[AstroPy] PYFITS 1.1 "beta 3" RELEASE

Christopher Hanley chanley at stsci.edu
Tue Sep 19 12:29:22 EDT 2006

| PYFITS Release |

Space Telescope Science Institute is pleased to announce the
"beta 3" release of PyFITS 1.1.  This release includes support
for both the NUMPY and NUMARRAY array packages. This software
can be downloaded at:


The NUMPY support in PyFITS is not nearly as well tested as
the NUMARRAY support.  We expect that you will encounter bugs.
Please send bug reports to "help at stsci.edu".

We intend to support NUMARRAY and NUMPY simultaneously for a
transition period of no less than 1 year. Eventually, however,
support for NUMARRAY will disappear. During this period, it is
likely that new features will appear only for NUMPY. The
support for NUMARRAY will primarily be to fix serious bugs and
handle platform updates.

| Version |

Version 1.1b3; September 19, 2006

| Major Changes since v1.1b2  |

     * Pyfits will now read fits files that have been compressed
       using either gzip or zip.  Fits files compressed with gzip
       are expected to have the extension .gz.  Files compressed
       using zip are expected to have the extension .zip.

     * A user can now provide a url (either http or ftp) instead of
       a file specification as the file name argument to fitsopen,
       or any other pyfits function that opens a fits file
       (getdata(), getheader(),info()).

     * Modified the numpy version of pyfits to recognize the numpy
       data types. This allows the int32scalar object to be treated
       like a python int. The same goes for the numpy floating and
       complex types.

     * Removed dependencies on deprecated data type names from the
       numpy version of pyfits.

     * Replaced ".dtype.fields[-1]" with ".dtype.names" to reflect
       numpy interface change.

     * Created a fix for bug in creating new tables with no rows
       and no input data.

     * Added the _gap attribute to the FITS_rec class. This missing
       attribute was causing problems when trying to write tables.

     * Create a fix for bug that prevented the use of index arrays
       with FITS_rec objects.

     * Added the __setitem__() method to the FITS_rec and FITS_record
       classes to facilitate assignment between tables.

     * Added a ".names" attribute to the numarray version of the
       FITS_rec class.

| Software Requirements |

PyFITS Version 1.1b3 REQUIRES:

        * Python 2.3 or later
        * NUMPY 1.0b5(or later) or NUMARRAY

| Installing PyFITS |
PyFITS 1.1b is distributed as a Python distutils module.
Installation simply involves unpacking the package
and executing

% python setup.py install

to install it in Python's site-packages directory.

Alternatively the command

%python setup.py install --local="/destination/directory/"

will install PyFITS in an arbitrary directory which should
be placed on PYTHONPATH. Once numarray or numpy has been
installed, then PyFITS should be available for use under

| Download Site |


| Usage  |

Users will issue an "import pyfits" command as in the past.
However, the use of the NUMPY or NUMARRAY version of PyFITS
will be controlled by an environment variable called NUMERIX.

Set NUMERIX to 'numarray' for the NUMARRAY version of PyFITS.
Set NUMERIX to 'numpy' for the NUMPY version of pyfits.

If only one array package is installed, that package's version
of PyFITS will be imported.  If both packages are installed
the NUMERIX value is used to decide which version to import.
If no NUMERIX value is set then the NUMARRAY version of PyFITS
will be imported.

Anything else will raise an exception upon import.

| Bug Reports |

Please send all PyFITS bug reports to help at stsci.edu

| Advanced Users |

Users who would like the "bleeding" edge of PyFITS can retrieve
the software from our SUBVERSION repository hosted at:


We also provide a Trac site at:


Christopher Hanley
Systems Software Engineer
Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore MD, 21218
(410) 338-4338

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