[AstroPy] TABLES/STSDAS v3.9 and STScI_Python v2.7 now available

Warren J. Hack hack at stsci.edu
Mon Nov 24 10:17:30 EST 2008




The Science Software Branch of the Space Telescope
Science Institute wishes to announce the availability of version
3.9 of the Space Telescope Science Data Analysis Software (STSDAS).
Concurrent with the STSDAS release, we have also released v3.9 of
the TABLES external package. Both of these packages are layered upon
IRAF as external packages; it is therefore necessary to obtain and
install IRAF (from http://iraf.noao.edu) before installing TABLES
and STSDAS.  STSDAS is linked against libraries in TABLES, so TABLES
must be installed before STSDAS.

This release of STSDAS contains changes to NICMOS, ACS, STIS,
WFPC/CALWP2, COS, WFC3, CTOOLS, and the Dither packages. This release
includes significant improvements to the NICMOS calibration software and
Multidrizzle, especially with regards to image alignment.

STSDAS also includes some Python-based tasks; running these requires the
STScI Python Libraries to be installed (all the non-Python tasks
can be used in the traditional way and do not require Python
or the STScI Python libraries). These tasks can only be run from
PyRAF using standard IRAF CL task syntax, or within Python scripts
using Python syntax.

The Science Software Branch of STScI also wishes
to announce the availability of version 2.7 of STSCI_PYTHON.
Stsci_python is a collection of Python modules, packages and C
extensions that has been developed to provide a general astronomical
data analysis infrastructure. They can be used for Python tasks
that are accessible from within STSDAS when running under PyRAF or
standalone from within Python.

All tasks in this release of STScI_Python rely on the use of numpy
for array operations. All references to numarray and Numeric have been
removed from the code, with support no longer being provided for use
of numarray or Numeric. This distribution continues to develop packages
with tasks specific to each HST instrument, with updates being made to
code for NICMOS, WFPC2, and COS.  This release also contains an updated
version of Multidrizzle and PyDrizzle as used by the HST ACS and WFPC2
pipelines, along with new versions of PyFITS and PyRAF. Use of the Python
tasks requires upgrading to this version of STSCI_PYTHON.

No More support for numarray
Numarray is no longer used by tasks within STScI_Python. Compatibility
with numarray still exists in PyFITS and PyRAF in this release, but will
be eliminated entirely after this release. As a result, you are advised
to migrate to numpy as soon as possible, as no further support will be
provided for the use of numarray.

This switch to numpy represents a step towards unifying the Python
scientific community in the use of a common array package.  This is
a very desirable outcome despite the inconvenience in making the
switch. Information on making the switch to numpy from numarray can
be found in this document:


This release includes a port of stsci_python that runs natively under 
Although IRAF is now available for running under Cygwin, PyRAF is not yet
available for use under Windows. This means that, in this release, all
the tasks in the STScI_Python distribution will be run under Python
(or preferably, IPython) on Windows using Python syntax rather than
a parameter-based interface provided by PyRAF and IRAF.

The primary requirement is that the Windows executables were built
against and, therefore, can run only under Python 2.5.

STSDAS/TABLES v3.9 can be downloaded from the STSDAS web site


Installation instructions are available on the web site. Precompiled
binaries also exist for some of the ports supported by NOAO, including
Sun Solaris, RedHat Linux and Mac OS X.

STSCI_PYTHON v 2.7 be downloaded from the PyRAF web site


Installation instructions are available from the PyRAF web site, with
support for installations on Sun Solaris, RedHat Linux, Mac OS X,
and Windows.

Please contact us through e-mail (help at stsci.edu), by telephone at
(410) 338-1082.

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