ATels XML-compliant. In 2011, we addressed this somewhat by making all ATels available as XML-formatted documents through an http link, like http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?rss+3011 (although, to make ATels truly XML compliant, we’d have to enforce XML compliance on all submissions, which we haven’t yet done, and has some implications, like reserved characters, which not all of our authors like).
In 2010, we heard that we needed a service for delivering fully XML compliant alerts — so that observers can automatically submit alerts of their own format and making at the port level, and we instantly redistribute them at the port level. In 2011, we brought you ATELstream, which does precisely this, and while it’s still growing, we’re excited about the discoveries it will enable in the future.
So, what should we be doing in 2012? You can tweet it, comment below, send us a personal email! Contact us any way you like! We promise to respond, and maybe we’ll make your suggestion our main focus going into the new year!