This comprises the release of xvista, version 5.1; xvista has been previously
distributed under the name vista or lickvista. The last release before this
one was version 4.7.
Xvista is an image processing program designed to be used primarily with
astronomical data. It contains routines for reading, displaying, basic
image processing, and specialized tasks for the analysis of astronomical
imaging and spectroscopic data.
Xvista was originally developed by graduate students and staff at the
University of California, Santa Cruz. Modifications and additions continue
to be supplied by several different people. The current version is maintained
and distributed by Jon Holtzman at the New Mexico State University.
The code is written primarily in Fortran 77, although there are also some
CONTENTS OF THIS DISTRIBUTION
This distribution contains all of the xvista source code, and also
ancillary packages. The plotting routines of xvista use the LickMongo
plotting package, which was also developed at the University of California,
Santa Cruz, although it was based on the original Mongo package by John
Tonry. The distribution also contains the source code for lynx, which is
a text-based WWW browser which is used to display the xvista help files.
Lynx was developed at the University of Kansas, and it is included here
in an unmodified form as a convenience for xvista users; the version of
lynx included herein will only be unpacked and compiled (automatically)
if the main xvista Makefile finds that lynx does not already exist on
your system. Finally, some of the routines from the DAOPHOT stellar
photometry package, written by Peter Stetson at the Dominion Astrophysical
Observatory, are included.
As a result of several packages being included , different portions
of this distribution have different copyright protections. For the
main xvista source code, see the files xvista/source/COPYHEADER
and xvista/source/COPYING. For the LickMongo source code, see the
files lickmongo/COPYRIGHT. For the lynx source code, see the files
lynx2-8/COPYHEADER and lynx2-8/COPYING which will exist if the lynx code
contained here is compiled.
WARRANTY and RELIABILITY
xvista is distributed without any type of warranty. See the file WARRANTY
for additional information.
Vista was an image processing program originally developed at Lick Observatory
by Richard Stover and Tod Lauer. Since then, it has been significantly
expanded with contributions from many different people, in particular
several generations of graduate students at Lick. In recent years, it has
incorporated code from various outside sources as well, most notably
plotting and display code modified from source contributed by John Tonry,
and an older version of DAOPHOT contributed by Peter Stetson; any
comments or questions about these routines should be directed to the
Vista has been used extensively by many people and we feel that it is
a reliable and useful package. However, VISTA is in no way guaranteed. The
source code was contributed by several different people; we are indebted
to all of them. All questions or comments about the code should be
directed to the Vista distributors. None of the authors can be held
responsible for any of the results obtained with Vista.
NEW FEATURES IN VERSION 5.0
xvista 5.0 has been significantly reorganized from previous versions.
It has been modified so it can be compiled and run on a Linux platform
using the f2c and gcc compilers. In addition, the help files have been
extensively modified and written in LaTeX, with on-line help available
through a WWW browser on HTML pages generated from the manual by the program
Numerous modifications and revisions have been made to various pieces of
the code to provide additional functionality and to fix existing bugs.
These changes are too numerous to describe individually. One new feature
of interest in the ability to display very large images automatically by
binning or sampling the raw data.
NEW FEATURES IN VERSION 5.1
Version 5.1 incorporates more changes and bug fixes. In particular,
the handling of MASKs has been completely redone to allow for dynamic
allocation of MASKs and consequently, MASKs of different sizes. In addition,
I have enhanced RD to be able to read (inefficiently) FITS files which
use image extensions (e.g. the NOAO MOSAIC cameras). Several of the
spectroscopy routines for line identification and wavelength calibration
have been enhanced to include graphical output.
We hope that this version of VISTA is as bug-free as possible, but
realistically understand that there may still be some problems. We are happy
to hear from you about any problems you might have either
with installation or with execution of the program. If there are any
major problems, we will issue patches or replacement subroutines in the
near future. Minor revisions will be incorporated into future releases.
We encourage VISTA users to become VISTA programmers, as we feel that
the accesibility of VISTA programming is among VISTA's strongest points.
Accordingly, we have begun to prepare a programmers guide to VISTA. This
has not yet been completed, but the current version can be found in
PostScript form, as well as in TeX format, in the directory xvista/doc
with the name progguide.ps and progguide.tex. Any comments on this
document would be most appreciated. It is currently in a stage of
development, so we do not guarantee any information in it.
You can obtain xvista from http://astro.nmsu.edu/~holtz/xvista
Installation should be extremely easy. Instructions are found in the
NOTE ABOUT THE VISTA/DAOPHOT INTERFACE
After some discussion with Peter Stetson, the author of DAOPHOT, I
wish to clarify some points/concerns about the version of DAOPHOT that
has been installed within VISTA.
Because an older version of the code is being used and also because
of the modifications that had to be made to provide for the VISTA interface,
Stetson can NOT be held responsible for any results that come out of
the VISTA/DAOPHOT program. From extensive use of the code, I feel that
the routines are reliable, but this cannot be absolutely guaranteed.
It is possible to use Stetson's up-to-date version of DAOPHOT by
writing out your images from VISTA and then running the standalone version
of DAOPHOT. On VMS systems, the data can be directly written in the Caltech
data structures format which can be used with DAOPHOT. On UNIX systems,
the data can be written in FITS format and translated to one of the DAOPHOT
supported formats (IRAF or MIDAS) using IRAF, MIDAS or another
translation program. A current version of DAOPHOT can be obtained by
contacting Stetson directly.
Any questions about the VISTA/DAOPHOT routines should be addressed
to the VISTA distributors and not to Stetson. E-mail addresses for
- the version in VISTA was adapted from Stetson's 1987 version of the
code. Subsequently, Peter has made many modifications, which have not
been incorporated into the VISTA version.
- some modifications to the DAOPHOT code were required to make the
interface between DAOPHOT and VISTA, although effort was made to keep
as much of the original code as possible.
- many new features have been added to the code by Jon Holtzman.
Generally, these features are turned on by changing the default options.
Stetson is in no way responsible for these routines.
Publications using the VISTA/DAOPHOT routines should give credit to Peter
(the standard reference is Stetson 1987, PASP 99, 191), but remember, he cannot
be held responsible for the results.
NOTE ABOUT THE VISTA/MONGO INTERFACE
The current version of Vista does NOT depend on having a standalone
version of MONGO to compile or run. The plotting routines which have
been incorporated into Vista are based on routines which originated in
the MONGO package of John Tonry, but which were modified extensively
by Lick personnel. If anyone desires to have a standalone version of
MONGO, they should contact Tonry directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).