IRAF Newsletter -- Number 14 -- April 1998

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X11IRAF Project Developments

In the spring of 1997 the first "official" version (V1.0) of the X11IRAF tools ( Xgterm , Ximtool , and Xtapemon ) was released which featured many new enhancements. A second version (V1.1) was released in September. All tasks now include manual pages, and the source code can be built with a global make command on all Unix platforms currently supported by IRAF. A bug-fix and science GUI support release is planned for summer 1998.

Most of the recent work has concentrated on new features and enhancements for the Ximtool display server, including the following items:

The alternative GUIs provide some experimental new features which we are still working on (to improve performance, wring out the bugs and the like) and which we are not yet ready to include in the standard program. Nonetheless many users will like to have access to the new features so we are providing early access to the new features via the alternative GUIs.

The alternative GUI versions are run using the standard binary but merely execute with a modified GUI descriptor file loaded at runtime, providing an interface where some of the more commonly used features are accessible directly from the main image window as new menubars. Users can of course still customize the GUI themselves to provide a more comfortable, personalized interface without recompiling the task, either through resource settings or programming modifications to the Tcl GUI script file.

Some important issues remaining to be addressed are those of support for 24-bit frame buffers, which are common on most PC platforms, and colormap conflicts with applications such as Netscape. Work on the Gterm widget is required to fully address these issues but some workarounds are available: users running 24-bit truecolor displays must either re-start their X server in 8-bit PseudoColor mode to make use of Ximtool , or they can use the "Xnest" utility which allows them to run a PseudoColor visual on a 24-bit display. Colormap conflicts can be minimized by adjusting the basePixel and maxColors Ximtool resources (see the Ximtool man page for details), or preferably, by running Netscape with a private colormap (set "Netscape*installColormap: Yes" in your .Xdefaults file or use the "-install" command line option).

Doug Tody, Mike Fitzpatrick

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Posted: 07May1998