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                             RELEASE NOTES FOR HEASOFT 6.18
                                     February 8, 2016
    The HEASoft 6.18 release is primarily driven by updates to the Swift/XRT
    software and compatibility of a new set of analysis software for the Astro-H
    mission pre-launch testing, but also includes updates to other packages
    which have been revised to mirror the current development versions
    in use at the HEASARC.
    As before, configuration-related changes thoughout the package means that
    users who already have HEASoft v6.x.x installed will need to completely
    replace their software installation; there is no clean way to simply
    overlay this new release or to update an existing installation.
    - Version 3.38:
         Discovered that the Intel 15 and 16 compilers (and potentially other
         compilers) may silently produce incorrect code when compiling CFITSIO with
         the -O2 (or higher) optimization flag. In particular, this problem could cause 
         CFITSIO to incorrectly read the values of arrays of 32-bit integers in a 
         FITS file (i.e., images with BITPIX = 32 or table columns with TFORM = 'J') 
         when the array is being read into a 'long' integer array (and where the 
         long array elements are 8 bytes long). 
         One way to test if a particular system is affected by this problem
         is to compile CFITSIO V3.37 (or earlier) with optimization enabled,
         and then compare the output of the testprog.c program with the 
         testprog.out file that is distributed with CFITSIO. If there are any 
         differences in the files, then further tests should be performed to 
         determine the exact cause.
         The root cause of this problem was traced to the fact that CFITSIO 
         was aliasing an array of 32-bit integers and an array of 64-bit integers 
         to the same memory location.in order to obtain better data I/O efficiency
         when reading FITS files.  When CFITSIO modified the values in these
         arrays, it was essential that the processing be done in strict sequential
         order from one end of the array to the other end, as was implicit in the
         C code algorithm. In this case, however, the compiler adopted certain 
         loop optimization techniques that produced assembly code that violated 
         this assumption.  Technically, the CFITSIO code violates the "strict aliasing"
         assumption in ANSI C99, therefore the affected CFITSIO routines were
         modified so that the aliasing of different data types to the same memory
         location no longer occurs.
       - in imcompress.c, implemented a new set of routines that safely convert
         shorter integer arrays into a longer integer arrays (e.g. short to int)
         where both arrays are aliased to the same memory location.  These
         special routines were needed to guard against certain compiler optimization
         techniques that could produce incorrect code.
       - modified the 4 FnNoise5_(type) routines in quantize.c to correctly 
         count the number of non-null pixels in the input array.  Previously the
         count could be inaccurate if the image mainly consisted of null pixels.
         This could have caused certain floating point image tiles to be 
         quantized during the image compression process, when in fact the tile
         did not satisfy all the criteria to be safely quantized.
       - in imcomp_copy_comp2img, added THEAP to the list of binary table 
         keywords that may be present in the header of a compressed image 
         and should not be copied to the uncompressed image header.
       - modified fits_copy_col to check that when copying a vector column, the
         vector length in the output column is the same as in the input column.
         Also modified the code to support the case where a column is being copied
         to an earlier position in the same table (which shifts the input column
         over 1 space).
       - added configure option (--with-bzip2) to support reading bzip2 compressed 
         FITS files.  This also required modifications to drvrmem.c and drvrfile.c
         This depends on having the bzlib library installed on the 
         local machine.  This patch was submitted by Dustin Lang.
       - replaced calls to 'memcpy' by 'memmove' in getcolb.c, getcold.c,
         getcole.c, and getcoli.c to support cases where the 2 memory areas 
         overlap. (submitted by Aurelien Jarno)
       - modified the FITS keyword reading and writing routines to transparently
         support keywords with names longer than 8-characters.  This was implemented
         to help test a new experimental FITS convention which allows longer 
         keyword names.
       - in fits_quantize_double in quantize.c, test if iseed == N_RANDOM,
         to avoid the (unlikely) possibility of overflowing the random number
         array bounds. (The corresponding fits_quantize_float routine already
         performed this test).
       - in the FnNoise5_short routine in quantize.c, change the first 'if' 
         statement from "if (nx < 5)" to "if )nx < 9)", in order to support the
         (very rare) case where the tile is from 5 to 8 pixels wide.  Also make 
         the same change in the 3 other similar FnNoise5_* routines.
       - in the qtree_bitins64 routine in fits_hdecompress.c, must declare the
         plane_val variable as 'LONGLONG' instead of int.  This bug could have 
         caused integer overflow errors when uncompressing integer*4 images that
         had been compressed with the Hcompress algorithm, but only in cases
         where the image contains large regions of pixels whose values are close
         to the maximum integer*4 value of 2**31. 
       - in fits_hcompress.c, call the calloc function instead of malloc when
         allocating the signbits array, to eliminate the need to individually
         set each byte to zero.
       - in the ffinit routine, and in a couple other routines that call ffinit,
         initialize the *fptr input parameter to NULL, even if the input
         status parameter value is greater than zero.  This helps prevent
         errors later on if that fptr value is passed to ffclos.
       - modified ftcopy, in edithdu.c, to only abort if status > 0 rather
         than if status != 0. This had caused a problem in funpack in rare
       - in imcompress.c changed all the calls to ffgdes to ffgdesll, to support
         compressed files greater than 2.1 GB in size.
       - fixed bug in ffeqtyll when it is called with 4th and 5th arguments 
         set to NULL.
       - in fitsio.h, added the standard c++ guard around the declaration of the
         function fits_read_wcstab.  (reported by Tammo Jan Dijkema, Astron.)
       - in fitsio.h, changed the prototype variable name "zero" to "zeroval" to
         avoid conflict in code that uses a literal definition of 'zero' to mean 0.
       - tweaked Makefile.in and configure.in to use LDFLAGS instead of CFLAGS 
         for linking, use Macros for library name, and let fpack and funpack 
         link with shared library.
       - modified an 'ifdef' statement in cfileio.c to test for '__GLIBC__'
         instead of 'linux' when initializing support for multi-threading.
       - modified ffeqtyll to return an effective column data type of TDOUBLE
         in the case of a 'K' (64-bit integer) column that has non-integer
         TSCALn or TZEROn keywords.
       - modified ffgcls (which returns the value in a column as a formatted string)
         so that when reading a 'K' (TLONGLONG) column it returns a long long integer
         value if the column is not scaled, but returns a double floating point
         value if the column has non-integer TSCALn or TZEROn values.
       - modified fitsio.h to correctly define "OFF_T long long" when using
         the Borland compiler
       - converted the 'end of line' characters in simplerng.c file to the unix
         style, instead of PC DOS.
       - updated CMakeLists.txt CMake build file which is primarily used to
         build CFITSIO on Windows machines.
       - modified fits_get_keyclass to recognize ZQUANTIZ and ZDITHER0 as
         TYP_CMPRS_KEY type keywords, i.e., keywords used in tile compressed
         image files.
       - added test to see if HAVE_UNISTD_H is defined, as a condition for 
         including unistd.h in drvrfile.c drvrnet.c, drvrsmem.c, and group.c.
       - modified the CMakelist.txt file to fix several issues (primarily for
         building CFITSIO on Windows machines)..
       - fixed bug when reading tile-compressed images that were compressed with
         the IRAF PLIO algorithm.  This bug did not affect fpack or funpack, but
         other software that reads the compressed image could be affected.  The 
         bug would cause the data values to be offset by 32768 from the actual 
         pixel values.
    Version 2.5 - Updates since HEASoft 6.17 include:
    - For reading Keywords, added conversion of numerical types to strings.
    - Added support for variable-width string columns (12/15)
    - Added new ExtHDU::copyColumn function, implemented in the Table class.
      (This also requires a conforming change in CFITSIO, included
      in CFITSIO v3.38.)
    - Changed the Column container member of the Table class from a map
      to a multimap (now typedefed to 'ColMap').  This is to allow proper 
      handling of case where multiple columns within table share the same
      name.  NOTE: This resulted in a change to the public interface:
      ExtHDU and Table column() accessor functions now return a multimap.
    - Removed the ImageExt::image() accessor function from the public
      interface.  This was intended for internal use only.
    - Now allows image write calls to expand the outer-most (NAXISN)
      dimension of the image.  This was a feature of CFITSIO that
      wasn't previously supported in CCfits.
    - Implemented full-read internal caching for images.  Previously
      image read calls resulted in disk reads even when current values
      were available in memory.
    - Fix to ColumnData::writeData.  It should not resize the internal
      m_data vector to a smaller size when a write operation passes in a
      just a partial portion of the column.  (gcc had been covering up
      this bug since the resize call wasn't actually erasing any values).
    - Added Column::read functions for retrieving a single row of a vector
      column into a std::vector.  Previously this was only allowed for
    - Added new function HDU::readNextKey.
    - Removed #ifdef HAVE_CONFIG_H test for including config.h due to
      potential conflicts with users' customized autotools config.h files.
    - Refactoring so that if HEADASNOQUERY is set, all prompts are
      suppressed throughout all ape code. This is to make it easier
      for scripts to take advantage of the HEADASNOQUERY mode. The
      immediate need is for Astro-H scripting to work properly.
    - Make ape_util_strcmp consistently return -1, 1, or 0, rather than
      return whatever strcmp returns. This is to make the behavior
    - Add checks for validity of mode parameter. Must have type "s" and
      must have a valid mode for a value ("h", "hl", "q", "ql").
      Only check for correct values of "mode" parameter when value
      checking is enabled.
    - Check for validity of parameter file while opening.  Do not
      check values though, so that bad values may be fixed by the
      user through running the calling code that uses the parameter
    - Fixed error in conversion from ergs/cm^2/s.  All other conversions
      involving ergs are correct.
    - Fixed default value of ResponseThreshold to 0.0, not 1.0, if
      LO_THRES is not present in the input file. Improved some vector
    - Fix to SPcalcShifts to avoid an infinite loop if for some
      reason a shift was entered which made no change (i.e. no
      offset or slope change).
    - Added utility routine SPfindExtensions which returns the numbers
      of all extensions with a given keyword equal to a specified value.
    Synchronize with A. Tennant's current QDP/PLT  distribution:
    - Call FRELUN if WModel command fails.
    - 'Model insensitive to parameter' had gone away...
    - Fixed bug reading mal-formed model (.mod) files.
    - Ignore NO data values when plotting residuals.
    - Additional check when reading CMD array.
    - Internal bug fixes.
    - SCR B/W does not restart plot device.
    - Fix bug in SEt LEngth command.
    - Add the LY (Linear in Y) component.
    - makefilter:
      Fixed intermittent crash when reading from bit type columns, caused
      by an unininitalized variable (anynull).
      Fixed bug when trying to build expressions from input column from
      an expression in the configuration file.
    - (RMF read routine) Increase size of error message string to
      prevent write errors ("End of record") when message exceeds 80
      chars (seen in rbnrmf output).
    - finterp: Bug fix: update odata->nul[] properly so that extraneous
      NULLs are not written when extrap=NULL; Bug fix: handle integers
      with TSCALn/TZEROn keywords properly; Bug fix: copy all standard
      tabular keywords, including WCS.  Allow multiple column names in
      incolname; increase path name sizes to 1024 characters.
    - Work around http 2.7+ package bugs in Tcl 8.5.15; put configCatalog
      under itcl::code space (fixes SkyView connection bug).
    - extractor: Increased the maximum number of GTIs to one million
      for Astro-H.
    - ftconvert: Clear data array before pushing new values onto it
      in successive iterations of the main data-reading loop.  Without
      clearing it, the same 1000 values were being repeatedly written
      to the output file (for input files with more than 1000 rows).
    - ftdiff: Terminating null character in array of excluded keywords
      was being assigned to the wrong position (FLEN_KEYWORD+1).
      Use fffree() to free string arrays that were allocated by
      fits_read_key_longstr (ffgkls).
    - ftsort: Initialize infptr/outfptr to prevent memory fault for
      some data on Linux.
    - mgtime: Increase maximum number of rows in GTI to 2.5^6 to
      accommodate Astro-H data.
    - When searching for WCS keywords, avoid mistaking the "PCOUNT"
      keyword for the "PCi_ja" WCS keyword.  This confusion results in
      the WCSAXES keyword being incorrectly placed in front of PCOUNT,
      violating the FITS standard.
    - xselect.mdb: Added ASTRO-H and ASTROSAT entries.
    - Trapped the case of not being able to create the obscat file
      in XSL_MAKEO.
    - The various size entries in the MDB now default to TLMAX since
      this is what all modern event files should use. This can still
      be overridden by settings in the xselect.mdb file.
    - Fixed bug in XSL_MDB_INST which allowed SXS to be incorrectly
      identified when the instrument required was SXI.  Add sensible
      defaults if respneedreg and extendresp are not set in the mdb file.
      Change documentation to reflect making more mdb items optional.
      Changed CHARACTER declaration to remove those in obsolete format.
    - Added call to ape_util_override_query_mode to override any
      attempt to turn off prompting (e.g. using HEADASNOQUERY), as
      xselect is not wired for that option.  This was not a problem
      until recent changes to APE which suppress all prompting
      throughout APE when HEADASNOQUERY is set.  This fixes a hang
      when running xselect inside scripts which turn HEADASNOQUERY
      on; xselect was not prompting for standard parameters (prefix,
      data_dir, etc.) and was therefore unable to parse the input
      command file (.xco).
    HEASoft 6.18 includes Xspec v12.9.0i (patch level "i"):
    Version 2.2.1bn26 - updates since v221bn24 (HEASOFT 6.17) include:
    - Changes to fix error in compton heating-cooling.
    - Mods to ucalc to avoid applying charge exchange rates when
      temperature is out of range.
    - Added routines for apec compatibility.
    - Extended photoionization cross section (type 49) extrapolation
      from 20 keV to 200 keV.
    - Changed to fully implement effect of metastables on the bryans
      collisional ionization data.
    - Fixed code which calculates charge transfer ionization of O --> O+.
    - swifttime: v1.7 with updated extrapolation coefficients and
      minor change to approach.
    - Avoid calculations triggering divide-by-zero exceptions
      when source and/or background regions do not overlap image.
    - uvotcentroid: Perl 5.22.1 (and newer) disallows use of an
      array as a reference.
    - uvotlss: Bug fix: was not storing FITS header when passed
      position on command line.  Bug fix: was not determining the
      filter when lssfile parameter did not indicate CALDB so no
      corrections were found/applied.
    - uvotmaghist: Noted that ra/dec/srcas/bkgas are deprecated.
    XRT (ISAC Build 32 Software Release - XRTDAS v3.2.0):
    - xrtpccorr: Handle of events with RAWX/RAWY coordinate values
      out of nominal range.
    - xrtscreen: Exclusion from GTIs of CCD frames with RAWX/RAWY
      coordinates out of nominal range for Photon Counting mode.
    - xrtgrblc: The code block beginning at line 1335 depends on the user
      having engaged the "bincurve" parameter, yet lacked that condition
      in the "if" condition.  The structure rawBLC is only populated if
      bincurve=yes, and is used in this conditional block.  Added "&&
      $params{bincurve}" to the if condition.


    If FTOOLS has been useful in your research, please reference this site (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftools) and use the ASCL reference for HEASoft [ascl:1408.004] or the ASCL reference for the original FTOOLs paper [ascl:9912.002]:

    Blackburn, J. K. 1995, in ASP Conf. Ser., Vol. 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV, ed. R. A. Shaw, H. E. Payne, and J. J. E. Hayes (San Francisco: ASP), 367.

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    Last modified: Monday, 09-May-2016 19:37:13 EDT