Getting a copy of Draco

Operating Systems

Draco was developed on Sun Sparcstations running Sun OS 4.1.3 (which is the same as Solaris 1.1). Draco was designed with portability in mind, so porting to other Unix systems is straightforward.

Data Analysis Systems

Draco was tested with STSDAS STSDAS and IRAF. Interfacing with other systems is straightforward: it is just a matter of defining the correct "implementations" (refer to the Draco Design Document).

Resources Required

If your workstation can run any of the standard data reduction systems, it can run Draco. You probably already have 16Mb or more of physical memory, 50Mb or more of virtual memory and several hundred Mb of disk space. Draco will run fine in this configuration. The Draco source files and executable will require about 20Mb of disk space.


Draco is written in Common Lisp, specifically Allegro Common Lisp 4.2 beta by Franz, Inc. The distribution includes an executable image, so you don't need a Lisp system at your site.

We chose Lisp since it offered a powerful, high-level development environment that is available on many different machines. Earlier dialects of Lisp could be justifiably criticised for being slow, but Common Lisp performs on a par with other languages (e.g. Fortran and C) and has several significant advantages. Draco makes extensive use of the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS), an object-oriented system similar to Smalltalk and C++. More information on Lisp is available.

Draco is available as-is

Draco is a tool for research into the problems of automating scientific data reduction. It is made available "as-is", without any warranty whatsoever. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of this program is with you. Should this program prove defective, you assume the cost of all necessary correction, recovery and repair.

Draco is very much a research project. It is not off-the-shelf software. If you intend to use it, you'll have to do some development work in writing new Draco procedures, primitives and implementations.

Please report any problems to We're very much interested in comments, suggestions, etc. Even if you don't download Draco, your opinions and experiences with automating scientific data reduction and analysis are of interest.

I'm ready - Let me have it!

NOTE - The executable file is not ready at this time, only the source and documentation files are available now.

First, get the compressed distribution file and save it locally (e.g. draco.tar.Z). You'll need lots of disk space.

Uncompress, then extract the directory via:

% uncompress draco.tar.Z
% tar xvf draco.tar

This will create the Draco directories, which include the source code, executable, and documentation. Examine the top level README file in the directory ./Draco for further instructions at that point.