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IRAF V2.15.1 Patch Release Now Available

  • Wednesday, January 26 2011 @ 10:38 AM GMT
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An IRAF v2.15.1 Patch release is now available from the IRAF anonymous ftp archive at

This patch is an update of the IRAF v2.15 release for all 32- and 64-bit Linux and Mac OSX systems. It is being made available now to address the following specific issues:

  • Potential Data Corruption on 64-bit Systems
  • Support for Double-Precision FITS images on 64-bit Systems
  • Remove License Restrictions from the XYACC Compiler
  • Backward-Compatability for NHEDIT tasks

Details of this patch and upgrade instructions may be found in the release announcement below.

							Jan 25, 2011

	An IRAF v2.15.1 Patch release is now available from the IRAF 
anonymous ftp archive at 


This patch is an update of the IRAF v2.15 release for all 32- and 64-bit 
Linux and Mac OSX systems.  It is being made available now to address the
following specific issues:

  1) Potential Data Corruption on 64-bit Systems

	Certain code constructs that do in-place type conversion of arrays
     have the potential to overwrite data within the array.  This can happen
     either explicitly in the application or deep in the system interfaces,
     the simplest example of this problem can be demonstrated with the
     CHPIXTYPE task.  Depending on the data type of an input image, the 
     output pixels may be corrupted in some cases.

  2) Support for Double-Precision FITS images on 64-bit System

	The IEEE NaN masking of FITS double-precision data was being done
     using only a 32-bit mask on 64-bit systems leading to all pixels being
     interpreted as zero values.  Double-precision computation of data was
     affected, only the interpretation of pixels in FITS file where data
     are stored with BITPIX=-64.

  3) Remove License Restrictions from the XYACC Compiler

	The XYACC HSI task used to convert grammars to SPP parsers (e.g. 
     for expression evaluation) was based on an original source from AT&T
     and has been viewed by open-source projects as being too restrictive.
     The new implementation is based on a CDDL license generally regarded
     as 'free' and which produces functionally identical code.  Grammars 
     used in the core system have been recompiled with the new XYACC to 
     remove any possible restrictions on the derived code, similar recomp-
     ilation will be required of external package code (and will be done 
     for NOAO-maintained packages).  See the $iraf/unix/boot/xyacc directory
     for the README and license file associated with this change.

  4) Backward-Compatability for NHEDIT tasks

	The incorporation of the NHEDIT task in v2.14 required changes to
     a parameter behavior in order to bring it in line with standard IRAF
     usage.  This change was incompatible with the original version available
     in the FITSUTIL package.  Recent changes to NOAO-maintained packages
     moved the old NHEDIT task from FITSUTIL to the GMISC package to satisfy
     a dependency of an external package requiring both (and so no net loss
     of functionality) and to resolve conflicts by other packages where 
     having the old version of the task presented new problems.
	This change supports the older parameter behavior in the core system
     NHEDIT task meaning that neither the FITSUTIL or GMISC versions of the
     are required under v2.15.1, and conflicts caused by having multiple 
     versions of the task are eliminated.  The NHEDIT task has already been
     removed from the FITSUTIL package, it will likewise be made obsolete in
     the GMISC package as being redundant some time in the near future.

Additional enhancements and bug fixes are included as well and are detailed
in the 'v2151revs.txt' file located in the ftp distribution directory.

Who Should Upgrade:

    All 64-bit users of Linux or OSX (i.e. the 'linux64' and 'macintel'
architectures) are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to upgrade their system in order
to resolve issues 1) and 2) above.  Although these problems were not
discovered during the initial v2.15 testing period, the possibility that
science results could be affected is considered serious.

    Sites concerned with licensing issues are likewise encouraged to install
this patch to remove perceived conflicts with the XYACC task used to build
some system (and external package) code.  The new version of the task is
built using code released under the 'CDDL' license, details of which can be
found in the $iraf/unix/boot/xyacc/cddllicense.txt file.  Note that IRAF
redistribution is still covered by the NCAR copyrights detailed in the
$iraf/local/COPYRIGHTS file.  In the past the Debian and Fedora projects
have rejected inclusion of IRAF because this license was deemed 'non-free',
we are currently evaluating our options to remove these restrictions.

How To Install the Patch:

    New IRAF installations following this announcement will automatically
use the v2.15.1 release and no further action is required.

    Existing IRAF v2.15 systems need only to install the appropriate patch
file for their system:

    patch1-src.tar.gz		v2.15.1 patch source-only patch
    patch1-linux.tar.gz		v2.15.1 patch to all 32/64-bit Linux systems
    patch1-macosx.tar.gz	v2.15.1 patch to all 32/64-bit x86/PPC systems
    patch1.lnux.x86.gz		v2.15.1 patch to 32-bit Linux systems
    patch1.lnux.x86_64.gz	v2.15.1 patch to 64-bit Linux systems
    patch1.macx.uni.gz		v2.15.1 patch to 32-bit OSX x86/PPC systems
    patch1.macx.x86_64.gz	v2.15.1 patch to 64-bit OSX Intel systems

In all cases the process for applying the patch is to simply download the
appropriate file and unpack in the 'iraf root directory' as

    tar zxf /path/

Each patch file contains not only the source changes, but also the affected
binaries for that platform.  Local changes (e.g. to printer/graphics devices
or external package definitions) are not affected.

Upgrading External Package Binaries:

    The number of packages and platforms we support requires time in order
to build the many distribution files required of a new release.  Since this
patch fixes problems in core system libraries, ALL external packages (at 
least on 64-bit systems) will require new binaries.

    Users have the option of relinking these packages locally once the patch
is installed, or else wait a few days from the date of this announcement and
do a
	% cd $iraf/extern
	% make update

and new binaries will be installed automatically from the package repository.

    External packages that have not been upgraded to support 64-bit systems
are not affected since the package repository will continue to install the
32-bit binaries runnable on all supported platforms.  Those external packages
which use grammars and require parsers to be generated by the 'free' XYACC
should be compiled on 32-bit systems.

New Platform Support:

    The Cygwin, FreeBSD and Solaris x86 ports of v2.15 are completed and are
now in testing.  A release based on the v2.15.1 system will be made generally
available as soon as the testing is complete.

IRAF V2.15.1 Patch Release Now Available | 2 comments | Create New Account

The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.

  • IRAF V2.15.1 Patch Release Now Available
  • Authored by: fitz on Thursday, January 27 2011 @ 11:04 PM GMT
The distribution build scripts omitted a "$iraf/.version" file
from the tarball for the iraf*.tar.gz files. These files have
been rebuilt, the missing file can be created locally and
should contain only the text "v2.15.1" This file is used by
the package auto-installers, error messages produced by a
"make <pkg>" command can be ignored.
  • IRAF V2.15.1 Patch Release Now Available
  • Authored by: fitz on Thursday, February 03 2011 @ 08:58 PM GMT

Some external package binaries for the macosx architecture may have been compiled incorrectly. This can lead to errors such as a "segmentation violation" for certain tasks. It is unknown whether this same problem affects the core system binaries, however ALL macosx binaries for the IRAF v2.15.1 patch and external packages have been rebuilt

This problem affects ONLY the macosx platform, external packages may be updated with a "make update" command in the iraf$extern directory, to update the core system the v2.15.1 patch file should be re- applied.

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