[AstroPy] PYFITS 1.1 "beta" release

Christopher Hanley chanley at stsci.edu
Mon May 22 12:01:42 CDT 2006

| PYFITS Release |

Space Telescope Science Institute is pleased to announce the
"beta" release of PyFITS 1.1.  This release includes support
for both the NUMPY and NUMARRAY array packages. This software
can be downloaded at:


The NUMPY support in PyFITS is not nearly as well tested as
the NUMARRAY support.  We expect that you will encounter bugs.
Please send bug reports to "help at stsci.edu".

We intend to support NUMARRAY and NUMPY simultaneously for a
transition period of no less than 1 year. Eventually, however,
support for NUMARRAY will disappear. During this period, it is
likely that new features will appear only for NUMPY. The
support for NUMARRAY will primarily be to fix serious bugs and
handle platform updates.

| Version |

Version 1.1b; May 22, 2006

| Major Changes since v1.1a2  |
      * Modified verify method of _Verify class to eliminate
        printing of warning messages when an exception is raised.

      * The following problems have been corrected in the NUMPY
        version of PYFITS as of NUMPY version 0.9.8:
           - It is now possible to create single field recarrays
             using string format input.
           - NUMPY has corrected a problem in which field access
             in recarrays was broken when the field name matched
             a class method or attribute.
           - NUMPY now properly handles byte-ordering when using
             index arrays.

| Software Requirements |

PyFITS Version 1.1a2 REQUIRES:

      * Python 2.3 or later
      * NUMPY 0.9.8 or NUMARRAY

| Installing PyFITS |
PyFITS 1.1b is distributed as a Python distutils module.
Installation simply involves unpacking the package
and executing

% python setup.py install

to install it in Python's site-packages directory.

Alternatively the command

%python setup.py install --local="/destination/directory/"

will install PyFITS in an arbitrary directory which should
be placed on PYTHONPATH. Once numarray or numpy has been
installed, then PyFITS should be available for use under

| Download Site |


| Usage  |

Users will issue an "import pyfits" command as in the past.
However, the use of the NUMPY or NUMARRAY version of PyFITS
will be controlled by an environment variable called NUMERIX.

Set NUMERIX to 'numarray' for the NUMARRAY version of PyFITS.
Set NUMERIX to 'numpy' for the NUMPY version of pyfits.

If only one array package is installed, that package's version
of PyFITS will be imported.  If both packages are installed
the NUMERIX value is used to decide which version to import.
If no NUMERIX value is set then the NUMARRAY version of PyFITS
will be imported.

Anything else will raise an exception upon import.

| Bug Reports |

Please send all PyFITS bug reports to help at stsci.edu

| Advanced Users |

Users who would like the "bleeding" edge of PyFITS can retrieve
the software from our SUBVERSION repository hosted at:


We also provide a Trac site at:


Christopher Hanley
Systems Software Engineer
Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore MD, 21218
(410) 338-4338

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