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Release Notes for stsci_python
stsci_python 2.6 Release Notes

11 February 2008

This release includes new versions 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.

Last release to support Numarray

This release is the last release that supports numarray, even as a deprecated package. Numarray is no longer used within STScI_Python. Support for numarray will be eliminated entirely for the next 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 an 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 1.5

Changes since the PyRAF 1.4 release:

The following enhancements were made:

The following bugs were fixed:

PyFITS 1.3

This release contains PyFITS Version 1.3 (24-Jan 2008).  Updates described in this release are only supported in the NUMPY version of pyfits.

The following enhancements were made:

The following performance improvements were made:

The following bugs were fixed:

numdisplay 1.4

imagestats 1.2


This set of modules has been used to create a formal package for use under Python.  All code from this package now need to be accessed using:
--> import pytools
--> from pytools import <module>
In addition, the following changes were made to the code in the (new) package:


MultiDrizzle 3.1

The following changes were made:

The following bugs were fixed:

PyDrizzle 6.1

The following changes were made to improve support for WFPC2 data:

The following bugs were fixed:


The COS pipeline calibration processing software, calcos, has been added to this release.  This represents the first public release of this code in support of the upcoming installation of COS on HST during Servicing Mission 4 currently scheduled for September 2007.  This code performs all the standard calibrations to COS data for use in pipeline processing or reprocessing by an observer. 

NICMOS Data Analysis

The tasks RNLINCOR, SAACLEAN, and PUFTCORR have been reorganized so that they are now part of a larger set of tasks designed for NICMOS data analysis and calibration, the NICTOOLS package. As before, they can each be imported independently and can be used on NICMOS data directly from Python without any STSDAS interface available to run them.  This package also includes new tasks; namely,
Bug fixes included in the release:

STIS Data Analysis

The STIS data analysis tasks were reorganized into a single package, stistools.  This package still contains modules for supporting 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.

No  changes were implemented to any of the tasks themselves in this package for this release.

WFPC2 Data analysis

A new package, wfpc2tools, has been added to provide new tools for working specifically with WFPC2 data.  This new package currently contains the following modules:
--> import wfpc2tools;