About the New Interface
We have changed the web
interface to TGCat, the Chandra Grating Data Catalog and Archive
(http://tgcat.mit.edu/). Don't worry! The content is the same.
For a while, the old interface will be available via: http://tgcat.mit.edu/prev/.
Why did we change the interface? The original design did not scale
well under the addition of new features; it also transferred two
orders of magnitude more html-data than necessary. While adding VO
support, we were motivated to make more general changes to streamline
The new interface
- is menu based. This should be more familiar since menus are
common in many modern applications. This also frees screen
real-estate we had used for state and action buttons. Menus are
scalable: new items can be added without using space on the
screen. Menus can be more efficient - we now have fewer clicks to
perform some actions.
- supports multiple unified "plug in" back-end interfaces, such as
Virtual Observatory (VO) tables and ASCII tables (both supported),
or a command line "wget" (to be provided).
- has much smaller web data volume transfer - about 100 kb instead
of 10 MB for typical queries. Searches and sorting are much more
- remembers user queries. Queries can also be saved and assigned an
- has an enhanced download package management interface, and direct single-file
One disadvantage in a menu-based system is that relevant choices for a
context are not immediately visible. Hopefully, our menu design is
sensible and intuitive. We welcome your feedback. If there are
features you cannot find or which you find confusing, please send
email to firstname.lastname@example.org (but also look under the "Help" link).