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Release Notes for stsci_python
stsci_python 2.5 Release Notes

15 June 2007

This release is the includes new version of everything, in that anything that used to use numarray now uses numpy. Furthermore, there are changes to PyRAF, PyFITS, pytools, Multidrizzle and related tasks. A new NICMOS task, rnlincorr has been added.

First release that uses numpy

This release is the first release that uses numpy as the base array package. Numarray is no longer used within STScI_Python. Support for numarray will be phased out entirely within a year of this release. Support for numarray now is limited to critical problems or major platform support issues. The threshold for 'critical' or 'major' is continually becoming harder to meet; you are advised to migrate to numpy as soon as possible. Information on making the switch to numpy from numarray may be found at this link.

Platform Support

Normally, platform support issues do not apply to Python tasks, as most Python code will run on all platforms on which Python has been installed. This distribution was tested to correctly support installation on Linux, Mac OS X, and Solaris, while also being provided for installation under Windows. The single exception is that the text-based epar functionality now available in PyRAF (in addition to the already existing GUI-based epar) is not available under Solaris, and likely will never be.


Documentation for these tasks has been consolidated into a single location complete with a index viewable as a local web page. The documentation includes any available user guides and API documentation generated using 'EPYDOC' for the modules or packages. This index can be accessed using:

--> import stscidocs
--> stscidocs.viewdocs()

This will automatically bring up the default web browser application to display the index page. All the available documentation for software packaged with this distribution can be accessed through this interface, as this documentation resides locally upon installation.

Python Environment

Python 2.3 or later is required. We recommend using the latest version of Python if there is a choice (2.5.x)

PyRAF 1.4

The following changes were made:
The following bugs were fixed:

PyFITS 1.1

The following changes were made:

numdisplay 1.3

Modified to use numpy by default (can still be used with numarray).

imagestats 1.1

Updated to use numpy.


The following changes were made:


MultiDrizzle 3.0

The following changes were made:

The following bugs were fixed:

PyDrizzle 6.0

The following changes were made:

The following bugs were fixed:


RNLINCOR is a new task that corrects for countrate-dependent nonlinearity in NICMOS data. The nonlinearity constant depends on the camera/filter combination; it is obtained from the *_nlz.fits file available in CDBS nref, and stored in the header keyword RNLCALPH in the primary header of the output file. The zeropoint corrections (PHOTFNU/PHOTFLAM) are also updated. The algorithm used by this task is described in the NICMOS ISR 2006-003 by de Jong.


The linear algebra routines from the ScientificPython package were updated as part of the numpy conversion.

STIS Data Analysis

These modules contain data analysis tasks developed for post-pipeline processing of STIS data; namely, wx2d, stisnoise, mktrace, sshift. They can each be imported independently and used on STIS data directly from Python.
Bugs fixed in this distribution include: