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Get your astrophysics source code here!

The ASCL is a little more high-tech than the Rhodes College library, pictured here. Image by Sara Haj-Hassan.

Have you been looking for the perfect source code to analyze that data that's getting dusty in your digital file cabinet? Or looking for somewhere to host your code so others can benefit from your clever coding? Never fear. The Astrophysics Source Code Library may be just what you need.

In July 2010, the ASCL was migrated to Starship Asterisk*, the user forums associated with the well-known Astronomical Picture of the Day, or APOD. At the time it listed only 37 source codes, despite the fact that it had existed since 2004. But on Asterisk, it has flourished; today it boasts a total of 273 source codes - and there's many more to come.

"I currently have nearly 200 codes on my 'to be added' list," said Alice Allen. "I sometimes dream of having a 'Code Zoo' project, for which I list all the codes I'm seeking and hope that others help ferret out the information needed to add the codes to the library!"

Each source code must list the code name, a brief description, credits and/or copyright, a link to the source code, and a link to a refereed paper about the code or research that used the code.

"We have discussed the possibility of including the language in which the code is written and the platform on which it runs in the entries," Allen said.

Currently, the codes are listed alphabetically, with a full-text search to find the code you want. And although ASCL does offer to host zip files of source codes, most code owners have opted to host them elsewhere and simply include a link in the ASCL. This naturally raises concerns about information preservation and dead links; at present, the links are only tested occasionally.

"Yes, we're concerned about preserving the information, very much," Allen said. "We recognize the importance of maintaining the integrity of the links. I've been exploring ways to check the links automatically but have not implemented anything yet."

Check out the ASCL for yourself by clicking here!

Via Bruce Berriman's Astronomy Computing Today blog.

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