Browse Version History
- v9.2.2, September 12, 2023.
- More bug fixes and corrections.
- v9.2.1, July 26, 2023.
- Miscellaneous bug fixes and corrections.
- Improved error handling and reporting with additional parameter
- v9.2, May 11, 2023.
- Typographic (mainly UTF-8) dashes and hyphens in object names
and/or coordinates are now interpreted like minus signs.
- Fixed bugs with reissuing queries and sorting the results of
re-executed saved queries.
- Improved error handling and reporting.
- Cleaner HTML throughout Browse.
- v9.1, August 24, 2022.
- Uploading a long list of object names and/or coordinates will now
present a progress meter which will keep the connection to the
web server alive, preventing timeouts, while the object names are
- FITS output is much improved:
- NULL database values will now be properly represented as
NULLs in the ASCII FITS file.
- Field values will no longer be always uppercased. Ditto for
string values in the FITS headers.
- Units for the columns are now specified in the FITS
- If the declination's precision is different from the right
ascension's precision, it will now use the correct
precision for the declination.
- Some character fields were erroneously given integer types
in the FITS file. This is now fixed.
- The field widths for character and integer fields no longer
depend on the length of the field (column) name. The widths
will be determined by the actual values now.
- Zero-padded integer and floating point fields (e.g.,
"0001") will now be represented as character strings (since
FITS doesn't support zero-padding numbers).
- Various bug fixes (some were in interim releases):
- Fixed an issue with some top-level directory data products
being missing from Browse.
- Fixed a bug with re-sorting query results in some cases.
- The Parameter Query interface was confusingly displaying
the minimum and maximum values of NULL floating point
parameters as zeroes instead of blanks. This is now
- Fixed a bug with "Reissue Query" when changing the cone
- Cleaner HTML throughout Browse.
- v9.0, May 28, 2021.
- Over the previous ~9 months with many interim updates, the
transition was completed. Browse now uses the same database
as Xamin, so the results from the two interfaces should be the
- Corrected and re-enabled the "Save to Hera" functionality.
- Many bugs fixed.
- Minor change/fix, May 9, 2012.
- Added error messages to "Search based on" area on for invalid or
unresolved targets when multiple targets are submitted. Also added
error messages for batch interface.
- Bug Fix, July 21, 2009.
- Miscellaneous bug fixes.
- Updated Veron Catalog link on the main Browse Form.
- v8.4, October 9, 2007.
- Added a progress box on the tabbed results display page
to show how many tables have been processed. When processing
is complete the table and row totals are displayed.
- v8.3, September 20, 2007.
- The Archive page has been updated. The organization of the
interactive forms section has been improved, obsolete sections
have been removed and the Suzaku mission has been added to the
Quick Search form.
- A table query progress box has been added to the Tabbed Display
to indicate how many tables have been queried as tables are
processed. The final number of tables and rows is displayed when
the query has completed.
- v8.2, March 29, 2007.
- Coordinates and other values in results tables are now more
- A couple bugs that affected the Related Links in results tables
- The message displayed when requested data products are not
available was improved.
- v8.1, October 30, 2006.
- Release of new Chandra Field of View Search. Search for
targets within active field of view of Chandra observations and
display FOV plots.
- A new link to the Chandra FOV search represented by the letter
F has been added to the Services column of the Chandra
- Processing of Parameter constraints that include SQL has been
- To improve the integrity of data product downloads the FTP link
to tar files has been eliminated. The HTTP link remains and
users are encouraged to also use the Create Download Script and
Preview and Retrieve options.
- v8.0, June 26, 2006.
- Release of new Browse Tabbed Display.
- A solid-colored non-hypertext arrow now indicates
the current sort column for each results table.
- The commands generated in the Create Download Script
option have been changed to follow links in the FTP archive.
- v7.5.2, May 23, 2006.
- When appropriate, links have been added to the GCN (Gamma ray
bursts Coordinates Network) in the Services column in results
- A GRB name resolver has been added to Browse to allow coordinate
conversion for object names that are valid gamma ray burst
- v7.5.1, January 25, 2006.
- The table summary on the Browse results page is
now sorted correctly when a query is submitted from the Browse
Keyword Search page.
- Class select lists on the Parameter Search page are now
- Minor style changes were made to the Browse Keyword Search page
- v7.5, December 19, 2005.
- The Browse Keyword Search interface has been added. This
new interface allows users to perform a query by entering
parameters that relate to the data users wish to display,
a process similar to querying an internet search engine.
Access this interface via the
HEASARC Archive page
- The "Search was based on" information has been added
to the Text formatted results page
- The table name/row count summary on the results page has been
changed to sort by table priority.
- v7.4.1, November 22, 2005.
- The Text Table output format has been enhanced to include
more of the advanced features included with the HTML output
format while still maintaining a fast display time.
- v7.4, November 1, 2005.
- Java plotting has been improved with bug fixes and
additional features: additional y axis plotting, log axis
for histogram plots, and the option to display and download
- If a data products tar file size is possibly too large to
download without timing out an option to create a download
script will be displayed.
- A new switch has been added to commands in the Create Download Script
option so that commands can be used behind a firewall.
- v7.3.1, September 7, 2005.
- Style change to the results summary table that appears on
the query results page.
- Fixes to bugs that affected the Related Links section of tables
on the query results page.
- v7.3, July 6, 2005.
- The capability to analyze data products on the Hera system
is now available. Clicking the 'X" in the Services column in the
results table will copy data products to Hera system and start
up a Hera session. Some setup may be required. Information
can be found on the Hera page.
- Several significant improvements have been made to the batch
- A file name filter has been added to the Data Products selection
area. The asterisk is used a wildcard and multiple constraints
(treated as boolean OR) can be entered separated by a semicolon.
There is an example on the results page and a couple of
examples in the
data products section of Help.
(Some XTE data products are treated differently and are not
part of this change. The file name filter for all XTE files
will come later)
- Duplicate files have been eliminated from the data products
Create Download Script and Retrieve options.
- Related links in the result tables should now display even if
the parameters used in the dependency and criterion fields
are not in the default set
- The Parameter Query page now accepts "null" as a constraint for
coordinates and dates.
- The number of new windows that appear when links are
clicked on the query results page has been reduced.
Windows are now reused for similar types of requests.
Redisplay options (Text Format, Printer-Friendly Format) will
all be displayed in the same window. Data Product listings
will all go to one window. New windows will open for requeries.
- v7.2, March 8, 2005.
- A new search option has been added. Users can now enter an
object or pair of coordinates and click the submit button
without selecting a mission. A Summary of Browse tables and
the number of rows matching the criteria will be displayed.
Specific missions or tables can then be queried from the
- Bugs that prevented successful All Vizier Catalogs queries
and cross-correlations of queries made using a time search
- The main Browse Form page was updated to make mission categories
clearer and to provide wavelength information for non high energy
- v7.1, December 29, 2004.
- A new Table Name/Row Count Summary appears on the
- The new link dependency field in the database has been
- A Create Download Script button has been added to the
data products options located below results tables. This
option will display or create a file of download commands
for data products
- Links to the ADS page have been added to tables that contain
- More information on data products page has been added to
make it clear when data products are not available
- v7.0, January 30, 2004.
- Added capability to download a Query to a file for later use.
If a query is savable then a button will appear on the
Results page. To upload the query select the Query File And
Sessions Upload button on the Main search page.
- Added capability to upload a file of objects to use for searches.
An Object file can be in Pure Text format or a list with
objects and/or coordinate pairs delimited by semicolons or new
lines. A "Save All Objects To File" button that saves targets from
all tables to a local file in the Pure Text format is located on
the Results page.
- Fixed bug that displayed incorrect radius units on the Results
page in the Your Search was Based On box
- Tables that are empty for a query are now included in requery
- Added capability to display dataset ID information for tables that
have this information in the database
- v6.8, September 10, 2003
- The user is now able to reissue a query from the results page. At
this point the only items that can be changed are the position,
max rows returned, and the radius.
- When a user queries for more than one position, the original
position specified is printed in the radius column to let the user
know which rows correspond to each position.
- A random Browse Tip, a Tip Archive button and link, and a
Printer-Friendly Version button have been added to the
query results page
- Small SkyView optical and x-ray images now appear on the results
page of single object queries. These images are links to larger
images at the SkyView site.
- A link to an optical SkyView image has been added to the Services
- The default radius for Vizier queries is now 1 arc minute
- Users can now specify a parameter query as an expression.
That expression can include other fields - for example, a user
could search based on color by specifying in the
mag2 field: '>=(mag1 + 1)'.
The parentheses are required, that is the signal to Browse not
to require the user input to pass the type check.
- Start/Reset/More Options buttons are now at top of form
as well as at the bottom of main query page
- The table legend now appears only once on the results page.
The style of the tables on the results page has been changed to fit
more data in the visible scroll window.
- Data Products/Further Action selections have been moved to
the scrolled area under each results table.
- Most page headers now have more meaningful text, some have colors
- Windows will be brought to front when processing is complete
- The character set that can be used for the Hera login password
is now restricted and checked
- The capability to specify linked tables based on parameters
or position has been added. Actual implementation of linked tables will be added
at a later date.
- v6.7, June 18, 2003.
- Changed parameter query interface, so that instead of min and max
entry boxes, there is one box per parameter field where the user can
compose a more flexible query term, using the operators:
'<','>','<=', '>=', '..' (range operator), and
can negate any of these by prefixing it with
'!..'. Users can 'OR' query terms for the
same parameter using
';', 'or', or '|' between terms.
'<=5 or 10; 20 .. 40'. Nulls are
supported by typing 'null'.
- If a user enters a contraint in the parameter form for a field that
so that the field will be returned in the results.
- The cosmetic style of all tables has been changed.
- A pure text output format has been added. This format will display
the results table(s) in pure text format, with no html headers,
footers, links, etc.
- v6.6, December 17, 2002.
- Bibliography links have been added to the services column in the
tables of query results. These are links to abstracts at ADS which
reference the observations selected. Try searching any of the
public mission archives.
- Remote data products can now be included in tarfiles just like local
data products. Try the Chandra products.
- Name resolver conflict reporting: If the positions returned by NED
and SIMBAD differ by more than 10 arcsec (or 10% of the radius
entered by the user, whichever is greater), the user is warned. The
query is still performed with the default name resolver, but the user
is given a link with which to query the secondary name resolver.
(To try this out, try the object 'terzan 6'.)
- The default search radius for a cross correlation is the larger of
the two tables' search radii. (Was set to the radius of the primary
- A process limit has been added so that no more than 15 Browse queries
can be running at once. (NOTE: We are now running on two machines;
this limit applies to each machine.)
- Some changes to the display of results tables - alternating rows are
color shaded and the horizontal ruling is gone. The search summary
box is outlined but not divided with internal ruling. Comments?
- Bugfix: If a user searches on observation date in a table with both a
start date and end date, the results should now be correct.
- Users won't be able to tell, but the underlying data products code
has been rewritten as object-oriented modules so that other sites
that install Browse as their archive interface can simply drop in a
new module that provides methods to access their data products.
- Search summary is now printed on cross-correlation results page.
- Modifications made for compliance with section 508 accessibility
- v6.5, October 21, 2002.
- Users now have the ability to
retrieve pre-defined groups of data for RXTE observations. These are
labeled as Intermediate, Standard, or Complete RXTE products, and
have file types of TAR. Users can select them just like any
individual product and they will be merged into a single TAR file.
- A new output type has been added which creates a spreadsheet
containing the results of a query. This spreadsheet has a mime-type
of application/vnd.ms-excel, and is a cross-platform binary file
compatible with MS Excel as well as other spreadsheet software such
as Gnumeric and OpenOffice.
- Changed the search radius input parameters so that the user can
specify an arbitrary radius and choose the unit independently.
- Minor display changes and bug fixes.
- v6.4, March 25, 2002.
- A new feature offers the ability to query information services
outside Browse from the results page. These are in two locations:
a new column in the results table holds single-letter quick links
to a few services, including a quick link to the data products
(labeled 'D') in Browse. Even more services are offered in the
'Further Actions:' section in a selection menu. Use the checkboxes
on each row to select one or more rows to get services for, and
select one or more services in the menu, then click 'GO'. A new
window will appear with the links to the requested services.
- Added a scrollbox around each results table. Only browsers that
understand CSS2 will show this correctly, the others should ignore
it and display tables the same as before.
- Many minor display changes and bug fixes.
- v6.3, January 14, 2002.
- An option to get results in Astrores XML format has been added.
- Users can now sort the results of cross-correlations.
- Users can now plot the results of cross-correlations.
- There are individual RESET buttons for each row on the parameter
search form, so users can reset the min and max settings for a
- The old main interface (still available from the new main interface)
now has the ability to query by observation dates.
- If a user sends a batch query for a nonexistent table, a list of
all available tables is returned.
- v6.2, October 29, 2001.
- Based on suggestions from an independent review of Browse, we have
modified the style of the forms in Browse, especially the main
form, and the results page.
- Users can now query for observation dates just as easily as for
position. The date field accepts single dates, multiple dates,
and ranges of dates, in YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss format, where hh:mm:ss
is optional, or in MJD format.
- Added the ability to redisplay results tables in different formats.
- Added the ability to get all fields for both tables in a
- On the parameter search form, the 'range' operator has been renamed
to 'between', and a new operator, 'outside', has been added, which
means 'not between x and y'.
- Added default sorting of results: for tables with data products and
a field matching /exposure/, table is sorted by decreasing exposure
time. For tables without data products or without an exposure
column, if the user specified a position to search on, the results
are sorted by offset from that position. Otherwise no sorting is
done on the results.
- The Proposal table type is now selected by default on the main form.
- Added back in the links to Ftools on the data products listing
(lost in V6.0)
- Coordinates are now reported with their correct accuracy.
- v6.1, August 28, 2001.
- The query summary box has returned and has been improved. This is
a section at the top of the query results which shows the query
choices (including defaults) that were made for the query. This
also shows any parameter query specifications, which the previous
summary box didn't report.
- Users can now elect to receive query results in FITS tables, which
can then be analyzed or plotted with standard FITS tools, such as
- v6.0, July 9, 2001.
- Almost complete rewrite of underlying code, using object-oriented
methods to increase code extensibility.
- CDS VizieR Integration:
Users can now perform searches on tables provided by VizieR,
including cone, parameter, and cross-correlations with tables
provided by the HEASARC. The results are flagged with the color
pink, and wherever possible, there is a link provided to switch the
the corresponding step in doing a query using the VizieR interface.
Users can also plot the results of VizieR queries.
- We have improved the response time on printing results by streamlining
the HTML code.
- Data products are listed in sets, instead of simply listing all the
- Tarring of data products is now displayed as it goes: the
estimated size of the final tarfile is printed, then each filename
is printed as it is
added to the tarfile, so that users can see the tarfile's progress.
- Cross-correlations look slightly different - the results are printed
side-by-side, with the columns labeled with letters: ie 'a' and 'b',
to indicate which table they belong to. Each row has a single checkbox
which refers to data from both tables. E.g., if you ask to view
the associated data products you will get them from both tables.
If you click on the right arrow you will get data from both tables.
- Parameter units are displayed in the column headers for results
where units are available. They are also shown on the parameter search
form and on the 'display all paramters' page.
- For tables which contain long fields, ie abstracts, users can now
search for strings within the fields. The long fields are displayed
on a separate line from the other columns. This should eliminate the
need for the Argus tool.
- The ISO mission has been added.
- The Object table type is now checked by default.
- The parameter query form now accepts values in scientific notation.
select all products at once, or select all products associated with
a table row at once.
- Data products' file sizes are all reported in kB, for easy comparison.
The final tarfile estimated and actual file sizes are reported in
whatever the appropriate units may be - kB, MB, or GB.
- Abstracts (or other long fields) are now displayed properly in the
single row display. Units and parameter descriptions are also shown.
- Plotting: the ability to sample the data is now done within the
plotting software, instead of requerying the database, and so it
should be much faster.
- v5.3.1, April 10, 2001.
- In order to reduce the number of tables searched automatically
by the Basic search, a priority filter has been added. For each combination of table type and mission, only the highest priority
(a subjective judgement made by HEASARC staff) tables will be
- The missions on the main interface have been rearranged a bit,
with the active xray missions grouped.
- On the main interface, there are 'check all' checkboxes beside the
title for each section. Clicking the checkbox checks all the
checkboxes in that section.
- Expanded the error message given when no tables are found.
- On the results listings, the box containing the list of data sets
and the box containing the action buttons are always side-by-side
- On the results listings, the row of buttons containing the plot,
cross-correlation and display buttons is now below the box
containing the data sets and action buttons.
- Fixed an inconsistency where the up and down arrows on the table
listings page had the reverse meaning than the arrows on the
query results listing page.
- Changed the date given at the top of the query results page from
i.e. 11/13/01 to November 13 2001.
- Added key to sort arrows in left menu of table listing page, and
added alt text to the arrows in the column headings.
- On the results page, the 'Show file sizes' and 'Show GIF previews'
checkboxes are now checked by default.
- Long parameter names are broken up in column headers on results pages.
- Minor cosmetic changes.
- v5.3, March 12, 2001. internal release
- Combined Basic and Advanced interfaces into one interface:
- Only the 'Archive and Observations' table type is selected
by default - this gives roughly the same selections as the
Basic interface. If more table types are desired, user can
- Entering an object or coordinates and clicking 'Basic Search'
will do an immediate search just like the old Basic interface.
- Clicking on 'Advanced Search' will go to a table selection
page just like the old Advanced Interface.
- There is a link from w3basic.pl to w3browse.pl.
- On the combined interface, the missions have been rearranged,
and some frequently-used tables have been added. There are
'check all' boxed beside each category name to check or clear
all the boxes in a category.
- v5.2.1, January 24, 2001.
- Added navigation trail to the 'list all tables' (index) page, and
to the cross-correlation page.
- On the advanced interface, hid the table type of 'physics'.
Moved 'physics data' to 'atomic data', in its own box.
- Rearranged the order of the form sections on the cross-correlation
page (tables first, then options) and added links to other Browse
- Added a provision to w3query.pl for not having a navtrail as input.
- Moved the plot, cross-correlation, and 'display all params' buttons to right under each table.
- v5.2, January 2, 2001.
- Added table types (observation, object, proposal, physics) to the
columns reported for tables, also to the mission selection page.
They currently work as filters on the missions but eventally will
be separate query choices.
- A navigation line has been added which shows users where they are
in the process of obtaining data.
- Clicking on FITS file links in the data products listing will send
the file to the user's browser with a MIME type of x-fits. If the
user has a FITS viewer defined, the file will be displayed.
- The 'Max GIF Size" option on the query page is now gone. It has
been replaced with a checkbox to choose that the user wants to see
GIF previews. The checkbox appears on the results page.
- If the user elects to view GIF previews, small GIFs are shown in
the products listing. Clicking on them brings up the full size
image in a new window.
- The hyperlinked mission names on the missions page are now links
to help about the tables for that mission, instead of being a
shortcut link to the next query step. This is more consistent
with the rest of the browse query pages.
- Categories of data products are now listed as checkboxes on the
query results page.
- Minor appearance changes.
- v5.1.3, October 17, 2000.
- Tables can now be listed under more than one mission.
- Moved CGRO from Active Missions to Past Missions on the Basic
- Moved the GRB tables to a new Mission: "Gamma-Ray Bursts" on the
- v5.1.2, August 15, 2000.
- Modified the plotting application so that the server-side
application does not require an X server to plot/create the GIF.
Instead, it uses a PJA package which can do the graphics without
an X server.
- Fixed a bug in the Parameter interface where the query was not
formed correctly if it contained a parameter with > 255 characters.
Also, parameter searches are now case insensitive unless the
parameter is > 255 characters.
- v5.1.1, May 26, 2000.
- Modified server-side plotting so that the query retrieves
only the parameters to be plotted. This speeds up the server-
side plotting and allows plotting of many more rows of results.
- v5.1, April 25, 2000.
- Made changes to Browse which allow users to view external URL
- Added links to FTOOLS from the data products page. If
there is a mission FTOOLS page, a link for it is also displayed.
the Results Page. If a user selects it, all result rows for
that table are selected, if a user unselects it, all result
rows are marked as unselected for that table. This feature
Options' to 'List data products for selected categories for
selected observations', if a user selects any data product
- Fixed a bug where cross-correlations on results of multiple
objects was not working correctly.
- Fixed a bug where help files on olegacy system were not
- Modified the plotting so that errors are reported from the
Java application. Also, added silk.gsfc.nasa.gov as an available
- v5.0.6, March 9, 2000.
- Created a new homepage and renamed W3Browse to Browse.
- Updated the Basic Interface with the latest changes.
- Made several other cosmetic changes. Cross-correlation on
results was highlighted in more places. New icons were added to
the results page. Added the new menubars to pages.
- v5.0.5, December 15, 1999.
- Added REAL_REMOTE_HOST fix so that the corrected REMOTE_HOST
will be recorded in the logs and in W3Browse error messages.
- Added capabilty which allows user to get all catalog rows.
From the parameter search page if a user does not
specify any query information, the whole catalog is
returned (less than the max number of rows).
- The default max number of rows returned is now set to 250.
- Added changes to parameter interface so that 'not between'
range or 'sef' searches are allowed by ngbrowse.
- Also, made changes to parameter interface so that ngbrowse does not
have to make unnecessary calls to get metabase information.
- Fixed bug where spaces in a like query were not getting
- v5.0.1, October 7, 1999.
- W3Browse Plotting was modified so that Aitoff projections
are plotted using Galactic coordinates.
- Made several modifications to SQL queries so that they are
compatible with both Sybase and Oracle. This is to make
W3Browse distributable to ISAS, and ISDC.
- Updated SLA.pm changes [Ed]
- Updated Astro.pm and merged the Astro package into one big
file. This W3Browse version does not use HDBrect but uses
Astro's routines. Also, the Astro package does not use coco but
SLA routines for coordinate conversion.
- Optimized the class id to class name conversion by eliminating
calls to the database. The data is stored in a perl hash variable
instead. Also, speeded up multiple table 'Search by Parameter'
page by removing the use of 'union' to get table class ids.
- Fixed a rare bug in parameter search where min/max were not
displayed correctly if they had spaces.
- Fixed another bug which occurred if the key information had
a '=' character in it.
- Fixed a minor bug in 'minimize data' option of cross
correlations results display.
- v5.0, September 8, 1999.
- Rewrote the Plotting completely. A user may begin plotting
after clicking on the plot icon on the Results page. Several
new plotting capabilities were added in this release.
- plots can run on server-side to create GIF files or
on the client-side as applets
- users can do scatter plots, histograms, cumulative
histograms, aitoff projections, sampling data
- the java classes are provided with javadoc
- fully object-oriented design techniques were used
to implement the software
- Replaced the use of HDBmc client-server software with the use
if DBI/ModPerl based technology. This new method requires fewer
network connections to the database. Users can set the limit on the
number of rows it can query at the database level.
- Added Anti-cross-correlations and rewrote the cross-correlations
interface. More display options were added to allow split line queries,
and minimal column selection.
- Added capabilities that permit the Hera state saver to save the
- Fixed a bug in the Parameter Search interface where min=0 was not
- Added more links to the W3Browse help file from query pages.
- Added the Astro-e mission to the Advanced and Basic Interface.
- v4.6.5, March 18, 1999.
- Added logging of W3Browse queries. The logs are kept in two
different files. One file keeps track of the type of query
requests and the second file tracks the tar requests.
- Modified code so that there is no limit on the number of
results that get displayed after a cross-correlation request.
If a query returns more than 2000 rows, the results are
displayed in text format only.
- Modified the SQL to make it compatible with Oracle.
In particular modified the select clause so that 'as' is used
instead of '=' to rename columns.
- v4.6, February 16, 1999.
- Redsigned and rewrote the W3Browse search interfaces.
- Redid the Missions Page. Added a help menubar on the left.
- Rewrote the tables display page so that tables are displayed in
order by priority in an HTML table layout. Added a options menubar
on the left. Tables can also be sorted by: Catalog, Short Form,
Archived, Default Search Radius, and Mission name.
- Completely redid the parameter search query page. The parameters
are listed in a table layout and the user is allowed to set
parameters in one go instead of doing 'Build Query' each time.
- Added multiple table search by parameter capability. Only the common
parameters get displayed.
- Modified the parameter search interface so that the 'class'
parameter actually displays class names instead of numbers.
- Added capability which allows user to set result limit.
- Overall changed W3Browse Header() appearance.
incase user decides to click on 'Stop' browser from loading a big
- Removed filter query option.
- v4.5, June 15, 1998.
- Users now have an option to display search results and cross
correlation results in text format.
has entered required information before submitting.
- Added code that displays help file documentation for
valid tables when a user clicks on a mission name. These
mission name links are found on pages that help set
- Made necessary changes to make the MenuBar a client-side
image map so that it works correctly with frames. Only the
launch page shows up with the HEASARC frame. The rest of the pages
do not have the frame.
- Added link to Astrobrowse from the launch page.
- v4.4, May 08, 1998.
- A new interface was added to W3Browse which allows full table
- Re-wrote routines that perform cross-correlations completely. The
cross-correlation query is much neater since it is done as one
big join instead of two separate queries. This is a major
revision and cuts down the code size. The results from the
database come together for both tables.
- Added cross-correlation by time feature.
- Rewrote routines that display cross-correlation results. The
results are displayed in an HTML table layout. Right arrow
images allow expansion of table rows.
- Made changes necessary so that the sort arrows are not
displayed if only 1 result row is found.
- Added a new link for 'Multiwavelength Catalogs' on the Missions
- v4.3, March 12, 1997.
- Redesigned the results page completely, added image buttons
that allow sorting by parameter column, also added image buttons
that allow users to display all parameters in a table row. Results
for each table are grouped together.
- Optimized alot of the code by reducing calls to the database.
Also, decreased the results page size by a large fraction by
reducing the amount of hidden information stored for each
result row. Unique key information is used to identify
each result row.
- Redesigned the structures used for data products retrieval and
parsing engines. The metabase unique_key value is used
to retrieve data product information on a result row.
The old method for finding data products was completely removed.
- Overall added more user error checks and tried to return
informative messages to the user about possible W3Browse/user
- Added code on the W3Browse side that makes sure that the
correct version of the batch interface is being used. An error
message is sent back to the user if the version is obsolete.
- Made changes so that if the query is a batch request,
only query results or error messages will be returned. This
reduces possible error in parsing exact HTML output.
- Modified the batch interface script, browse_extract.pl, so
that it reports possible user/W3Browse errors.
- Modified missions page to shrink spaces between mission names,
also added the OSO 8 mission.
- Added a $::writeHeader variable used to indicate if the content
type directive has been printed. This variable is used wherever
calls are made to the Error() function.
- v4.2, December 4, 1997.
- Modified software so that it is compatible with Sybase. The
changes mainly affect the parameter search interface. Parameters
of type character and length greater than 255 characters can
not be searched using <, >, = operators.
- Added a separate W3Browse link to the launch page for browsers
that do not support HTML tables.
- Batch query error messages are reported to Tom McGlynn.
- Added AXAF mission to Advanced Interface.
- Fixed bug in cross-correlation where extra columns were being
displayed on the results page. [Ed]
- Fixed the Catalog Index interface, so that views and
non-HEASARC tables do not link to TDAT files anymore.
- v4.1, September 8, 1997.
- Added distributed database access capabilities. W3Browse no
longer depends on the 'heasarc_' prefix for table names.
- Added catalog index page which lists all catalogs with links to
- Improved the launch page.
- Completely redesigned the missions page, links from mission names
now go to cone search. If a mission does not support cone
search, the link goes to parameter search.
- Made other cosmetic changes such as: added a new W3Browse
panel on top of each page, moved the HEASARC menubar to the
bottom of each page, moved several submit buttons to the top of the
- Added capabilities that would allow SIMBAD to access W3Browse.
- Fixed a bug on the Cross Correlation page in which the cross
correlation radius was not being encoded correctly.
- Fixed a bug in which data products were not showing up for
certain specific cases.
- v4.0.2, July 23, 1997.
- Fixed bug in Batch interface which resulted in incorrect
header line being displayed.
- v4.0.1, July 2, 1997.
- Added new catalog names to the missions page and added the <pre>
tag to improve the layout of mission links in the HTML table.
- Fixed a bug in error display of no tables found to perform object/
coordinate search for a particular mission. Improved this error
message to display a more meaningful message.
- Fixed a bug related to creating mission hyperlinks on the mission page.
- Fixed a bug which was giving an incorrect Search Offset value.
- Fixed a minor bug related to display of "Entries" in the batch
- v4.0, May 2, 1997.
- Added cross-correlation of query results of one table with
another table of the user's choice.
- Added option to query results form to display all the database
parameters of selected rows.
- Added option to override default parameter display and sorting to
the table selection form of a Parameter Search. Also, made some
other esthetic changes to this page.
- New mission(s)-selection form on the Advanced Interface's main
page (only for browsers savvy enough to display HTML tables)
- Unified the code to retrieve the list of tables and construct the
HTML form for selecting tables into one nify interface, greatly
simplifying the code in several places and resulting in a
consistent user interface for selecting tables that is also
easier to understand for the user.
- Completely rewrote the code responsible for the Advanced
Interface's Object Name/Coordinates Search page. This concludes
the complete revamping of the W3Browse code base begun over 10
months ago. New code is more efficient, cleaner, is more modular,
and no longer uses global variables unnecessarily. It consists of
20% fewer lines of code.
- Now uses object-oriented programming approach to astronomical
object names and coordinates and name resolvers.
- Fixed a bug related to query results sorting and data products
- Fixed a rare bug in the Parameter Query's implementation of the
All option of the Fields menu that would cause an
SQL syntax error when the default parameters for some table
consisted of all the parameters for that table.
- v3.8, January 10, 1997.
- Added support for the "List Individual Data Products (Selected
Sets)" option to the Search Results form. This option is similar
in effect to the "List Individual Data Products (All Sets)"
option, but it only lists the data products in the data products
sets that the user selects.
- Added arbitrary levels of filtering of query results via the
"Filter Query Results" option on the Search Results form.
- Complete rewrite of Parameter Query interface to support
successive filtering of queries, combining cone searches with
parameter searches, and overriding parameter display and sort
control. Modified Julian date values are now displayed (and can be
entered) in ISO-standard format. Right ascension and declination
fields have their equinox clearly labelled in the parameter list.
Replaced Action select menu with multiple submit buttons if user
has a modern Web browser.
- Basic interface now uses the same default search radii as the
Advance Interface in all cases.
- Added SEARCH_OFFSET pseudo-column to the Search Results output of
cone searches. This column of calculated values displays the
distance from the center of the cone search to the coordinates of
each object in the search results in units of arcminutes.
- Added histogram, log/log, and semilog plotting to the Java
plotting applet. [Saima]
- Code is more modular and is now partially object-oriented.
- More efficient querying of the database. Some unnecessary
database queries were removed after intelligently encoding the
data for subsequent CGI usage. This should yield faster response
times for the user and less overhead on the database.
- Added support for a batch interface to Object Name/Coordinates
Search using Perl scripts that users can download.
- v3.7, October 31, 1996.
- Added Java applet for plotting arbitrary numerical columns in the
results of searches. [Saima]
- Can now do cone searches on multiple object names and/or
coordinate pairs by separating the entries with semicolons.
- Added facility for retaining arbitrary directory structures in
the TAR files created by W3Browse for users to download.
- A cone search can now use a column in the table being queried as
the default search radius.
- Removed Action select menu from Name/Coordinates page and
replaced it with two radio buttons for Submit Query and
Override Parameters Display. Added checkbox for plotting
query results with Java.
- Modified the coordinate pair parsing routines to accept decimal
absolute values less than 1.0 without a preceding zero. (I.e.,
one can now enter ".5", whereas before one was forced to enter
"0.5" to avoid a parsing error.)
- Fixed a coordinate conversion bug in the parameter query routines
related to the entry of coordinates in sexigesimal format.
- Fixed a bug in the Override Parameters Display option that
was due to an undocumented difference between Perl 4 and Perl 5.
- Search Radius options with units of degrees should no longer be a
problem for Web browsers using foreign-language encodings or
strange Web browsers that don't support the full HTML character
set standard. Also, added an option for a 3 degree search radius.
- Added link to a table's HTML help file for documenting data
- Tightened security again on external process invocations.
- The source code is now considerably more modular.
- v3.6, September 20, 1996.
- Added W3Browse Basic
Interface for novice users.
- CGRO, ROSAT, and XTE data products registered with the new
Data Products Layer and defined suitable data products sets.
- v3.5, August 26, 1996.
- Added support for more versatile, URL-based data products using
the new HEASARC Data Products Layer.
- Can now retrieve data products sets from the Search
Results page and avoid the listing of individual data products.
- Added the ability to do wild card searches in parameter queries
using the like and not like operators.
- Added link to HEASARC acknowledgment from the main page.
- Source code now requires Perl 5 and is more modular.
- Improved efficiency of parameter query by removing two unneeded
- Fixed bug relating to GIF image display limit that prevented any
GIF data product from being displayed on the Data Products
- Minor cosmetic changes. Better error messsages. Improved user
- Updated the help-file documention.
- v3.3.1, June 26, 1996.
- Fixed parameter query bug relating to table descriptions with
parentheses in them.
- Added link to W3Browse usage statistics from the main page.
- All source code is now Perl 5-compatible.
- Now using special version of tar that is compatible with
the SunOS 4.x version of tar.
- Updated the help-file documentation.
- v3.3, May 7, 1996.
- W3Browse now displays modified Julian dates in ISO-standard
- Created version history file and added a link to it from each
- Centralized all source code that interacts with HDBmc. Made the
source code more modular with more reusability.
- Better security on all HDBmc calls.
- Reduced the number of HDBmc calls in order to do an object
name/coordinate search, resulting in better efficiency and faster
- Users can now select multiple missions on the main page and still
be able to do a parameter query.
- Now uses table_document_url ZZGEN parameter for constructing all
help links in the parameter query forms.
- The Fields and GIF Image Display Limit pop-up menus on the
parameter query form now retain state between query builds.
- v3.2.5, April 23, 1996.
- Searching for an object name and requesting that the output be
displayed in galactic coordinates should now work.
- Coordinate precession problems encountered when the equinox of
the table differed from the equinox that the user requested were
- Fixed bugs in display of coordinates returned by name resolvers.
Message indicated that coordinates were J2000, but they were
actually in the coordinate system specified by the user.
- v3.2.4, March 13, 1996.
- A bug related to user-specification of the search radius was
fixed. The degree ('°') and seconds ('"') symbols were not
being recognized and converted to the appropriate integer values in
arc minutes. This bug was an unforseen result of the major changes
that were made to W3Browse a couple of versions ago to
accommodate Mosaic's odd problems with forms.
- The data products' directory structure is now retained inside the
TAR files created for the user to download.
- Minor tweaks were made to the HTML forms (mostly converting tab
characters to spaces) to support the Microsoft Internet Explorer
- v3.2.3, March 6, 1996.
- Fixed bugs in usage of the 'sequence_id' virtual parameter in
querying for data products.
- Minor esthetic tweaks to the HTML page that list the data products.