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[[https://www.eao.hawaii.edu/oracdr/2018AChangeLog|ORAC-DR change log]] [[https://www.eao.hawaii.edu/oracdr/2018AChangeLog|ORAC-DR 2018A change log]]

Starlink Software Collection — 2018A Release Notes


  • The new HDS-V5 data format (which uses HDF5) is now available. In this release the default will be to write all files as HDS-V4, unless the environmental variable HDS_VERSION is set to 5. This is described in Jenness 2015 2015A&C....12..221 . We are planning to make this file format the default starting with our next release, so we would please request any issues or comments be sent on to us: either on the Starlink users' mailing list, the Starlink developers' mailing list, or sent directly to EAO with the helpdesk AT eaobservatory.org email address.

  • The ARY library has been converted to C.
  • Perl updated to Version 5.26.1.
  • Further improvements to POL-2 data reduction software, including (experimental) skyloop modes and (experimental) 450 micron reductions.
  • Expanded cookbook for heterodyne data reduction, including spectral analysis with SPLAT.

Changes to Applications

CUPID (ascl:1311.007)

  • The FINDCLUMPS command now uses a better method for finding elliptical approximations for highly non-elliptical clumps. The previous method could produce extremely long thin ellipses for such clumps.

GAIA (ascl:1403.024)

  • When reading a multiple-line ARD region to extract a spectrum, all newlines and spaces are removed so that it can be saved.
  • Key fonts with compound names can now be saved to the configuration of the contour toolbox.
  • HTTP request headers should now use the correct line termination.

KAPPA (ascl:1403.022)

  • A new estimator, "FastMed" has been added to COLLAPSE. It offers faster much faster calculation of unweighted medians.

  • WCSALIGN can now use a catalogue such as produced by POLPACK to define the reference grid (previously only an NDF could be used).
  • The weighting scheme used by ALIGN2D has been changed so that alignment is determined more by the brighter sections of the map than previously.
  • In WCSMOSAIC, each input NDF can now have a specified weight in the final mosaic.
  • SETAXIS has a new mode that reads the new axis values from the "Data" component of another NDF.

ORAC-DR (ascl:1310.001)

ORAC-DR 2018A change log

POLPACK (ascl:1405.014)

  • New command POLCONCAT to concatenate multiple vector catalogues.
  • New command POLSELECT allows vectors to be selected in various ways, including using an NDF as a mask.

SMURF (ascl:1310.007)

  • The dome status has been added to scuba2_index / acsis_index.
  • POL2MAP: New parameter "binsize" allows he size of the bins in the final catalogue to be specified.
  • POL2MAP: New IP models at 450 um and 850 um.
  • POL2MAP: Improve pointing correction.
  • POL2MAP: Change default 450 um pixel size to 4 arc-sec.
  • POL2MAP: Allow SKYLOOP to be used to create maps rather than MAKEMAP.
  • POL2MAP: Allow observations to be weighted on the basis of how similar they are to the mean of the other observations.
  • POL2MAP: Allow minor changes in FCF to be detected and corrected when mosaicing observations.
  • POL2MAP: An error is now reported if the input data is not all for the same source.
  • SKYLOOP: Allow maps made from individual observations to be saved.
  • SKYLOOP: Allow data models to be stored in a specified directory rather than the current directory.


  • The included JCMT source catalog has been updated.

SPLAT (ascl:1402.007)

  • A bug relating to the receipt of spectra through local URLs via SAMP has been fixed.
  • The submillimetre line identifier catalog has been updated.

STILTS (ascl:1105.001)

  • Updated to Version 3.1-4.

STILTS version history

TOPCAT (ascl:1101.010)

  • Updated to Version 4.6-1.

TOPCAT version history

Changes to Libraries


  • The Fortran ARY library has been completely re-written in C.

AST (ascl:1404.016)

  • New function !astActiveObjects returns pointers for all currently active AST objects, filtered by class.
  • New function !astCreatedAt returns information about where an object was created.
  • The 1astChannel class now uses more precision when writing out floating point values, resulting in write-read round trips being lossless.
  • The FitsChan class has a new attribute "FitsTol" that specifies the maximum deviation from linearity allowed for the Mapping from pixel coordinates to intermediate world coordinates when writing out a FrameSet using FITS-WCS encoding.

  • !astSimplify will now merge a diagonal MatrixMap with an adjacent WinMap to create a modified WinMap.

  • The FitsChan class has a new attribute "SipReplace", which can be used to prevent the automatic replacement of inverse SIP coefficients when a FITS-WCS header including SIP distortion is read.

  • Improved simplification of CmpMaps including WcsMaps.

  • The FitsChan !astWrite method can now create FITS-WCS headers that include SIP distortion keywords, given a suitable FrameSet.

  • A few small memory leaks have been fixed.
  • The astRebinSeq function can now use a specified weight with each input data array.
  • Improvements to the accuracy of the iterative inverse used by the PolyMap class.

  • Several new string manipulation functions.


  • The maximum length of a group expression has been increased from 255 to 2047 characters.


  • A new package called "hds-v5" has been created that contains a complete re-write of the existing HDS API using HDF5. The original code that deals with "native" HDS files has been moved to a new package called "hds-v4". The "hds" package is now simply a layer that chooses whether to call the appropriate function from hds-v4 or hds-v5. When reading an existing "HDS" file it chooses the package corresponding to the format of the existing file (either v4 or v5). When creating a new "HDS" file, it chooses the format specified by the HDS_VERSION environment variable (which currently defaults to v4).


  • C wrappers have been added for more routines.
  • Limits on the length of the command line and on the length of individual file paths have been relaxed.


  • Updated to Version 3.3-1.

STIL version history


Miscellaneous Changes

  • The shell "login" and "profile" scripts now add Starlink to the start (rather than the end) of LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
  • The shell "login" and "profile" scripts now define ORAC_PERLBIN.

Changes to Cookbooks and Guides

  • SC/20 (Heterodyne Data Reduction) expanded to include an illustrated chapter on spectral analysis (e.g. identification of telluric lines, noise estimation, and line fitting) with SPLAT, and various small corrections to Chapters 3 and 5 to 8.
  • SC/21 (SCUBA-2 Data Reduction) was given a spring clean, that includes clarifications, and fixes to typo's and cross references.
  • SC/22 (POL-2 Data reduction) updated to match the current software. It has a new chapter on using TOPCAT with vector catalogues, and example maps created using OBSWEIGHT and SKYLOOP.

Known issues

  • There is a known threading problem that prevents the Java application Treeview from working on HDS Version 5 (HDF5) files.

Starlink: 2018A (last edited 2020-09-23 19:03:44 by MalcolmCurrie)