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IRAF v2.16.1 Patch Now Available

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  • Monday, October 21 2013 @ 08:40 PM MDT
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An IRAF v2.16.1 Patch release is now available from the IRAF anonymous ftp archive at

This patch is a minor update of the IRAF v2.16 release for all 32- and 64-bit Linux and Mac OSX systems. Thsi release fixes a number of known bugs in the system but primarily features a greatly simplified installation procedure for users without root access on the machine. Major features of this release include:

     Non-root Install default      Global login
     C-shell not required          32-bit OSX changes
     Automatic update checking     X11IRAF tools included

Numerous other bug fixes, feature updates and enhancements are included as well. Details of this patch and upgrade instructions may be found in the release announcement below. Users running the original IRAF v2.16 release can update using the commands:

    % cd $iraf ; make latest

Update 10/30/13: 1) External packages have all been relinked against v2.16.1 (except the 32-bit only STSDAS/TABLES) and can be updated with a "make latest" command from the $iraf directory. PPC binaries are coming. 2) more bugs than I would like in the new install scripts have been fixed, existing installations can likewise update to get the updates. 3) No problems seen with new OSX Mavericks update in this version (however you must update XCode and reinstall XQuartz).

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IRAF Development Roadmap Available

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  • Sunday, September 29 2013 @ 10:51 PM MDT
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NOAO is taking the opportunity to begin substantial development of IRAF before evolving priorities shift both focus and resources to new challenges starting in 2016. To this end, we have developed a roadmap of projects wewill complete over the next two years, after which time IRAF support will be limited to maintenance, user support, and development of science applications. These enhancements may be categorized in the following areas:

  • CL Language Enhancements
  • In-Memory CL Image Operators
  • Spectral Package Enhancements
  • Parallel Execution
  • Python Task Interface

We very much would appreciate your feedback on our plans for IRAF. Please feel free to comment below, or contact fitz@iraf.net if you don't wish to comment publically.

Welcome to the New iraf.net

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  • Sunday, September 29 2013 @ 07:03 PM MDT
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Those of you familiar with the IRAF development cycle will not be surprised that it has taken this long to update the site, however I must still apologize for the delay. The site has essentially been rebuilt from scratch and I believe all of the old posts, forums, and user registrations have now been migrated successfully. Features such as the banner search bar, documentation and FAQ will similarly be rebuilt using tools that should make them more useful. We also plan to add new features such as interactive chatrooms once things have settled down. For now, new user registrations should be active, so post away. If you have problems or wish to request features please contact fitz@iraf.net.

Changes Coming to iraf.net

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  • Monday, July 25 2011 @ 08:07 PM MDT
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Starting Tuesday, July 26th, we will begin updating iraf.net to use a new version of the CMS system. This change is driven primarily by the deprecated support for the PHP4 engine currently used in the original (and ancient) code base. This is a long-overdue update but one that I hope will do much to modernize the site and add new features.

Most of the work will be done in the background and deployed once it is stable, however due to the unavoidable delays in getting around to this, parts of the current site will likely be inoperable for up to several days. This includes the ability to create new accounts, login to existing accounts, and perhaps post new messages or replies to the forums. I apologize for the inconvenience and promise to bring up all the features as soon as possible.

While the site is down, please feel free to contact us at admin@iraf.net and we'll try to answer your questions via email until the forums are fully restored. Thanks in advance for your patience.

Buglog #581 -- SPLOT

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  • Wednesday, June 08 2011 @ 10:05 AM MDT
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Bug Logs NUMBER: 581
MODULE: splot
SYSTEM: V2.15-
DATE: Mon Jun 6 17:21:27 MST 2011
FROM: valdes

BUG: When using the deblending options a memory free error occurs with 64-bit versions. This is caused by allocating an integer array and freeing it as a real array.

STATUS: Fixed in future patches and releases. [Note: Patched binaries for affected architectures can be found in ftp://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/v215/support/arch>/x_onedspec.e].

Enhanced Image List Templates Being Developed

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  • Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 04:50 PM MDT
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A number of system enhancements are underway as part of integrating IRAF with the Virtual Observatory, in particular is the ability to seamlessly use data tables returned by VO data services as input to IRAF tasks. This has a number of implications I'll write about later, but one early pay-off of this work is an enhanced image template interface in the core system that is now in testing internally. If you aren't sure what an "image template" is, think of the "*.fits" or @files that let you pass lists of images to IRAF tasks for processing.

In the enhanced templates, things like MEF files (and soon, tables) can be expanded automatically using the @-file operator to let any task that takes an image list process the extensions automagically. Additionally, selection of images based on image header keywrods can also be done dynamically using expressions in the template strings. For example, consider the following templates:

      @file* expand all files beginning w/ 'file'
      @file//".fits" append ".fits" to contents of 'file'
      @mef.fits expand all (image) extensions of an MEF file
      @mef.fits[SCI] select SCI extensions from MEF file
      @mef.fits[SCI,2][noinherit] select v2 SCI extns, add kernel param
      @mef.fits[1-16x2] select range of extensions from MEF file
      @mef.fits[+1-8] create a list of extensions for an MEF
      *.fits[1:100,1:100] append section to all FITS images
      @@file[1:100,1:100] append section to expanded MEFs in 'file'
      *.fits[filter?='V'] select images w/ FILTER keyword containing 'V'
      @*.fits[gain==3.0]select image extns where GAIN keyword is 3.0
      *.fits[filter?='V';gain==2.5]select using multiple OR's expressions

These templates could be used e.g. to run IMSTAT on all the extensions of a FITS file with a single command, as in

    cl> imstat @mef.fits
      instead of
      cl> imext mef.fits output=file > list.dat
      cl> if (imext.nimages > 0)
      >>> imstat @list.dat
      cl> del list.dat

where before it would have been necessary to expand the extensions explicitly using a second task into a standard @file. Notice how the other templates provide even more refined selection of the extensions, either within a single MEF or across multiple images.

These changes are all fully backward compatible but provide new syntax to give users a powerful and compact way to dynamically build image lists for use by all tasks. These new features will be especially useful for script developers tired of managing temp files of image lists, or those who just need to quickly examine MEF files or a directory of images.

Leave a message or post a comment if you're interested in getting an early peek at these new features. [Note that a small source patch to your system and a relink will be required].

Buglog #580 -- imcombine and variants

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  • Friday, April 01 2011 @ 12:20 PM MDT
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Bug Logs NUMBER: 580
MODULE: imcombine and variants
SYSTEM: -V2.15.1
DATE: Fri Apr 1 10:53:41 MST 2011
FROM: valdes

BUG:When the grow options is used with masks or partially overlapping data a segmentation could occur. This is because when data is absent (because of non-overlap) or excluded (because of mask) an identifier value was not initialized. The only workaround is to not use the grow options.

STATUS: Fixed for future patches and releases.

Buglog #579 -- specplot

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  • Thursday, March 31 2011 @ 11:50 AM MDT
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Bug Logs NUMBER: 579
MODULE: onedspec.specplot
DATE: Thu Mar 31 10:41:56 MST 2011
FROM: fitz

BUG: SPECPLOT can sometimes throw a segmentation violation or not recognize valid input spectra due to an incorrect macro definition on 64-bit platforms (linux64 and macintel only).

STATUS: This has been fixed for the next release. A patched x_onedspec.e binaries can be installed from ftp://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/v215/support//x_onedspec.e where the is either 'linux64' or 'macintel'.

Buglog #578 -- splot, scombine, fxcor, identify tasks, dispcor, disptrans

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  • Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 12:49 AM MST
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Bug Logs NUMBER: 578
MODULE: splot, scombine, fxcor, identify tasks, dispcor, disptrans
SYSTEM: v2.15-V2.15.1a (64-bit platforms only)
DATE: Tue Mar 8 21:57:38 MST 2011
FROM: fitz

BUG: The 64-bit port changes to iraf$noao/lib/smw.h improperly added a P2R() macro to the APLOW/APHIGH macro declarations. This was causing tasks with 2-D data to make an out-of-bounds request for data and leading to and error message such as
    ERROR: Pixel subscript out of bounds (spec.fits)
Normal onedspec data or use on 32-bit platforms is not affected.

STATUS: Fixed for the next release. A re-application of the v2.15.1a patch file or new installations of v2.15.1a will replace the affected binaries on 'linux64' and 'macintel' platforms.

Sersic Profiles in ARTDATA

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  • Friday, February 25 2011 @ 10:39 AM MST
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General News It has become common for people to use Sersic model profiles for galaxy simulations. ARTDATA only had exponential disks (Sersic index of 1) and De Vaucouleurs model (Sersic index of 4). General Sersic profiles have been added to ARTDATA for future releases of the noao package and is also available now as a patch.
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IRAF Roadmap

Which Roadmap Feature Should Have Highest Priority?

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