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                             RELEASE NOTES FOR HEASOFT 6.23
                                     March 7, 2018
    ********************************************************************************
    
    The HEASoft 6.23 release is primarily driven by updates to the NICER
    data analysis software, a new version of XSPEC, and bug fixes in the
    CFITSIO library, but also includes new spectral analysis tasks and
    other enhancements and fixes.
    
    As before, configuration-related changes thoughout the package mean 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.
    
    Important note for Ubuntu / Debian users:
    
    * Another HEASoft release that supports the default compilers under Ubuntu
      18.04 LTS (as well as the interim Ubuntu releases since 16.04 LTS plus
      Debian 9 and newer) is forthcoming prior to the release of the 18.04 LTS
      operating system in April 2018.  Until that time, users are advised to
      do one of the following:
    
      - Delay updating beyond Ubuntu 16.04.x (or Debian 8.x)
    
      - Use the pre-compiled HEASoft binaries for Ubuntu (built in 16.04)
    
        or
    
      - Build HEASoft 6.23 using the compilers from the "gcc-4.8" package,
        i.e. prior to running configure, set up your environment as follows:
    
        $ sudo apt-get -y install gcc-4.8
        $ setenv CC gcc-4.8
        $ setenv CXX g++-4.8
        $ setenv FC gfortran-4.8
    
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        CFITSIO
    ********************************************************************************
    
    Version 3.43:
    
    ======
    
    The NASA security team requires the following warning to all users of CFITSIO:
    
      The CFITSIO open source software project contains vulnerabilities that
      could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to take control of a
      server running the CFITSIO software.  These vulnerabilities affect all
      servers and products running the CFITSIO software.
    
      The CFITSIO team has released software updates to address these
      vulnerabilities.  There are no workarounds to address these
      vulnerabilities.  In all cases, the CFITSIO team is recommending
      an immediate update to resolve the issues.
    
    ======
    
    - Fixed security vulnerabilities.
    
    - Calls to https driver functions in cfileio.c need to be macro-
      protected by the HAVE_NET_SERVICES variable (as are the http and
      ftp driver function calls).  Otherwise CMake builds on native
      Windows will fail since drvrnet.o is left empty.
    
    - Bug fix to ffmvec function.  Should be resetting a local colptr
      variable after making a call to ffiblk (which can reallocate Ftpr->
      tableptr).
    
    - Ignore any attempted request to not quantize an image before
      compressing it if the image has integer datatype pixels.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        CCFITS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Major update to remove FITSBase class, whose functionality is now
      implemented in the FITS class.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                          FV
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Fixed crash occurring when selecting rows from an expression.
    
    - Fixed vector column plotting for cases with e.g. X=TIME, Y=VECTOR_COLUMN[1],
      i.e. to plot only the first element of the vector column.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         HEASP
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - General
    
      - Fixed some cases where vectors were being passed to methods by
        value, not by address.
    
      - Modified Makefile to remove dependencies on heautils, heaio and
        ape libraries, which are no longer required.
    
    - pha, phaII
    
      - Add getGrouping method to return the content of the grouping
        array to a grouping object.
    
    - rmf
    
      - Modified RandomChannels so that vectors of random numbers are
        passed in rather than generated internally.
    
    - table
    
      - Fixed an error when reading which caused the last two entries
        in the Energies vector to have the same value.
    
    - grouping
    
      - Added loadOptimal method for Kaastra & Bleeker optimal binning
        scheme.
    
      - Added loadFromVector method to make a grouping object from
        quality and grouping vectors.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                       ATTITUDE
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - coordinator: Increased input filename length to 512 instead of 128.
    
    - prefilter: Fixed crash when computing COR_SAX.
    
    - tristarid: The term reducing scores based on size of correction was
      causing high quality corrections to be discarded.  In HierTriMesh.pm,
      fixed epoch passed to listgsc.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                       CALTOOLS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - udcif: Added filename to output error string when ciftmp cannot be written.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        HEASARC
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - extractor: Fixed bug in case when the TIME column number exceeds 9.
    
    - rbnpha et al.: Updates to allow file/path names with spaces.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        HEASIM
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Change: Calling sequence of the Raymond-Smith xspec model has changed;
              heasim has been modified accordingly
    
    - Bug fix: Initialize variable that reports discarded background photons
    
    - Bug fix: Poissonian noise was not applied to energy bin with few counts.
               Now applied to all energy bins
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                       HEASPTOOLS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    Beta release of new suite of spectral analysis tools, based on the heasp
    library and improving upon many of the older FTOOLS (see cross-index below):
    
     * ftaddarf - Add input ARF files with specified weights
    
     * ftaddrmf - Add input RMF files with specified weights
    
     * ftchkpha - Checks the validity of a FITS pha file
    
     * ftchkrmf - Checks the validity of a FITS response file
    
     * ftcmparf - Converts a type 2 ARF file to a type 1 ARF file
    
     * ftcmppha - Converts a type 2 pha file to a type 1 pha file
    
     * ftcmprmf - Compress RMF by removing response below a threshold
    
     * ftconvoldrsp - Converts old-style SF format response matrices to FITS
    
     * ftdmprmf - Displays OGIP standard Response FITS file
    
     * ftflx2tab - Read an input text file with one or more model spectra
       and convert to an XSPEC table model file
    
     * ftflx2xsp - Creates spectra and response files from an input text file
       of fluxes and errors
    
     * ftgcorpha - Remaps PHA channels from SPECTRUM extension
    
     * ftgcorrmf - Remaps a detector redistribution matrix in channel or
       energy space
    
     * ftgenrsp - Generic spectral response generator
    
     * ftgrouppha - Modifies the GROUPING column in a pha file using a number
       of possible criteria
    
     * ftmarfrmf - Multiplies/divides a detector redistribution matrix by an
       ancillary response dataset or a scalar
    
     * ftmkfiltrsp - Read an input text with a filter response to make a
       single channel response matrix
    
     * ftmkpha - Converts the text version of the old pha format and converts
       to standard FITS format.
    
     * ftmkrsp - Converts the text version of the old rsp format and converts
       to standard FITS format.
    
     * ftrbnarf - Rebins an ARF
    
     * ftrbnpha - Physically compresses (rebins) a PHA dataset in channel-space
    
     * ftrbnrmf - Physically compresses (rebins) an RMF dataset in channel-space
       and/or energy space
    
     * ftrgsrmfsmooth - Smooths an XMM RGS response matrix for an extended source
    
     * ftrsp2rmfarf - Splits an RSP file into an RMF and an ARF
    
     * ftsdss2xsp - Creates spectra and response files for XSPEC from an
       SDSS spectral file
    
     * ftstripnegchan - Removes negative channel numbers from a response
       matrix file
    
     * ftVOtable2xsp - Creates spectra and response files for XSPEC from
       VOtable spectrum
    
    Cross index between heasptools and older FTools:
    
       FTOOLS           HEASPTOOLS
    
       addarf        -> ftaddarf
       addrmf        -> ftaddrmf
       arf2arf1      -> ftcmparf
       chkpha        -> ftchkpha
       chkrmf        -> ftchkrmf
       cmppha        -> ftcmppha
       cmprmf        -> ftcmprmf
       dmprmf        -> ftdmprmf
       flx2tab       -> ftflx2tab
       flx2xsp       -> ftflx2xsp
       gcorpha       -> ftgcorpha
       gcorrmf       -> ftgcorrmf
       genrsp        -> ftgenrsp
       grppha        -> ftgrouppha
       marfrmf       -> ftmarfrmf
       mkfiltrsp     -> ftmkfiltrsp
       rbnpha        -> ftrbnpha
       rbnrmf        -> ftrbnrmf
       rgsrmfsmooth  -> ftrgsrmfsmooth
       rsp2rmf       -> ftconvoldrsp
       rsp2rmfarf    -> ftrsp2rmfarf
       sdss2xsp      -> ftsdss2xsp
       sprbnarf      -> ftrbnarf
       VOtable2xsp   -> ftVOtable2xsp
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                       HEATOOLS
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - ftmgtime: Fixed some xselect/extractor warning messages.  Only copy keywords
      to output if they do not already exist.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        XSELECT
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Modifications to allow directory paths containing spaces.
    
    - xselect.mdb: Add NICER:trunc_spec_lo 0 to prevent TLMINn=-10 from
      confusing XSPEC.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         XSPEC
    ********************************************************************************
    
    Xspec v12.10:
    
    Models
    ------
    
    The mdefine command now allows functions to be defined including xspec
    model functions. Among the capabilities this enables is to redefine
    model parameters. For instance, suppose we want to use the pexrav
    model but have one parameter be the inclination instead of the cosine
    of the inclination as defined in the  model. Then we define a new
    model:
      mdefine mypex pexrav(g,f,refl,z,A,FeA,cos(Incl))
    
    New models added are:
    brnei, bvrnei, bvvrnei   - rnei models with line broadening
    grbcomp                  - GRB prompt emission model
    jet                      - Leptonic relativistic jet model
    ssa                      - Strangeon star atmosphere model
    
    The default AtomDB version number is now 3.0.9.
    The xset APECMINFLUX option for apec models now includes the 1e14
    normalization factor and the time dilation correction.
    A new xset option APECBROADPSEUDO switches on line broadening of the
    pseudo-continuum (this contains low emissivity lines which are not
    individually tabulated in the AtomDB lines file.
    
    Most of the model data files have been converted to FITS with in a
    number of cases multiple files merged into a single file with multiple
    extensions. This should make no difference to any results.
    
    Uniform wrappers are now available for all model functions based on
    the model name. C++ wrappers are CXX_modelname, C wrappers are
    C_modelname, and Fortran wrappers are f_modelname.
    
    The newpar command can now handle multiple ranges specified on the
    command line.
    
    Markov Chain Monte Carlo
    ------------------------
    
    MCMC chains now work with response parameters.
    
    Geweke's convergence diagnostic and the Deviance Information
    Criterion have been added to the available output.
    
    When plotting multiple chains each is now placed in its own
    plot group (and hence plotted in a different color) instead of
    being concatenated.
    
    Added plots for running means and autocorrelations.
    
    Added margin fraction option to tclout to return the fraction column
    from the last margin command
    
    Fixes
    -----
    
    All bug fixes to v12.9.1 released as patches are included in v12.10.0
    In addition the following problems have been corrected:
    
    The Pexrav model crashes with a negative or zero incomplete gamma value.
    
    Steppar was mishandling parameters belonging to named models starting
    with an 'l' or an 'n'.  It was mixing this up with the 'log' and 'nolog'
    options.
    
    The error command now handles the 'unnamed' specifier on the command
    line.
    
    Mdefine commands are now properly handled in save.xcm files.
    
    XSPEC now properly handles extended file syntax such as "filename[n]"
    and "filename+n" for cases where multiple HDUs share the same EXTNAME
    and aren't differentiated by EXTVER.
    
    Fix to editmod parsing error for certain cases of table model filenames
    which include a hyphen.
    
    The goodness command when run in parallel processing mode was breaking
    if it had to prompt for continuation of a fit.
    
    Memory leak fix and diagnostic message improvement made to
    "tclout idline".
    
    The "chain best" and "chain info" output should not rely on the
    currently variable parameters but only the loaded chain files (which
    aren't always the same).
    
    Other
    -----
    
    Added CUSUM test statistic.
    
    Fixed tclout filename for type II pha files
    
    Added option to set background spectrum exposure time to multifake.tcl
    
    Added options to plot goodness for the number of bins and the binning
    type.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        PYXSPEC
    ********************************************************************************
    
    New Features
    ++++++++++++
    
      - New methods for AllChains: margin() and marginResults(), best()
        and dic(), providing access to equivalent MCMC functionality in
        standard XSPEC.
    
      - The Chain class attribute: rescale.
    
      - Additions to Spectrum class: xflt and responsesUsed attributes,
        fileinfo() method.
    
      - AllModels.identify() method, wrapping standard XSPEC's 'identify'
        and 'tclout idline' functionality.
    
      - Fit.nullhyp attribute now wraps 'tclout nullhyp'.*
    
      - The Xset.parallel object now has additional attributes: steppar,
        walkers, and goodness, and a new show() method.*
    
    Fixes
    +++++
    
      - The Model.energies() function had been returning values as a list
        of strings.  This has been changed to a more convenient list of floats.
    
      - The Xset.restore() function was not properly handling 'cd' commands,
        nor gain fit parameters.*
    
    (*) = previously available as XSPEC patches
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        HITOMI
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Minor changes to improve support for various compilers.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         NICER
    ********************************************************************************
    
    NICER DAS Version 3.0:
    
    - New gain calibration methods including RATIONAL2 method
    
    - nicercal: outdir parameter is now hidden.
    
    - nicerl2 (NEW): Performs nicercal+nimaketime+nicermergeclean in one step
    
    - nicerpi: Improved to handle new NICER energy scale calibration
    
    - nicertimecal (NEW): Performs time calibration (nimpucal and nicercal
      perform time calibration)
    
    - Changes to the nicercal/nimpucal/nicerpi chain to allow global time offset
      for HK timestamp interpolation (defaults to -0.5 sec to accomodate NICER
      timestamping and rounding to next highest second).
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                        SUZAKU
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - Bug fix: Portability problem with random number generation on recent
      Mac OS.  This change affects multiple tasks, including xissimarfgen.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                         SWIFT
    ********************************************************************************
    
    UVOT:
    
    - uvotdetect: Reworked pre/post-processing for SExtractor. Remove old
      detection modes. Treat old ALPHA and BETA modes as DEFAULT.
    
    - uvotevtlc: Handle timebinalg=g (GTI) with external GTI file.  More
      robust handling of user-specified gtifile.
    
    XRT (XRTDAS 3.4.1):
    
    - xrtfilter: Added the handling of quick look sequences (*991) for the
      extrapolation of the values of the STAST_LOSSFCN/SAC_MODESTAT columns
      of the filter file.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                          XTE
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - pcadeadcalc2: Handle case where 'breakfile' is not specified.
    
    ********************************************************************************
                                          MISC
    ********************************************************************************
    
    - New configure option: --enable-xs-models-only
    
      Replaces the previous ad hoc procedure for assembling the Xspec
      models-only package.
    
    - New configure option: '--disable-x'
    
      Turns off X11 dependencies (by default, X11 dependencies are on).  When
      this option is used, all X-based PGPLOT drivers and the tasks fv, ximage,
      xseltk, xdf (XTE) and xsut (XTE) are disabled.
    

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

    Web page maintained by Bryan K. Irby



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    Last modified: Thursday, 08-Mar-2018 09:47:43 EST