F KAPPA format STL

 F.1 Inter-operability with KAPPA

CURSA also supports a variant of the STL format which allows STL catalogues to inter-operate with applications in the KAPPA image processing package (see SUN/95[5]).

The KAPPA variant of the STL format is very similar to the standard form but a ‘#’ character is used instead of an ‘!’ to introduce comments and the lines defining columns, parameters etc. begin with ‘#C ’, ‘#P etc. respectively. The KAPPA variant versions are listed in full in Table 29.

KAPPA variant Standard form Description

# ! Comment
#C C Column
#P P Parameter
#T T Textual information
#D D Directive
#: : Continuation

Table 29: Items in a KAPPA format STL

A ‘#’ used to introduce a comment must be followed by at least one blank space. Currently null values are not permitted in the table of values for a KAPPA format STL. In all other respects a KAPPA format STL behaves like a standard one. Blank lines are permitted in a KAPPA format STL description.

KAPPA format STLs have the same file types as standard ones: .TXT or .txt. In fact the standard and KAPPA forms can be mixed freely in an input STL catalogue, though I do not recommend that you do this because the result looks rather untidy.

By default CURSA writes standard STLs. It can be made to write a KAPPA format STL by appending ‘KAPPA’ inside curly brackets after the name of the file27. For example, to write a KAPPA format STL called perseus.TXT you would specify:


KAPPA’ may be abbreviated down to just ‘K’ and may be given in either case. Also the closing curly bracket is optional. An example KAPPA format STL is available in file:


F.1 Inter-operability with KAPPA

Catalogues written in the KAPPA variant STL format permit a limited degree of inter-operability between CURSA and KAPPA. Currently the KAPPA applications which access tables read them as ASCII text files. Typically these files can contain header comments beginning with a ‘#’ character. This format is consistent with the KAPPA variant STL, but KAPPA does not ‘know’ that it is reading STL format files.

A table written by a KAPPA application typically consists of just the table of values, with one row per line and the fields separated by one or more spaces. Before such a table can be accessed with CURSA you must create a description for it. Either the description can be edited into the start of the file (the example in file /star/share/cursa/kappa.TXT was created in this way) or the description can be in a separate file, as described in Appendices D and E.

If an STL catalogue is to be written by CURSA and subsequently accessed with KAPPA then it must be written in the STL variant format. Also, it must not contain any null values because the KAPPA applications are not able to interpret them.

It is possible that future versions of KAPPA may use the full STL format in which case a greater degree of inter-operability will be possible.

27This convention is just the usual CURSA syntax for specifying extra information about a catalogue; cf reading FITS tables.