NOAO no longer operates a HelpDesk, see http://iraf.net for user support. Information about IRAF can be found in our anonymous ftp network archive iraf.noao.edu (126.96.36.199) or our home page http://iraf.noao.edu. We've also set up an alternate newsgroup hierarchy called 'adass' (after the ADASS conference series) to handle not only the IRAF related groups but any astronomical data analysis software system. More information on these services is found below.
Help for all tasks is available simply by typing "help <taskname>". Typing the 'help' command by itself in a package will list a one-line description of all tasks within the package. Users can search for help on a particular topic using the REFERENCES task. Additional help topics are available with certain packages, these are listed with the package help file. Lastly, the IRAF system contains some documentation in the iraf$doc directory, these are unformatted TROFF files or IRAF help pages mostly these found here include system manager's guides, installation manuals, etc). Additional documentation in the form of cookbooks and user's guides are available from the IRAF network archive iraf.noao.edu in the iraf/docs subdirectory. The 'README' file there serves as a table of contents for what is available, all files are compressed PostScript and can be transferred via anonymous ftp.
NOAO no longer operates a HelpDesk, see http://iraf.net for user support. reply.
The iraf network archive address is iraf.noao.edu (188.8.131.52), log in via anonymous ftp (i.e. as user 'anonymous', give your email address as the password). The archive contains the IRAF distribution for every supported architecture (in the iraf subdirectory), as well as external layered packages (in the iraf/extern subdir), user-contributed software (in contrib), IRAF doc- umentation (iraf/docs), ADASS conference information (iraf/conf), and much more.
The new network service that just went into operation is a USENET and email based network news facility. This consists of a collection of newsgroups organized as a USENET alternate news hierarchy called 'adass', after the software conference of the same name (astronomical data analysis software and systems). Although our main interest in developing this was to have a place to put some IRAF newsgroups, we named the new news hierarchy 'adass' in case there is any interest in expanding this in the future to include other non-IRAF astronomy software newsgroups. The advantage of an alternate news hierarchy is that it is easier to target the desired community, in our case the astronomical community. The disadvantage of starting a new news hierarchy is that initially there is no distribution system in place. To carry the newsgroups locally a site must get a feed from some other site. To read or post news, an individual need only have some NNTP-based newsreader software and access to an NNTP (network news) server somewhere on the net which carries the desired newsgroups and which permits the user to read and post news. As part of the mail network project we will be providing an NNTP server on the main IRAF server iraf.noao.edu which will allow anyone to read and post to the adass newsgroups (but only to those newsgroups). The current list of newsgroups are the following (this may change):
adass.general important announcements adass.misc miscellaneous discussion adass.admin adass newsgroup administration adass.test test postings adass.conference adass software conference adass.iraf.readme the mail network README file adass.iraf.announce new iraf software or facilities adass.iraf.applications applications discussion group adass.iraf.programming programming discussion group adass.iraf.system system issues, system administration adass.iraf.misc miscellaneous discussion adass.iraf.buglog project buglogs (computer generated) adass.iraf.sources small programs or documents
The adass.iraf newsgroups are intended to be shared by the IRAF user community and all the groups and individuals developing software for IRAF (i.e., not just the NOAO IRAF group). To subscribe to newsgroups and get a feed directly interested users should contact the iraf group. Since the adass groups are available to an NNTP-based newsreader they can be accessed by anyone using a command such as
% xrn -nntpServer iraf.noao.edu
We now have mail drops for all the ADASS newsgroups. The mail address for each group is the newsgroup name with the dots replaced with dashes, e.g. "adass.iraf.applications" becomes "email@example.com". That is a lot to type so there are also aliases for the more important newsgroups:
adass adass-conference announce adass-iraf-announce sources adass-iraf-sources apps adass-iraf-applications misc adass-iraf-misc prog adass-iraf-programming sys adass-iraf-system
In this way users can 'post' and read to the various groups until a feed is set up directly to their site.
Yes, you can get newsgroup information via a listserver. The list server address is "firstname.lastname@example.org". To get information about the list server send it the following request:
% mail email@example.com help
(You can omit the 'Subject:' line). This will cause a list of all the commands recognized by the list server to be returned via e-mail.
To subscribe to a newsgroup send the following request to the listserver:
subscribe <newsgroup> <your name and affiliation> e.g.
% mail firstname.lastname@example.org subscribe adass-iraf-announce "Joe Smith, Boston University" subscribe adass-iraf-buglog "Joe Smith, Boston University"
Note that the "dashed" form of the newsgroup/list name is used for the listserver, rather than the "dotted" form. Multiple requests can be included on successive lines, for example to subscribe to multiple newsgroups. To unsubscribe from a newsgroup send the "unsubscribe <newsgroup>" request.
General information about the IRAF software is available via e-mail through the IRAFINFO facility. To get started send the following message to the IRAFINFO server:
% mail email@example.com get iraf info
For a list of all the files available via the IRAFINFO facility send the request "index iraf" to irafinfo.