Dear Eric,

Nice to hear that you have long term plans around your retrievals and that they involve ARTS.

Very good questions, for sure important information for ARTS users.

1.Will it be possible to continue using Qpack with the new release of ARTS and if yes, will it involve some major changes in the way of programming a new retrieval ?

Presently, Qpack is not working with the development version of ARTS. When ARTS gets a bit more stable, I will fix this. So yes, it will be possible to use Qpack with ARTS-3. (But this could be the last major upgrade of Qpack, as discussed below.)

2. What are (if existing) the long-term view of the ARTS developers regarding the use of Qpack with ARTS-3 ? Will it stay supported as the main way of interacting with ARTS or are there some inclinations towards some other ways (for instance using Typhon) ?

To avoid a possible confusion. Qpack is of restricted scope. In Matlab the interface to ARTS is called qarts.

When it comes to qarts vs. Typhon, that is "the main way of interacting with ARTS", the answer is clearly Typhon.

If your question only refers to how to handle your retrievals, it is harder to give a firm answer. But in a longer perspective Typhon is still probably the safest choice.

The core developers have mainly moved to Python. I am probably the only one that still use Matlab. However, also I would prefer to use Python, as it's free software. I have just not found the time to make the switch (but now it seems that I must learn Python, to handle an upcoming course).

As OEM now is integrated into ARTS and the Python interface to ARTS is totally general, there are already less restrictions when using Python. (This has the consequence that you need to know ARTS quite well, for good and bad.)

On the other hand, Qpack is a dedicated retrieval tool and offers features that not yet are at hand in Typhon. For example, in Typhon you need to handle the data largely yourself, while in Qpack there is a standardized way to define a priori data, L1 and L2.

At least some of these features should be added to Typhon, but exactly how and when I can not say. This is mainly a matter of manpower. Both Simon and I are very busy. In addition, for some time we must focus on ARTS itself.

Sorry, if the answer is a bit vague, but it is hard to commit to things without dedicated funding. I hope you understand. Don't hesitate to come back if you have any specific question.



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