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                             RELEASE NOTES FOR HEASOFT 6.9
                                    March 29, 2010
    The HEASoft 6.9 release is primarily driven by updates to the Swift and
    Suzaku mission software, but also includes updates to several 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.
    - Mac OS X:
      * 32- vs. 64-bit builds:
        Our configuration now handles the setting of architecture-related
        compiler flags when necessary (i.e. on newer Mac hardware [running
        OS X 10.6.x / Darwin 10.x / Snow Leopard]).  That is, users no
        longer need to set e.g. C-related "-arch i386" flags (as in HEASOFT
        v6.8) in order to make the default 64-bit C compilers play nice
        with 32-bit Fortran compilers.  Pure 64-bit builds (in theory
        allowed by gfortran with the -m64 flag) have proven buggy and are
        therefore not supported yet.
        Also note that the native HEASOFT build environment now uses the
        standard "LDFLAGS" instead of "LD_FLAGS" (though users should not
        need to bother with this variable either).
      * 32- vs. 64-bit Perl:
        Added new environment variable HD_BUILD_ARCH_32_BIT to flag
        whether the build (specifically, the Perl libraries) was done in
        32-bit mode.  This is configured and punched into the heasoft
        setup script, exported into the users environment if non-empty,
        and then used in the 'lhea-fixperl'-generated HEASOFT Perl script
        header to switch on the VERSIONER_PERL_PREFER_32_BIT flag (if
        HD_BUILD_ARCH_32_BIT=yes) before executing the script.  Thus,
        users no longer need to be concerned with setting
        VERSIONER_PERL_PREFER_32_BIT by hand.
    - Perl issues with pre-compiled binaries:
      * (Mac OS X) HEASOFT pre-compiled Darwin binaries are 32-bit, so the
        new environment variable HD_BUILD_ARCH_32_BIT is set to "yes" and
        used by HEASOFT Perl scripts as described above.
      * The pre-compiled binary configure script tests for any mismatch
        between the version of Perl used at GSFC and the users configured
        $PERL ($LHEAPERL) by running perldemo2 and looking for undefined
        symbol errors in the captured output.  If a potential mismatch is
        found, the user is warned and directed to our web page of proposed
    Version 3.24 - 26 January 2010
       - modified fits_translate_keywords so that it silently ignores any
         illegal ASCII characters in the value or comment fields of the input
         FITS file. Otherwise, fpack would abort without compressing input
         files that contained this minor violation of the FITS rules.
       - added support for Super H cpu in fitsio2.h
       - updated funpack to correctly handle the -S option, and to use a
         more robust algorithm for creating temporary output files.
       - modified the imcomp_compress_tile routine to support the NOCOMPRESS
         debugging option for real*4 images.
    Version 3.23 - 7 January 2010
       - reduced the default value for the floating point image quantization
         parameter (q) from 16 to 4.  This parameter is used when tile compressing
         floating point images.  This change will increase the average compression
         ratio for floating point images from about 4.6 to about 6.5 without losing 
         any significant information in the image.
       - enhanced the template keyword parsing routine to reject a header
         template string that only contains a sequence of dashes.
       - enhanced the ASCII region file reading routine to allow tabs as well
         as spaces between fields in the file.
       - got rid of bogus error message when calling fits_update_key_longstr
       - Made the error message more explicit when CFITSIO tries to write
         to a GZIP compressed file.  Instead of just stating "cannot write
         to a READONLY file", it will say "cannot write to a GZIP compressed
    - Bug fix in Table::copyData.  New Columns' parent pointers must be reset
      to the new Table.  Otherwise Columns created through the FITS::copy
      public function will not be modifiable. (02/10)
    2010-01-19 Ape 2.6
      Changes Made:
        * Add PILGetLong function, needed for XPI compatibility.
        * Improve handling of undefined and infinite/nan values.
          Correctly report (debug only) when such values are used
          for a parameter value. Flag as an error when such values
          are used in ranges.
    - Work-around for a GCC 4.4.2 problem discovered under Fedora 12: the
      pre-processor seems to simply throw away backslashes that escape 
      newlines in the input header file.  Supplied by David Berry (JAC
      Hawaii, http://starlink.jach.hawaii.edu/starlink/AST)
    - GIF driver: fix buffer overflow detected under Ubuntu 9.10 with GCC 4.4.1.
    - Ensured that plot is opened (for non-interactive plots) if text is the
      first output.
    - imagetrans: Fixed bug iterating input image boundary.
    - gcorrmf: increased size of keyword array to prevent memory faults.
    - Fix graph options editing bugs.  Fix export HDU cause Application
      Error bug.
    - POW: Fix missing rootx and rooty error message. Fix Editing Objects
      initialization error message.  Fix graph options editing bugs.
    - Update to XPA 2.1.11 (released 7 December 2009).
    - SwiftClock.pm: changed sCC() to only read ascii clock file once to
      avoid runtime penalty.
    - swco.dat: new version valid through: 2010Feb22 at 15:20:12UTC
    - fovdsp: Replaced explicit \ with char(92) to get round problems with
      it being handled in different ways.
    - ftmerge: Add 'insertrow' parameter (row number in first input table
      after which remaining input tables will be inserted).  If insertrow
      exceeds the number of rows in the first table, any additional rows
      between the last row of the first table and insertrow are filled with
    - xwebquery.pl: Fix issue on machines where `hostname` gives a name
      that resolves to a loopback IP address. Removed explicit local
      IP/port binding when connecting to external host.
    - Fixed bug which could cause confusion between two keys that were
      partial matches.  The only case that this actually matters appears
      to be for Einstein IPC files.
    - xselect.mdb: Added a couple of entries that were missing for
      Einstein Observatory.
    New features in v12.6.0:
    The main improvements in version 12.6.0 are to XSPEC's plotting capabilities:
      - Multi-panel plotting is now supported for all combinations except 
        contour plots.  For example, "plot data model resid ratio" will 
        produce a 4-panel plot on a single page. Up to 6 panels can be 
        plotted in this manner. 
      - There are many choices for axis units.  These can be selected
        using the "setplot energy" and "setplot wave" commands. For
        example, "setplot energy GeV" uses GeV on the x- and y-axes.
        "setplot wave" also has a new "perhz" option for displaying 
        the Y-axis in 1/Hz units.
      - The "setplot" command has a new "redshift <z>" option for shifting
        displayed energies to the source frame.
    Other new features:
      - New models :
           ireflect is a convolution model based on the pexriv code.
           sirf is a multiblackbody self-irradiated funnel
      - The normalizations on all power-law models (ie. powerlaw, 
        bknpow, bkn2pow, cutoffpl)can be changed to a flux over an 
        energy range by setting POW_EMIN and POW_EMAX keywords in "xset".
        The powerlaw model then becomes equivalent to the pegpwlw model.
      - The Compton reflection models (b/p)exr(a/i)v and (i)reflect have
        been restructured to use adaptive Gauss-Kronrod quadrature for
        the Greens' function integrals. The precision to which the 
        integrals are calculated can be set allowing a trade-off between
        speed and precision.
      - The wrapper functions additiveTable and multiplicativeTable
        give external C++ models access to XSPEC's table model interpolation
        routines (equivalent to the xsatbl and xsmtbl functions for Fortran
     -  The display of link expressions has been simplified to show only the
        parameter numbers and not the extraneous component information.
        Also "show model" will now only display the model components and
        not the individual parameters.  The parameters can be seen with
        "show par".  
    Additional enhancements previously released as patches to 12.5.1:
      - Added the solar abundance data set of Asplund, Grevesse, and Sauval
        (2006) to the list of available tables accessed with the "abund"
      - New "tclout nchan" option for returning the number of channels in a
      - The "save" command now stores relative rather than absolute paths to
        allow easier porting to other machines.
      - The recorn model component has been converted from a mixing to a
        multiplicative type.  This allows a model to define multiple recorn
      - A warning message is now issued if a user attempts to load a
        response for a source n when there are still slots to fill for
        source n-1.  This is intended to catch cases where a user mistakenly
        reverses the source and spectrum number input to the "response"
    All bug fixes to v12.5.1 released as patches a - o are included in 
    v12.6.0.  In addition the following problems have been corrected:
      - It was possible for the addition of a systematic model error to
        actually decrease the overall variance, when it was applied to a
        zero-variance bin that was artificially increased by XSPEC for chi-
        square fitting.
      - Bug in "plot ratio" when using "setplot wave" with Hz units.  Y-axis
        model values < 10^-20 were not displayed in plot.
      - The comptt model no longer stops and prompts the user when it fails
        during its incomplete gamma calculation.
      - The powerlaw model has been modified to avoid a numerical
        instability that could occur if the index were within 10^-12 to
        10^-15 of 1.0.
    Please see the Xspec Issues/Patches web page for updates to v12.6.0:
    - Fix to bug in the length of the filename used for input of spectrum.
    ========================== MISSION-SPECIFIC SOFTWARE: ==========================
      * Fixed the check for whether errmeth has been defined so that it is
      * Improve handling of user-supplied dates.
      * Fixed buffer overflow that caused crashes under certain compilers.
      * Ignore lack of a QUALITY column in input pha file.
      * Include TIMEPIXR keyword in output file.
    Suzaku software Version 16 - Changes since HEASoft v6.8:
     Suzaku general:
    - aepipeline:
             Added bstgti parameter for xistime. Added hxdpi_old parameter to
             allow use of old hxdpi (hxdpi_old) or new hxdpi.
     HXD specific tools:
    - hxdpi:
             Update for the new GSO calibration, which enables users to lower the
             GSO energy threshold from 70 to 50 keV. Uses a new CALDB gain file
             type (gspgpt), which is not backward compatible with the old CALDB
             gain file (gsoght). Writes the keyword GSOOLDPI set to 'F', to
             indicate that the new GSO calibration has been applied. Three new
             parameters have been added:
               hxd_gsogpt_fname - HXD GSO gain parameter table name
               leapfile         - Leap second file name
               orbit            - Orbit filename
             One parameter has been removed:
               hxd_gsoght_fname - HXD GSO gain history table name
    - hxdpi_old:
             Identical to the hxdpi released with HEAsoft version 6.8, except that
             it writes the keyword GSOOLDPI set to 'T', to indicate that the old
             GSO calibration has been applied.
    - hxdgrade:
             Updated to read GSOOLDPI keyword written by both hxdpi and hxdpi_old
             to determine which CALDB file to use for the pseudo events selection.
    - hxdmkbstlc:
             Added support for dead-time correction.
    - hxdmkbstspec:
             An editorial error in the definition file, hxdmkbstspec.def, was
             fixed. Help file was updated.
      * Fix for 'banner' to display SMOOTH_CIRCLE smoothing kernel
      * Fix 'niter=0' option, to prevent segfault
      * Upgrade to fitting library mpfit version 1.2
      * Fix bkgmodel=@filename.lis, which contained special options
      * Raise hard-coded limite from 20 sources to 200 sources (only
        relevant for output diagnostic file)
      * Fix behavior of balfirst=YES, which never worked properly before
      * New output behaviors, outversion=srcfit and outversion=srccleaned
      * Allow bateconvert to honor requested calfile extension no.
      * Allow baterebin to honor requested calfile extension no.
      * Avoid computation of ray-tracing of there are no good events or the
        source passes out of the field of view (saves computational time)
      * Code clean-up
      * Fix to cope with potential bad output behavior by 'ftlist'
      * Add batclean_backexp parameter to enable diagnostic output
      * Re-enable diagnostic routines with check_centroiding=YES
      * Allow passing in an image holding LSS correction factors to use at
        various sky positions.  See the help on the lssfile parameter.
      * Fixed maskfile processing to use name[extension] instead of
        name+extension since the former is valid for both extension numbers
        and names.
      * Do not discard stderr when running converting METs to UTCs in case
        a useful error message can be provided to the user.
      * Do not require infile(s) to be regular files since they may be openable
        using CFITSIO extended filename syntax.
      * Documented the TSTART, TSTOP, TIME, MET, FRACEXP columns in the output
        light curve and the deadtimecorr parameter.
      * The background counts plot was reversed with respect to the X-axis.
      * Display the zeroth order position in image coordinates if it is known.
      * Write ZEROIMG[XY] keywords with the zeroth order position in image coordinates.

    Help lines: FTOOLS or xanprob@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov

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