[AstroPy] [cesare.tirabassi at gmail.com: [Bug 133784] Re: saods9 is way out of date wrt upstream (4.0b7 vs 4.13)]

Joe Harrington jh at physics.ucf.edu
Wed Jun 25 11:36:43 EDT 2008

Dear astrofolk,

The ds9 package from SAO is perhaps the most widely used viewer in the
biz, and it's pretty common for people to use it with numpy or IRAF.
There's a poor substitute for it in IDL (called atv).  It has been
available in Debian-derived Linux distros for some years, but is
outdated.  I flagged this fact in a bug report last year, only to see
the (idle) Debian maintainer formally abandon the package instead of
updating it.

Having a package available in the Debian repo means that normal Linux
users can install it with a few mouse clicks in a GUI.  It means that
the install is fully reversible and that updates are automatic.  It
eliminates the need to manage a /usr/local, which can be difficult for
non-system-savvy users.  However, abandoned packages do not long
remain in a distro, and old packages are sometimes worse than none at

The message below is the first move for Debian to formally remove the
package from its repos.  The reasons cited in the note below are
certainly accurate: the package is hard to build and does not use the
standard tools.  They are also why we need to find a Debian
maintainer: either one of us steps forward and solves the problem of
making a useful package out of it, or we each do it individually for

I hope that someone will step forward to take on this important task,
or that SAO will step up and release OS packages like .debs, or at
least release sources based on standard tools and that can be reliably
built by users.

While I am not familiar with making .deb files, my understanding is
that it is easier than building ds9 from sources.  Having taken on the
numpy docs, I cannot do this myself as well.

Will anyone step forward to take on packaging ds9?

Prof. Joseph Harrington
Department of Physics
MAP 414
4000 Central Florida Blvd.
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816-2385
jh at physics.ucf.edu

------- Start of forwarded message -------
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
From: Cesare Tirabassi <cesare.tirabassi at gmail.com>
To: jh at alum.mit.edu
Reply-To: Bug 133784 <133784 at bugs.launchpad.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 12:01:18 -0000
Subject: [Bug 133784] Re: saods9 is way out of date wrt upstream (4.0b7 vs

We have version 5.2 now from upstream.
This is a nightmare, its a 25 MB tarball which contains many libraries already in the archive (amongst them: blt,  tcl, tk, tkimg, tktable, zlib), some of these in binary format, at least another modified from source (this was replaced in Debian by a previous fortran version), its own build system which is a (worse) homemade version of a complete autotools set.
The package has been orphaned in Debian since February 2008, and I have serious doubts that, due to its nature, it will be adopted in the near future.
My preference would be to wait until Intrepid alpha 6 release (currently scheduled for September 18th) and if there is no update from Debian just remove the obsolete source and binaries from the archive.

** Changed in: saods9 (Ubuntu)
     Assignee: Cesare Tirabassi (norsetto) => (unassigned)
       Status: In Progress => Confirmed

- -- 
saods9 is way out of date wrt upstream (4.0b7 vs 4.13)
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