IRAF Newsletter -- Number 14 -- April 1998

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The Online IRAF News

These days the printed IRAF Newsletter is published infrequently as the Internet is a better medium for handy reference and for timely information about IRAF and IRAF projects (the printed newsletter is still useful however for documenting major software releases).

The IRAF Web pages ( ) provide a handy, up to date reference guide for IRAF. The IRAF home page is updated frequently with "headlines" noting recent events with a link to an article on each. The IRAF Web pages contain many other useful resources, such as the IRAF FAQ (frequently asked questions) list, and links for downloading software.

A still underutilized resource are the adass.iraf newsgroups. Most people have given up trying to read these newsgroups in their USENET form due to all the SPAM postings; although we do cancel SPAMs, it takes a few hours for the cancels to propagate through USENET space. However, each newsgroup is gatewayed to a moderated listserver-hosted mailing list. Subscribing to these mailing lists is a good way to obtain updates on various aspects of the IRAF software: major announcements, system management issues, science applications, bug notices, programming, and so on. The traffic on the moderated lists is light, which is probably just as well for a mailing list. The following are the major IRAF-related ADASS newsgroups:


Items of general interest.


General discussion of astronomical software.


Software conference announcements.


Announcements of new IRAF software, documentation, etc.


Project bug notices (this is not a discussion group)


Discussion of IRAF applictions software.


Discussion of IRAF programming.


Archive newsgroup for small programs, scripts, etc.


IRAF system issues and system administration


Miscellaneous discussion of IRAF software.

The easiest way to subscribe to the mailing lists for these newsgroups is via the IRAF Web pages. The URL for the ADASS newsgroups is

This Web page provides links to read the news, search the news archive on (all non-SPAM traffic is archived), and subscribe to the various mailing lists (you can always unsubscribe later).

The Web-hosted ADASS keyword search facility is particularly useful. For example you could review recent postings on keywords such as "xgterm", "splot", or "hpux", or find that email on preparing proceedings for the ADASS conference, which you can't find any longer in your private mailbox.

The simplest way to post to an ADASS newsgroup is via email. For example to post to adass.iraf.applications one could send email as follows:


All of the newsgroups/mailing-lists have such mail drops, although some of the newsgroups such as announce and buglog have narrowly defined purposes and may not accept all postings.

Projects wishing to create new ADASS (astronomy software) newsgroups are welcome to do so; ADASS is a standard USENET hierarchy. It might be advisable to discuss this first in adass.admin , or via email, to determine whether the newsgroups are appropriate for the ADASS hieararchy.

Doug Tody

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IRAF Group, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8160, FAX: (520) 318-8360, Email

Posted: 07May1998