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                             RELEASE NOTES FOR HEASOFT 6.21
                                     April 5, 2017
    HEASoft 6.21 is a patch-level release containing updates to the core
    FITS file I/O library (CFITSIO) to handle the recent transition to
    HTTPS server connections at the HEASARC.  Users who do not typically
    access the HEASARC CALDB remotely (or perform other HEASARC virtual
    file operations) may largely be unaffected by this transition, but
    those who do should download HEASoft 6.21 and start setting their
    $CALDB environment variable to
    Note that CFITSIO FTP access to the HEASARC servers was broken in
    versions of HEASOFT prior to v6.21, so users should only try the ftp
    setting for CALDB once they begin using the new release.  For more
    information about remote access to the CALDB, please see
    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.
    Version 3.42:
    - In ftp_open_network and in ftp_file_exist, added code to repeatedly
      attempt to make a ftp connection if the ftp server does not respond
      to the first request. (some ftp servers don't appear to be 100%
    - In drvrnet.c added many calls to 'fclose' to close unneeded files,
      to avoid exceeding the maximum allowed number of files that can be
      open at once.
    - Made substantial changes to the ftp_checkfile and http_checkfile
      routines to streamline the process of checking for the existence
      of a .gz or .Z compressed version of the file before opening the
      uncompressed file (when using http or ftp to open the file). 
    - Modified the code in ftp_open_network to send "\r\n" as end-of-line
      characters instead of just "\n".  Some ftp servers (in particular,
      at heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov) now require both characters, otherwise
      the network connection simply hangs.
    - Modified the http_open_network routine to handle HTTP 301 or 302
      redirects to a FTP url.  This is needed to support the new
      configuration on the heasarc HTTP server which sometimes redirects
      http URLS to a ftp URL.
    - Update to handle HTTPS.
    - uvotpict: WebQuery.pm updated to use wget to retrieve URLs.

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

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    Last modified: Friday, 07-Apr-2017 15:24:16 EDT