Warren J. Hack hack at stsci.edu
Tue Aug 23 16:50:42 EDT 2011




The Science Software Branch of the Space Telescope Science Institute
wishes to announce the availability of version 3.14 of the Space Telescope
Science Data Analysis Software (STSDAS).  Concurrent with the STSDAS
release, we have also released v3.14 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 STIS, COS, ACS, and WFC3.
This release includes the same versions of the calibration software
used in the pipeline to support all active HST instruments using the
algorithms developed from the data taken during Servicing Mission 4,
especially for the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), Wide Field
Camera 3(WFC3) and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph(COS).

This release contains the latest version of the stecf IRAF package for
supporting HST data that had been developed by members of the Space
Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) which closed on 31
December 2010.  Support for these packages may be obtained by contacting
the STScI Help Desk at 'help at stsci.edu'. These questions will then be
forwarded to the package authors at ESO as required.

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.

This distribution of TABLES includes the TTOOLS package, as well
as FITSIO, and TBPLOT, along with the gflib, stxtools, and tbtables
libraries.  All these packages and libraries have been compiled to run
under 32-bit IRAF only, in contrast to the 64-bit version of TTOOLS
(installed as NTTOOLS) and the tbtables library supported by IRAF and
included in IRAF 2.15.

The Science Software Branch of STScI also wishes to announce the
availability of version 2.12 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.

The primary testing for this release also took place using Python 2.7.1
with numpy 2.0, although this code was also tested under Python 2.5.4
as well.  This testing took place under Linux and Mac OS X (both 10.5
and 10.6), but testing no longer takes place on Solaris.  Some revisions to
the code in this release have been made in preparation for the transition
to supporting Python 3.  This version does not run under Python 3, but
these changes represent the first steps in making this code suitable for
conversion. It is anticipated that the next full release of the PyRAF 
(late 2011/early 2012) will have basic capabilities working under
Python 3.

This release introduces namespace changes to many of the packages as one
part of the effort to update how these packages are built and installed.
The packages whose names have changed include:

old name   --->         new name
----------              -------------
convolve               stsci.convolve
image                  stsci.image
imagemanip             stsci.imagemanip
imagestats             stsci.imagestats
numdisplay             stsci.numdisplay
pytools                stsci.tools
stimage                stsci.stimage
ndimage                stsci.ndimage

Any Python code which referenced any of these packages will need to be
updated to use the new names.

This distribution continues to develop packages with tasks specific to
each HST instrument, with updates being made to calibration code for COS,
while adding tasks for working with ACS data. The updates to the ACS
tasks which correct for CTE effects in ACS images. PyFITS V3.0 included
in this release has been significantly revised, with the full details of
the changes described in the release notes.  The STWCS package has also
been revised to correct bugs and add functionality to the HSTWCS object.
Significant updates were also made to TEAL (the EPAR-like parameter
editor GUI) to provide more advanced behaviors and to document how it
can be used as a GUI for running any command-line driven Python task.
This release also contains pysynphot v0.9 which contains several bug
fixes and significant performance improvements for some calculations.

HSTCAL Package
This release also contains a new package called HSTCAL.  This package
contains everything necessary to compile C code, written under IRAF
using the CVOS interface, without the use of IRAF at all.  The HSTIO
image and tables C API has been replicated using CFITSIO.  This new API
was then used to compile the ACS calibration code CALACS for use without
IRAF. This new version of CALACS, though, relies on a new reference table,
IMPHTTAB, to provide the values of the photometric keywords instead of
calling IRAF's synphot package.  The IMPHTTAB reference table can be
downloaded using the ACS team reference file web page. This version of
CALACS, Version 6.1.0,  has been installed as the calibration software
that gets used in the archive and for pipeline calibrations, replacing
the previous STSDAS/IRAF based version.

64-bit IRAF Support
IRAF 2.15 includes support for 64-bit systems. The changes necessary to
support 64-bits generally require applications to be modified. We will
only release 32-bit binaries fo the Tables and STSDAS packages for use
with IRAF 2.15. Support for 32-bit binaries will continue as long as
there are sufficient plaforms that such binaries will run on. We may
only convert some packages in Tables and STSDAS to 64-bit version when
the 32-bit versions are no longer viable and if created will be released
as a separate package with a different name. When the 32-bit versions
of TABLES and STSDAS are no longer viable, support for any tasks within
those packages not ported to 64-bits will end.  The full description of
this policy can be found online at:


Platform Support
This release does not contain STSDAS/Tables binaries for PowerPC
Macintosh systems. However, there are no known reasons why a user
could not build this package from source code on a PowerPC using the
installation instructions for STSDAS.

STSDAS/Tables Binaries for this release were built on Red Hat Enterprise
Linux 4 and 5, and Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 (Intel architecture only).

STSDAS/Tables Binaries were built with IRAF 2.14, except for
Solaris, which were built with IRAF 2.12.2a.  IRAF is available from

In addition, this distribution of STScI_Python was tested to correctly
support installation on Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), and Mac OS X 10.6,
while also being provided for installation (without IRAF) under Windows.

No Solaris Support
This version was not built or tested on Solaris. The source code, however,
can always be downloaded and compiled locally as needed.

This release includes a port of stsci_python that runs natively under
Windows. PyRAF is not included for use with the Windows distribution, but
the source distribution for STScI_Python could potentially be installed
under Cygwin to work with the IRAF installation there, although that
configuration has not been verified or tested.

The primary requirement for use of this installer is that the Windows
executables were built against and, therefore, can run only under
Python 2.7.

STSDAS/TABLES v3.14 can be downloaded from the STSDAS web site.
The installation instructions for all these packages have changed.
You can now download a single tar file that contains the source code and
binaries for STSDAS, TABLES, and STECF.  There is also a smaller file
if you just need TABLES.  You can see the new installation instructions at


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

STSCI_PYTHON v 2.12 be downloaded from the PyRAF web site:


Installation instructions are available from the PyRAF web site, with
support for installations on 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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