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                             RELEASE NOTES FOR HEASOFT 6.24
                                     April 24, 2018
    ********************************************************************************
    
    The HEASoft 6.24 release is primarily driven by updates to the NICER
    data analysis software, bug fixes in the CFITSIO library, and improved
    support for Ubuntu and Debian Linux, but also includes other enhancements
    and fixes.
    
    As before, configuration-related changes thoughout the package mean that
    users who already have HEASoft 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.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        CFITSIO
    ********************************************************************************
    
    New since CFITSIO v3.44:
    
    - Bug fix to fits_calc_binning wrapper function, which wasn't filling
      in the returned float variables.
    
    
    Version 3.44 - April 2018:
    
    - This release primarily patches security vulnerabilities.  We
      strongly encourage this upgrade, particularly for those running 
      CFITSIO in web accessible applications.
      
      In addition, the following enhancements and fixes were made: 
    
    - Enhancement to 'template' and 'colfilter' functionality.  It is now
      possible to delete multiple keywords using wildcard syntax. See
      "Column and Keyword Filtering Specification" section of manual for
      details.
    
    - histo.c uses double precision internally for all floating point
      binning; new double-precision subroutines fits_calc_binningd(),
      fits_rebin_wcsd(), and fits_make_histd(); existing
      single-precision histogram functions still work but convert values
      to double-precision internally.
    
    - New subroutine fits_copy_cols() / ffccls() to copy multiple columns
    
    - Fix in imcompress.c for HCOMPRESS and PLIO compression of unsigned
      short integers.
    
    - Fix to fits_insert_card(ffikey).  It had wrongly been capitalizing
      letters that appeared before an '=' sign on a CONTINUE line.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         FIMAGE
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - fimg2tab:
    
      * Fixed handling of 1D 'images' (light curves from CFITSIO 1-D binning)
    
      * Added 'extname' parameter to name output extension
    
      * Fixed bug in handling of swapxy
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         FUTILS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - finterp:
    
      * Fixed handling of string interpolation
    
      * Improvement: added column description to output instead of default
        'label for field'
    
      * Added 'copyall' parameter, a boolean which specifies whether all HDUs
        should be copied or not; default is 'YES' for backwards compatibility
    
      * Transfer TDIMn keyword since the vector array nature is preserved upon
        output.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                          FV
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Updated for compatibility with new Hera web server and HTTPS connections.
    
    - Fixed error when deleting table rows or columns.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         HEASP
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - rmf: added estimatedFWHMperChannel method to estimate the FWHM in each
           channel in contrast to estimatedFWHM which estimates it in each
           energy bin; added loadOptimalEnergy method to set the grouping
           array using the Kaastra & Bleeker optimal binning in response energy.
      
    - pha: Fixed error in getMinCountsGrouping if Datatype=RATE and
           corrected getMinSNGrouping.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                       HEASPTOOLS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - ftgrouppha: added bmin grouping option to group based on minimum
      number of counts per bin in the background spectrum; fixed opt
      grouping option for non-square response matrix; fixed for input
      pha file with Datatype=RATE. Changed respfile parameter to hidden
    
    - ftrbnrmf: Added ecmpmode parameter and optimal binning on the energy axis.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        HEATOOLS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - fthedit: Added -PAT* pattern deletion that matches zero or more keywords
    
    - ftmergesort [NEW]: For sorting extremely large FITS files.
    
    - ftpaste: Now uses fits_copy_cols() once instead of fits_copy_col()
      multiple times.
    
    - ftsort: Added signature output text when requesting start row too far;
      added 'startrow' and 'nrows' parameters
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         XSPEC
    ********************************************************************************
    
    HEASoft 6.24 includes Xspec 12.10.0c (2018 03/26).  See the Xspec issues
    page for more information:
    
     https://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/lheasoft/xanadu/xspec/issues/issues.html
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         XSTAR
    ********************************************************************************
    
    Xstar v2.5:
    
    Changes since v2.41:
    
    - Converted from fortran 77 to fortran 90.
       
    - Adopted allocated temporary arrays in many routines to save memory.
      
    - Changed atomic database from simple arrays to fortran 90 structures.
      No longer  passed as arguments to most routines, now contained as
      derived data types in  a module.
      
    - Changed procedure for passing lte level populations in many routines
      in order to save memory.
      
    - Added tabulation of continuum-only opacity and spectrum.  Reused
      variable previously used for scattering opacity.  Scattering-only
      spectra are stored in variable zrems, indeces 4 and 5.  New
      variable for continuum-only optical depth.  These are output to
      the ascii file xout_step.log
      
    - Suppressed density dependence of type 70 recombination rates for
      hydrogen (only) owing to inconsistency found in the tabulated
      data for this process.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         EXOSAT
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - cmadead, exomerge: Fixed error freeing memory
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         NICER
    ********************************************************************************
    
    NICERDAS Version 4.0:
    
    - niprefilter2 [NEW]: Create augmented NICER-specific filter file
      
    - nicer-l1-finalize: Add operations=INVENTORY_MPUS and mpulist_{event,hk}
      to summarize which MPUs have data
      
    - nicerl2: Clock calibration now enabled by default in par file
      
    - nicermergeclean: Allow clfile=NONE
      
    - niextract-events: Write legal FILINnnn keywords
      
    - nimaketime: Added latlonregfile support.
      
    - niprefilter: Fixed numerical overflow in MPU_*_COUNT values (>32767
      counts per second); Handle case of missing MPU housekeeping (individual
      MPUs); Proper CALDB query for saaregfile; Improve CALDB query to
      include DETNAM; Improve TNULLn output for FITS compliance
      
    - niextract-events, nimpucal, nimpumerge, niprefilter: improved
      memory efficiency
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         SUZAKU
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - (aepipeline) aexisconf.list: Updated through 2015-07-30
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                          MISC
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Update pointers in legacy task Fortran dynamic memory allocation to
      8-byte integers.  This fixes run-time memory faults under Ubuntu 16.10
      and newer (Debian 9 and newer) which apparently stem from new hardening
      rules that include address randomization.
    
    - Turned off "Universal" binaries on Macs to reduce compatibility problems
      when using third-party packages that contain Python and curl libraries
      (e.g. Anaconda).
    
    - New auxiliary configuration files from the most +recent automake
      distribution (v1.16).  Note that this changes the installed directory
      string for 64-bit Linux from "x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu-libc2.XX" to
      "x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-libc2.XX".
    
    - Improved handling of file paths containing spaces in init scripts.
    
    - hmake: Fixed regex used when forming list of variables exported from
      the hmakerc file to prevent errors when user's file path contains
      e.g. "/exports".
    
    - Updated Xspec models-only configure option to drop dependencies on
      ape, heaio, heautils, and heainit.
    

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    Last modified: Tuesday, 24-Apr-2018 10:32:36 EDT