[AstroPy] [ANN] PyFITS v3.4.0 released!

Erik Bray embray at stsci.edu
Fri Jan 29 14:00:18 EST 2016

Hi all,

It has been a year and a half since the last stand-alone PyFITS release.  It 
wasn't clear if there ever would be one, since PyFITS has been merged into 
Astropy as the astropy.io.fits module.  However it was always my plan to do "one 
last release" of PyFITS before dropping support for it, and here is that release:


This release includes most enhancements and bug fixes from astropy.io.fits, up 
through astropy v1.1.2 (which is not yet released).  This excludes a few 
enhancements specific to astropy, that took advantage of other code in astropy. 
  So this release of PyFITS should stand truly separate from Astropy.

That said, using pyfits over astropy.io.fits is discouraged.  To give a little 
more background on this, I'll quote from the changelog [1]:

This will likely be the last stand-alone release of PyFITS that does not
depend on Astropy.  There are a few reasons for this:

1) Development resources for PyFITS are limited, and better focused on
    newer projects.

2) Astropy incorporates all features of PyFITS, and has many new features
    from which future development of the FITS reader/writer can benefit, such
    as a better table interface, units, and datetime types.  Since the most
    beneficial future development in ``astropy.io.fits`` depends on other
    parts of Astropy there is less motivation to maintain an independent FITS

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release--there were several updates 
contributed by the community through astropy.io.fits--another advantage of being 
part of Astropy!

Erik Bray

P.S. On a personal note, for those who know me, today is my last day at STScI. 
I've taken a new position at Universite Paris Sud.  My new position is still 
embedded in the open source scientific Python world, so I'm sure many of us will 
still be in touch, and I intend to remain involved in the Astropy project.

[1] https://github.com/spacetelescope/PyFITS/blob/master/CHANGES.txt#L10

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