2012 In Review
@ Matthew Turk | Monday, Dec 31, 2012 | 3 minute read | Update at Friday, Dec 4, 2020

What was 2012 like for the yt community? Let’s look back together!

2012 In Review

2012 was an amazing year for yt. Whether measured by improvements to the code or community activity, it has been the busiest and most productive yet.

Here are a few stats:

  • We held the first ever yt workshop at the FLASH center in Chicago in January. Plans for a development-focused workshop have already begun in earnest for March of 2013.

  • 2221 changesets were added to the code base – out of a total 7369, or slightly over 30%!

  • One of the most exciting things that happened within the yt community this year has been the growth of the developer community. Many people who previously used yt, or participated on the mailing list, have transitioned into being very active developers of yt as well.

    • In 2011, Nathan Goldbaum had contributed one changeset. In 2012, he was the number two contributor, with 322, ranging from the PlotWindow to field names and fixes for detailed aspects of the FLASH frontend.
    • This year Kacper Kowalik began to contribute strongly in many areas, including the grid data format, arbitrary data loading, and improving the overall health of the code.
    • Chris Moody contributed substantially to the (NMSU) ART frontend and support for the Rockstar halo finder, over the course of 121 changesets in 2012.
    • Andrew Myers expanded support for particles in Orion and contributed many changes for Chombo and Boxlib codes.
    • In 2012, John ZuHone contributed 106 changesets, fixing aspects of the FLASH and Athena frontends and adding substantial support for creating particle datasets in memory and expanding the generation of initial conditions.
  • With a focus on enabling easier contributions from members of the community, we’ve also had first-time contributions from many people.

    • Brian Crosby
    • Andrew Cunningham
    • Markus Haider
    • Christian Karch - a constant cheerful presence in IRC who has helped out with volume rendering and FLASH frontend improvements.
    • Yuan Li
    • Joshua Moloney
    • Thomas Robitaille
    • Anna Rosen
    • Anthony Scopatz - who has helped us start a large-scale testing initative, add support for cylindrical coordinates, and transition from using na for NumPy to np!
    • Elizabeth Tasker
    • Stephanie Tonnesen - whose help keeping Athena support up to date and functional has been incredibly helpful!
  • Version 2.4 of yt was released, which included threaded volume rendering, the Plot Window, a totally rewritten GUI, and a bunch of other improvements.

  • The yt Hub was re-launched with data exploration widgets and an IPython Notebook viewer.

  • The documentation for yt was streamlined and improved, with some awesome cookbook recipes and improvements. We also now have a constantly refreshed build of the documentation at ReadTheDocs.

  • Development of yt 3.0 really took off, with people from several communities picking it up and contributing changes.

  • yt gained the ability to create data totally in memory, and then write it to disk!

  • The yt community grew and was more active than ever, providing assistance, ideas, sharing suggestions and scripts, and keeping a congenial, friendly attitude.

Thanks for everything, and here’s to making 2013 even better!

yt extension modules

yt has many extension packages to help you in your scientific workflow! Check these out, or create your own.


ytini is set of tools and tutorials for using yt as a tool inside the 3D visual effects software Houdini or a data pre-processor externally to Houdini.


Trident is a full-featured tool that projects arbitrary sightlines through astrophysical hydrodynamics simulations for generating mock spectral observations of the IGM and CGM.


pyXSIM is a Python package for simulating X-ray observations from astrophysical sources.


Analyze merger tree data from multiple sources. It’s yt for merger trees!


yt_idv is a package for interactive volume rendering with yt! It provides interactive visualization using OpenGL for datasets loaded in yt. It is written to provide both scripting and interactive access.


widgyts is a jupyter widgets extension for yt, backed by rust/webassembly to allow for browser-based, interactive exploration of data from yt.


yt_astro_analysis is the yt extension package for astrophysical analysis.

Make your own!!

Finally, check out our development docs on writing your own yt extensions!

Contributing to the Blog

Are you interested in contributing to the yt blog?

Check out our post on contributing to the blog for a guide!

We welcome contributions from all members of the yt community. Feel free to reach out if you need any help.

the yt data hub

The yt hub at https://girder.hub.yt/ has a ton of resources to check out, whether you have yt installed or not.

The collections host all sorts of data that can be loaded with yt. Some have been used in publications, and others are used as sample frontend data for yt. Maybe there’s data from your simulation software?

The rafts host the yt quickstart notebooks, where you can interact with yt in the browser, without needing to install it locally. Check out some of the other rafts too, like the widgyts release notebooks – a demo of the widgyts yt extension pacakge; or the notebooks from the CCA workshop – a user’s workshop on using yt.

Social Links