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IRAF Update (1Dec95) (from CCS, NOAO Newsletter No. 44, December 1995) The first bug fix patch for V2.10.4 was released in mid-September for SunOS, Sun Solaris, and OSF/1. Most of the bug fixes were minor, although a serious world coordinate system bug fix was included that affected writing QPOE files in the PROS/XRAY package. All sites running V2.10.4 are encouraged to install the patch, which can be found in the appropriate IRAF network distribution archives on iraf.noao.edu. Refer to the README file in the distribution directory for instructions on applying the patch. The patch does not modify any site dependent files, hence is easily applied. IRAF V2.10.4 for PCs running Linux was released in early September (the initial release included the patch mentioned above). The IRAF V2.10.4 port to Linux was done using the Slackware 2.3 Linux distribution and the version 1.2.11 Linux kernel. The initial testing for the port was done on two platforms, a high end Pentium system (P5-90, Adaptec 2940 PCI/SCSI bus, 32 Mb RAM, 17 inch monitor, HP DAT tape drive), and a more modest 486DX2 66 MHz system (IDE/SCSI 16 Mb). The distribution includes Linux versions of xgterm and ximtool as well as an option to run gzexe-compressed executables on those systems with limited diskspace. Our records show this to be a very popular port, with 165 distributions downloaded in the first six weeks or so. Equivalent distributions for Solaris x86 and BSD are in preparation and should follow shortly. We are very pleased with the performance of IRAF on modern PCs, which should offer an attractive and cost effective alternative to workstations, especially for personal use. Use of the global Internet is exploding and our overseas users are reporting problems accessing the IRAF server in Tucson to download files or browse the IRAF Web pages. The problem is likely to get worse before the network providers can increase the bandwidth enough to handle the explosion of traffic. We are looking into setting up overseas mirrors of the IRAF archives to help alleviate this problem. Thanks to the Starlink group at RAL, we are experimenting initially with a mirror site for the UK. If this proves successful, we will try to establish other mirrors at sites scattered around the world (ordering a CDROM distribution is another way around this problem: see the discussion below). The intention is that the mirrors will be duplicates of the main IRAF archive, supporting both FTP and Web access, and will be updated periodically by some automated means. In other systems work, Mike Fitzpatrick and Doug Tody have been adding several new enhancements to ximtool as part of continuing work on the X11IRAF project. These include an integrated hardcopy print capability as well as disk file load and save options, and support for 8 bit operation on 24 bit displays. This new version of ximtool should be released shortly. Additional enhancements planned for the near future include support for a number of other PC image formats, as well as datastream compression for faster operation when displaying remotely over a slow network. Lindsey Davis has continued working on the problem of WCS-driven image registration. As part of that effort she has written a general celestial coordinate transformation task based on the Starlink FORTRAN astrometry library SLALIB, which supports equatorial (FK4, FK4-NO-E, FK5, GAPPT), ecliptic, galactic, and supergalactic coordinates, as well as the IRAF MWCS (logical, physical, world) systems. This facility will enable users to register images that have equatorial system WCS with different equinoxes and epochs, e.g., FK4 B1950.0 and FK5 J2000.0, or images that have different celestial coordinate systems, e.g., equatorial and galactic. An experimental implementation of all the sky projection functions proposed by Greisen and Calabretta in their draft FITS proposal entitled "Representations of Celestial Coordinates in FITS" has also been implemented. Aside from supporting the new projection types, the WCS representation used by IRAF has not changed as the new WCS representation is still under development and is incompatible with older representations, including that currently used by IRAF. Frank Valdes has been working on a new task, AUTOIDENTIFY, that automatically identifies arc lines and derives a dispersion function. The task allows various types of constraining information such as approximate central wavelength and dispersion. A minimum input to the task would be the arc line spectrum, a line list, and an optional wavelength-calibrated template spectrum. The template spectrum is used to select the significant lines, but it need not have the same detailed line strengths as the data spectrum. The separation of line strength information from the line list itself, allows users to provide more appropriate templates having similar detector response characteristics. IRAF V2.10.4 is now available for distribution on a CDROM that includes all V2.10.4 distributions, all IRAF documentation (mostly as PostScript files), selected NOAO layered packages, and other miscellaneous items. The CDROM is a simple mirror image of portions of the IRAF FTP network archive. IRAF is installed from the CDROM to disk, i.e., you can not run IRAF from the CDROM. The CDROM may be customized for other distributions upon request. We plan to produce more fully featured CDROMs in the future and will be experimenting with capabilities such as browsable and searchable documentation and IRAF distributions that can be run directly from the CDROM, e.g., for the PC-IRAF distribution. These initial CDROMs are intended mainly as an alternative to tape or network distributions. Members of the IRAF Group attended the ADASS '95 Conference in Tucson in late October, and presented various papers on current IRAF projects: "World Coordinate System Based Image Registration Tools for IRAF" by Lindsey Davis, "Datastream Compression for IRAF Image Display" by Mike Fitzpatrick and Doug Tody, "Remote Observing and Automatic FTP on Kitt Peak" by Rob Seaman and Bruce Bohannan (KPNO), "PC-IRAF: The Choice of a GNU Generation" by Doug Tody and Mike Fitzpatrick, and "Automated Arc Line Identifications in IRAF" by Frank Valdes. An IRAF computer demo was also available at the meeting so the IRAF group could discuss the latest IRAF developments with the conference participants. Everyone we talked to felt that this ADASS, the fifth in the series, was one of the best ever. The oral and poster sessions were excellent, and the BOFs and tag-along workshops were popular and well attended. The IRAF BOF held on Monday during the conference had a new format this year, emphasizing IRAF development by user sites. A number of interesting contributed talks were given, followed by a presentation on IRAF system development, and concluding with a group discussion of IRAF priorities and plans. Written status reports on IRAF and the major layered packages (STSDAS, PROS, EUV) are available for those who could not attend the BOF. An IRAF Developer's Workshop was held on Thursday following the conference and was attended by over 60 participants. Software developers from around the world attended the workshop to discuss their various IRAF projects. Special topics for this year included Pipeline Software, Archiving, and Data Structures. The workshop concluded with a group discussion of future directions and priorities for IRAF development. For further information about the IRAF project please see the IRAF Web pages at http://iraf.noao.edu/ or send e-mail to iraf@noao.edu. The adass.iraf newsgroups on USENET provide timely information on IRAF developments and are available for the discussion of IRAF related issues. Doug Tody, Jeannette Barnes
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