Warren J. Hack hack@stsci....
Fri Aug 3 15:04:33 CDT 2012




The Science Software Branch of the Space Telescope Science Institute
wishes to announce the availability of these packages:

      v3.15 of the Space Telescope Science Data Analysis Software (STSDAS)
      v3.15 of the TABLES external package
      v1.1 of the HSTCAL package
      v2.13 of STScI_Python

Both the STSDAS and Tables packages are layered upon IRAF as external
packages; it is therefore necessary to obtain and install IRAF
(from http://iraf.noao.edu) before installing TABLES and STSDAS.
STSDAS is linked against libraries in TABLES, so TABLES must be
installed before STSDAS.

The HSTCAL package contains everything necessary to compile C code,
written under IRAF using the CVOS interface, without the use of
IRAF at all.

The STScI_Python package can be installed independent of IRAF, with
the PyRAF package providing a Python interface to IRAF should it be

This release of STSDAS contains changes to STIS, COS, and WFC3.
This release includes the same versions of the calibration software
used in the pipeline to support most of the active HST instruments
using the algorithms developed from the data taken during Servicing
Mission 4, especially for the Wide Field Camera 3(WFC3) and the
Cosmic Origins Spectrograph(COS). For WFC3, calwf3 v2.7 contains
improvements to cosmic-ray rejection for IR data, along with changes
to processing of RPTCORR data.

STSDAS also includes some Python-based tasks; running these requires the
STScI Python Libraries to be installed (all the non-Python tasks can
be used in the traditional way and do not require Python or the STScI
Python libraries). These tasks can only be run from PyRAF using standard
IRAF CL task syntax, or within Python scripts using Python syntax.

HSTCAL and Future STSDAS Releases
The HSTCAL package for the past year has contained a version of
CALACS which no longer relied on IRAF at all. This version has become
the sole version of CALACS being supported by STScI for calibrating
ACS data, with the most recent updates to CALACS only being implemented
in the HSTCAL version of the code. The out-dated code for CALACS has now
been removed entirely from STSDAS. Any user loading the 'acs' package
under STSDAS will be directed to the HSTCAL version which now has
a Python-based TEAL interface as well as the standard command-line
executable interface.

The STSDAS versions of CALWF3 and CALSTIS will also be removed in
future releases as they get replaced by HSTCAL versions of the code.

stecf software
This release contains the stecf IRAF package for
supporting HST data that had been developed by members of the Space
Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) which closed on 31
December 2010.  Support for these packages may be obtained by contacting
the STScI Help Desk at 'help@stsci.edu'. These questions will then be
forwarded to the package authors at ESO as required.

STSDAS Platform Support
This release does not contain STSDAS/Tables binaries for PowerPC
Macintosh systems. However, there are no known reasons why a user
could not build this package from source code on a PowerPC using the
installation instructions for STSDAS.

Binaries for this release were built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
and Mac OS X 10.5.  Binaries were built with IRAF 2.14.  Binaries
for newer versions of IRAF or operating systems may be built as
needed, and users can check the STSDAS web pages for more

IRAF is available from http://iraf.net.

No Solaris Support for STSDAS
This version was not built or tested on Solaris. The source code, however,
can always be downloaded and compiled locally as needed.

64-bit IRAF Support
IRAF 2.15 includes support for 64-bit systems. The changes necessary to
support 64-bits generally require applications to be modified. We will
only release 32-bit binaries fo the Tables and STSDAS packages for use
with IRAF 2.15. Support for 32-bit binaries will continue as long as
there are sufficient plaforms that such binaries will run on. We may
only convert some packages in Tables and STSDAS to 64-bit version when
the 32-bit versions are no longer viable and if created will be released
as a separate package with a different name. When the 32-bit versions
of TABLES and STSDAS are no longer viable, support for any tasks within
those packages not ported to 64-bits will end.  The full description of
this policy can be found online at:


This distribution of TABLES includes the TTOOLS package, as well
as FITSIO, and TBPLOT, along with the gflib, stxtools, and tbtables
libraries.  All these packages and libraries have been compiled to run
under 32-bit IRAF only, in contrast to the 64-bit version of TTOOLS
(installed as NTTOOLS) and the tbtables library supported by IRAF and
included in IRAF 2.15.

HSTCAL Package
The HSTCAL package provides an environment for compiling IRAF tasks
written in C without using IRAF at all.  The HSTIO image and
tables C API has been replicated using CFITSIO. This API was
used to compile the ACS calibration code CALACS for use without
IRAF. This version of CALACS, Version 8.0.5, has been installed as the
calibration software that gets used in the archive and for pipeline
calibrations, replacing the now outdated STSDAS/IRAF based version.

This version of CALACS includes CTE correction (with and without parallel
processing using OpenMP), post-SM4 destriping, post-SM4 bias-shift
correction, and post-SM4 electronics cross-talk removal along with
numerous bug fixes.


STScI_Python is a collection of Python modules, packages and C 
extensions that
has been developed to provide a general astronomical data analysis
infrastructure. They can be used for Python tasks that are accessible from
within STSDAS when running under PyRAF or standalone from within Python.

This distribution continues to develop packages with tasks specific to
each HST instrument, with updates being made to calibration code for
COS (calcos v2.18.5), while adding tasks for working with ACS data. This
release includes the new packages drizzlepac (a replacement for 
and the STSDAS dither package) and fitsblender.  Updates were also made to
pyraf, stwcs, acstools, stsci.tools, and stsci.image. PyRAF v2.0 now
supports both Python 2 and 3, amongst its many updates. The TEAL interface
for CALACS along with updates to the CTE and destripe tasks were also
added to the acstools package. Updates to calcos include support for
the new gain-sag reference file, along with numerous bug fixes and

This release also contains pysynphot v0.9.3 which contains several bug
fixes and significant performance improvements for some calculations.

This release has been tested using Python Versions 2.6.5 and 2.7.3. This
release also requires at least numpy 1.5.  All packages within this
release have been revised to support easy_install of the code, while
still allowing the code to be installed using the disutils command
'python setup.py'.

Python 2.5 support
Many of the packages in this distribution, including the new drizzlepac
package, have been implemented using features not available under
Python 2.5 in preparation for the transition to Python 3.x.  Future
releases will only support Python 2.6 or newer as part of this transition,
and all testing of our code under Python 2.5 has been terminated.

Python 3.x support
The majority of stsci_python does not yet support Python 3.  While the scope
of the work involved in transitioning to Python 3.x is being considered, be
aware that we expect to support Python 2.x for quite some time.  At this
time however, both the PyFITS and the PyRAF packages support Python 3.2 (as
well as Python 2).

Platform Support
This testing took place under Linux and Mac OS X (both 10.5
and 10.6), but testing no longer takes place on Solaris.

This release includes a port of stsci_python that runs natively under
Windows. PyRAF also now comes as part of the installation under Windows,
complete with its own desktop shortcut, albeit without IRAF.

The primary requirement for use of this installer is that the Windows
executables were built against and, therefore, can run only under
Python 2.7.

STScI_Python and astropy
Some packages currently distributed as part of stsci_python provide
more general functionality beyond that needed by HST data; packages
such as pyfits and vo.  Those packages will eventually migrate to the
more general astropy distribution and when that happens, our code will
require the astropy core libraries. We have no time frame for this
transition, but it will within a small number of releases. The astropy
distribution, along with more details about the code included, can be
found at:


STSDAS/TABLES can be downloaded from the STSDAS web site.
The installation instructions for all these packages have changed.
You can now download a single tar file that contains the source code and
binaries for STSDAS, TABLES, and STECF.  There is also a smaller file
if you just need TABLES.  You can see the new installation instructions at


Installation instructions are available on the web site. Precompiled
binaries also exist for some of the ports supported by NOAO, including
RedHat Linux and Mac OS X.

STSCI_PYTHON be downloaded from the PyRAF web site:


Installation instructions are available from the PyRAF web site, with
support for installations on RedHat Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Please contact us through e-mail (help@stsci.edu), by telephone at
(410) 338-1082.

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