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Paper: TOPCAT & STIL: Starlink Table/VOTable Processing Software
Volume: 6, Twenty Years of ADASS
Page: 641
Authors: Taylor, M. B.
Abstract: The Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library (STIL) is a pure-Java, open source library for I/O and manipulation of tabular data such as astronomical catalogs. It is designed to be high-performance and to cope with large table. The core library is format-neutral, with the work of serialization and deserialization performed by pluggable format-specific I/O handlers. This means that the programmer sees a high-level abstraction of a table which is easy to work with, and also that support for new data formats can be added easily. Supplied handlers provide support for VOTables, FITS table extensions, relational database via SQL and plain text tables, amongst others. The VOTable handler is believed to be the only existing library capable of reading or writing all the defined VOTable encoding formats (TABLEDATA, FITS, BINARY). TOPCAT, based on STIL, is a user-friendly graphical program for viewing, analysis and editing of tables. It has facilities for plotting, cross matching, row selection, sorting and manipulation of data and metadata. Synthetic columns can be created and row selections made using a powerful and extensible algebraic expression language.
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