Comments, suggestions and bug reports about any facet of are very useful to the programming and management group. Note that “gripes” are only useful when they are informative — e.g., giving details of the circumstances under which a task failed with accompanying system error messages (if any). Terse gripes along the lines of “UVCOP doesn’t work!” whilst perhaps true in some circumstances, are unlikely to arouse the programmers’ enthusiasm. In many cases, it may be necessary for the programmer to use your data to fix the bug. A FITS-disk file read over the net is a common means to this end. The group may often seem unresponsive to your gripe. This is an unavoidable consequence of the breadth of the project combined with the small size of the group. Nonetheless, if you do not tell the programmers that there is a problem or a good idea, then you are almost certain to encounter the same problem years later and never to see your good idea put into practice. The group depends on help from users.
Gripes can be entered into a site-wide “GR” file and automatically mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by typing:
> GRIPE C R
while in AIPS. Follow the directions to record your comment. Current gripes in the file may be read via
> GRINDEX C R
to display an index of all gripes in the file.
and a gripe may be deleted with
Note that the deleted gripe has already been e-mailed to the group in Socorro, so dropped ones get sent too. Do not do a GRDROP unless you realize that the gripe was erroneous. (An explanatory “gripe” would be appreciated.) If you change your mind about a gripe before you finish it, type _forget or _FORGET (case sensitive!) to stop the gripe before it is mailed and entered in the file. The addition of automatic e-mail gives immediacy to all gripes and provides, for the first time, real access to the gripe system for sites outside of the NRAO.