Re: [gembud] GEMPAK going away in 3-5 years?

Hi Robert,

Speaking on behalf of the Unidata Users' Committee, I can assure you that the interests of GEMPAK users will continue to be strongly represented. In all of our user surveys, it is clearly evident that GEMPAK has a very large user base, and these constituents will be heard. A few years ago, there was a stir about "replacing" GEMPAK with IDV or other packages, but after considerable discussion, the committees and Unidata staff arrived at a consensus that different packages serve different needs, and it is accepted that GEMPAK will need continued support.


There were several of us on the committee, myself included, that encouraged the IDV developers to allow it to read GEMPAK files. In my view, this is more about allowing 3-D visualization of GEMPAK data, and eliminating the need for multiple file types if both were to be used, etc. And it does make it easier for any GEMPAK user to give the IDV a spin.


Finally, Unidata is keeping a close eye on the NWS development of AWIPS 2. One of the current advantages of GEMPAK is that it is used at the NWS National Centers; if that changes, and a comparable package becomes available, it would be beneficial to the community to have Unidata coordinate with that effort.


Steve's departure leaves a major void in GEMPAK development and support at Unidata, and it will be a real challenge to find someone to fill those shoes. But the fact that a job ad has already been posted is a testament to the continued support of GEMPAK by Unidata.


I hope that this reassures you and any other concerned GEMPAK users to at least some extent.

Cheers,
Gary

Gary Lackmann
Associate Professor
Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University
Chair, Unidata User's Committee



Robert Mullenax wrote:

I just happened to be reading on the Unidata site about IDV and GEMPAK grids when I was alarmed to come upon this statement:


"The second pressing issue is the impending transition of NAWIPS/GEMPAK to AWIPS2 in the next 3-5 years. At this point, it is unknown how that will impact Unidata's GEMPAK users, but the committee thought that having IDV support GEMPAK data files would be a way for GEMPAK users to transition to the IDV if they wanted."

We use GEMPAK in an operational fashion in support of our launches, and unless there are dramatic changes to IDV it just won't meet our. I know it says it's unknown how the change to AWIPS2 will affect users..but if someone could give more info on this I would appreciate. Both on AWIPS2
and on any thoughts on Unidata users.

Thanks very much,
Robert Mullenax
CSBF/PSL/NMSU