[AstroPy] [ANNOUNCE] eclipse-python (beta) released

Nicolas Devillard ndevilla at eso.org
Mon Apr 30 03:06:40 CDT 2001

    ANNOUNCE: eclipse-4.0 and eclipse-python released

The latest (beta) version of eclipse has been released. It includes among
new features an interface to Python that allows to load eclipse as a
dynamic module. This version remains a beta because it is largely
un-documented, this should change over the next weeks. The code itself is
believed to be quite stable.

eclipse is a general-purpose image processing library written in ANSI C
for portability and performance. It has been successfully used as a basis
for a number of VLT pipeline developments and has been reported to be used
extensively for other projects outside ESO (without ESO support!).

As a C library, eclipse is meant to be used as a basis for specific
instrument developments (pipelines, or data reduction recipes). For
convenience, an interface to Python has been produced using SWIG, that
allows the programming of data reduction recipes in a high-level language.

This interface is offered today in two parts: a dynamic library
(c_eclipse.so) and a Python module (eclipse.py) which should shield Python
programmers from changes happening in the library. The Python module
offers a number of classes to deal with FITS images and cubes (tables are
there but not yet interfaced). The idea is not to offer a new data
analysis environment but an easy way of prototyping recipes before they
are later frozen into C code for deployment.

You need to download the eclipse library (eclipse-main) and the Python
module to use this facility. The eclipse home page can be found at:


To compile and install:

% gunzip -c eclipse-main-4.0-beta-2.tar.gz | tar xvf -
% gunzip -c eclipse-python-4.0-beta-2.tar.gz | tar xvf -
% cd eclipse-4.0-beta-2
% ./configure
% cd lang/python
% make
To run basic tests, do:
% cd lib
% python eclipse_test.py

You now have in eclipse-4.0-beta-2/lang/python/lib two files that can be
moved to a suitable place for Python libraries (either in your Python
tree or to a place pointed to by PYTHONHOME): c_eclipse.so and

Again: classes and library functions are hardly documented right now.

eclipse is free software distributed under the BSD license.


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