Thursday, May 08, 2008

SAMP is not Plastic

Despite not being an official standard the Plastic protocol is one of the more obvious success stories of the Virtual Observatory effort. While it had its flaws, Plastic was easy to implement, and was quickly adopted as the lingua franca for client-side tools to talk to each other.

However in the run up to the Trieste meeting the draft SAMP standard has been released into the wild for comments. SAMP, that's Simple Application Messaging Protocol, is the official successor to the grassroots Plastic standard and shares a lot of common influences and a fair number of the developers.

Over the last few days I've put together a first cut at a prototype SAMP Hub, which will probably eventually after a lot more polishing become one of the reference implementations for the standard, along with some testbed clients.

In the past I've posted about various Plastic and Google related hacks, so its perhaps unsurprising that the first post about SAMP is Google related, and still involves a bit of so called tupperware. To prove to myself that the prototype Hub is actually (sort of) working I've put together a Plastic to SAMP gateway, and a SAMP facade application for Google Sky. After all, I can't go to an IVOA meeting without some sort of gee whiz demo, can I?