Forwarding to mageia-dev minus the patches which have been checked in
the mageia repo....
One thing to note about IRAF is that it is the main tool that
professional astronomers use in data analysis, and for various
licensing reasons which were fixed last year and code related reasons,
it's never been source packaged for any linux distributions until now.
It appears that Mageia 4 is going to have the big three professional
astronomy tools (iraf, eso-midas, and ds9), and the RPM's for those
packages are such that Fedora and OpenSUSE can use them to refresh
Among astronomers, about 70-80% use Macs and 20-30% use Linux,
although in the actual "big iron" calculations, it's 95+% linux.
Windows isn't a player at all. The problem with astronomy is that
increasingly it's going over to Macs with all of the problems of
having a "closed and DRM'ed ecosystem" and my goal for this year and
next is to "stop the bleeding."
The reason astronomers are going over to Macs is that Macs are easy to
use and have a nice environment which astronomers can use when not
doing calculations, and because Macs have very good discounts for
academic users. The problem with Macs is that they are not "hackable"
systems, but for day to day office use, this doesn't matter, and there
is enough of a development environment so that you can use Macs for
"light/middle duty" calculations.
Linux works the other way. The heavy duty calculations are all on
unix, mainly Linux. The trouble with linux is that they don't have
the easy of use that Macs have. The good news is that in order to be
competitive with Macs, linux boxes need to only have 75% of the easy
of use of Macs for people to use them. The bad news is that its
becoming increasingly hard for astronomy based linux distributions to
have even this. There are several linux distributions geared
specifically toward astronomy (ESO Soft and Scientific Linux). The
trouble is that maintaining a distribution is too much to have
astronomers do since most of the work doesn't involve astronomy. This
means that the specifically astronomy based linux distributions are
starting to be more and more unmaintained, which is why I think it's
necessary to have astronomers "piggy-back" off of existing
distribution development communities.
One piece of the puzzle that I think it missing are people from the
amateur astronomy. Amateur and professional astronomers end up in
different communities which is bad in this situation since linux
distributions can push professional software tools down to amateurs,
and amateurs have a lot of technical knowledge and people-power that
could be useful for the professional astronomy community. I'm trying
to look for people that have used linux to do backyard telescope
control and image processing.
The big trend in astronomy is toward "virtual observatories" and I'm
trying to make sure that linux has a seat at the table and doesn't get
overrun by Macs.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joseph Wang <joequant(a)gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: [fedora-astronomy] IRAF RPM spec files
To: Sergio Pascual <sergiopr(a)fedoraproject.org>
Cc: astronomy <astronomy(a)lists.fedoraproject.org>, admin(a)iraf.net,
Here is the latest set up patches. The main difference is that I
found and fixed some fortran declarations and one very subtle but
nasty segfault in fncache.c. I also changed the compile so that it
uses the system expat and readline.
The individual checkins are available at
The build file is just a git diff between master and linux-build.
Let me know if they help the compile....
There is one extra patch that isn't used by the spec file which you
can play with.
I'm in the process of trying to get everything to work with gfortran,
but am running into a lot of subtle memory issues. There is IRAF code
that creates a subsystem for allocating memory and there are a lot of
pointer conversion issues.
On my machine I got a working RPM ----->
NOAO/IRAF PC-IRAF Revision 2.16 EXPORT Thu May 24 15:41:17 MST 2012
This is the EXPORT version of IRAF V2.16 supporting PC systems.
Welcome to IRAF. To list the available commands, type ? or ??. To get
detailed information about a command, type `help <command>'. To run a
command or load a package, type its name. Type `bye' to exit a
package, or `logout' to get out of the CL. Type `news' to find out
what is new in the version of the system you are using.
if you have questions or to report problems.
The following commands or packages are currently defined:
Initializing SAMP .... No Hub Available
dataio. images. lists. obsolete. proto.
dbms. language. noao. plot. softools. utilities.