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See [[ http:///www.eao.hawaii.edu/oracdr/2015AChangeLog ]] See [[ https:///www.eao.hawaii.edu/oracdr/2015AChangeLog ]]

Starlink Software Collection - 2015A Release Notes


  • This is the final release funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Future development will continue with the East Asian Observatory. Community contributions are welcomed.
  • Improved documentation build system: hyperlinks in the pdf documents and improved styling for the html output.
  • Mac OSX build has fewer dependencies, is relocatable, and no longer needs to use DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH.


  • The packages KAPRH and ECHWIND have been removed in this release.

Changes to Applications

CCDPACK (ascl:1403.021)

  • The ccdexercise script has been fixed.
  • ccdexercise is now available to bash users.


  • IDL routines for reading a writing NDF files now correctly locate the shared libraries in $CONVERT_DIR.
  • A bug in FITS2NDF has been fixed when merging FITS WCS headers into a pre-existing WCS extension.

CUPID (ascl:1311.007)

  • EXTRACTCLUMPS now has SHAPE and NCLUMPS parameters.
  • A description of the FellWalker algorithm has now been published in Astronomy & Computing journal: doi:10.1016/j.ascom.2014.11.004


  • SExtractor has been updated to v2.19.5. Note that this is a limited update as not all features are available, in particular the galaxy model fitting features have not been enabled.
  • EXTRACTOR has been fixed so that images with no WCS and/or FITS card will no longer cause it to crash.

GAIA (ascl:1403.024)

  • Queries to TAP (Table Access Protocol) servers are now supported. These extend the existing VO queries for catalogues and images by also allowing more complex constraints well beyond those of "show me what you have on a region of sky". Using this requires an understand of ADQL the Astronomical Database Query Language.
  • Queries for VO resources are now done using the TAP interface to registries, RegTAP. This uses TAP to form the query offering greater flexibility and ease.
  • Various usability issues in the VO support toolboxes have been fixed. These should now be more robust against failure.
  • Support for the VOTable 1.3 standard has been added.
  • A bug that caused GAIA to exit uncontrollably when interrupting a stalled skycat-style catalogue download has been fixed.
  • The GAIA 3D visualisation toolbox has been updated to work with VTK 6.1.
  • The object detection toolbox has been updated to work with the latest version of EXTRACTOR (2.19-5)
  • A problem capturing images under OS X and XQuartz 2.7.7 has been worked around.
  • A problem when using a FITS mask with a displayed NDF has been fixed. Previously this would always generate NaN values instead of BAD ones.
  • Masking now does the documented action of not masking areas with non zero values when no value is supplied.
  • Compound images now respect the blank pixel colour selection.


  • The width of the output can now be controlled and by default the full terminal width will be used.


  • Requests for obsolete documents that are not available locally will be forwarded to ADS.

KAPPA (ascl:1403.022)

  • WCSALIGN and WCSMOSAIC have a new parameter ALIGNREF.
  • SETQUAL can now store a constant value in the quality array.
  • COPYBAD now correctly sets the bad pixel flag.
  • LOGFILE parameter added to CONFIGECHO.
  • A bug has been fixed in SEGMENT when an NDF is supplied with degenerate axes.
  • MSTATS is now more reliable.
  • A bug has been fixed in the calculation of variance for the Sum estimator used
    • by COLLAPSE and MSTATS.

ORAC-DR (ascl:1310.001)

See https:///www.eao.hawaii.edu/oracdr/2015AChangeLog

POLPACK (ascl:1405.014)

  • Bash users now have feature parity with csh users.

SMURF (ascl:1310.007)

  • The dimmconfig.lis configuration file has been deprecated. New user-config files should not use it.
  • An experimental scan synchronous noise (SSN) model has been added to the SCUBA-2 map-maker.
  • TIMESORT can now handle data with differing spectral bounds.
  • A new script "jsatilemoc" has been added for making coverage representations (in MOC format) of JSA tiles.
  • New document: SSN/79 describes a possible approach to modifying the SCUBA-2 map-maker to use a compute cluster.
  • The amount of multi-threading in makemap is reduced if doing so allows chunking to be avoided.
  • More robust handling of JSA tiles that cross RA=12h or that adjoin a discontinuity in the HEALPix all-sky projection.
  • The number of chunks used to make a SCUBA-2 map is now recorded in the FITS extension of the map.
  • makemap can now be told to abort if chunking would be used.

SPLAT (ascl:1402.008)


  • Now uses tex4ht. latex2html support has been removed.

TOPCAT (ascl:1101.010)

TOPCAT version history

Changes to Libraries

AST (ascl:1404.016)

  • The astRebin and astRebinSeq family of functions now include support for arrays with char (byte) and unsigned char (unsigned byte) data types.
  • The Base and Current attributes of a FrameSet may now be set using the Domain name or the index of the required Frame.

  • The FITS XPH projection is now supported.
  • The order of WCS axes within new FITS-WCS headers created by astWrite can now be controlled using a new attribute called FitsAxisOrder.

  • New function: astAppendStringf to allow printf-style conversions in supplied text.
  • The 2015 leap second has been added.


  • A fix has been made to the handling of Ident attributes. This fixes the display of images created by KAPPA CHANMAP.
  • Some fixes have been made to atlFrameSetSplit.


  • Minor bugs have been fixed following valgrind analysis.


  • A problem with end-of-file handling in gfortran has been fixed.

HDS (ascl:1502.009)

  • Minor tidying to internal documentation
  • Improved tests.


  • The variance calculation for the SUM estimator has been fixed.
  • The handling of _CHAR data types in kpg1_hsect has been fixed.
  • Support was added for the new ALIGNREF parameter in WCSALIGN and WCSMOSAIC.

NDF (ascl:1411.023)

  • New routine: NDF_HCOPY can be used to copy history information.


  • NDG1_APPEN has been fixed to handle the presence of HDS cell specifiers being used once CONVERT has been enabled.


  • Version 0.9.0 PAL included.
  • New routines: palPcd, palUnpcd, palEcleq, palPolmo, palAltaz, palVers (to report version programmatically), palRefcoq, palRefv, palAtmdsp, palRef.
  • Now links against ERFA instead of SOFA.
  • 2015 leap second included.
  • SUN/267 has been updated.


  • alink and ilink have been updated to compile the main routine each time rather than using an installed object file. This change allows people to build ADAM tasks from a Starlink binary distribution even if their compiler is slightly different to the one used to do the initial build.


  • PSX_WORDEXP is now better at reporting errors.

SLA (ascl:1403.025)

  • The 2015 leap second has been added.


STILTS version history


  • a Latex class for creating starlink documentation was created, and is now used for all current documentation.
  • the HTML output of Starlink documentation was switched to using TeX4HT instead of latex2html. In doing so the appearance of the HTML output was changed greatly.
  • some older Starlink documents that are not associated with a specific application or library were obsoleted and are no longer built by default.
  • All available historical Starlink documents are now indexed and hosted by ADS. If showme is used to request an obsolete document the ADS entry will be displayed.

Mac OSX Build

  • A post-build fix-up script is used to add appropriate relative paths to all shared libraries and binaries. This ensures that DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH doesn't need to be set and allows the Mac build to be installed to any location.
  • The initialisation scripts ($STARLINK_DIR/etc/profile for bash and $STARLINK_DIR/etc/login & $STARLINK_DIR/etc/cshrc for tcsh) don't set DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH

  • The gfortran and libjpeg shared libraries are now added into the build and shipped to users instead of being a required dependency.
  • In addition, some shared libraries required by some of the perl modules are also now being shipped (libgbdm, libfontconfig, libfreetype and libpng16)
  • The only remaining dependencies for users to install are XQuartz/X11 and java.

Recent Articles on Starlink software

  • FellWalker -- A clump identification algorithm, Astronomy & Computing, 2015, 10, 25, doi:10.1016/j.ascom.2014.11.004

  • ORAC-DR: A generic data reduction pipeline infrastructure, Astronomy & Computing, 2015, 9, 40, doi:10.1016/j.ascom.2014.10.005

  • Spectroscopic analysis in the virtual observatory environment with SPLAT-VO, Astronomy & Computing, 2014, 7, 108 doi:10.1016/j.ascom.2014.06.001 arXiv:1407.1765

  • Learning from 25 years of the extensible N-Dimensional Data Format, Astronomy & Computing, 2015, in press, arXiv:1410.7513

  • Reimplementing the Hierarchical Data System using HDF5, Astronomy & Computing, 2015, in press, arXiv:1502.04029

Starlink: 2015A (last edited 2020-09-23 18:58:09 by MalcolmCurrie)