Re: Iraf fork?

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2008/5/21 Sergio Pascual <sergio.pasra@xxxxxxxxx>:
> Iraf has been developed by NOAO until 2006, when the user support was
> transferred to a volunteer effort, That was about version
> 2.12. In 2007, NOAO recollected the patches and user contributions,
> and together with other improvements, released version 2.14.
> Iraf is vast and ancient.  It's partly written in C and partly written
> in SPP, a custom made language. SPP needs a custom compiler that it's
> included in the iraf core. SPP is converted into fortran (using f2c)
> and compiled with the C compiler.
> Iraf works in different architectures, but lacks x86_64 support.  A
> project[1] exists to port iraf to x86_64, and it's basically the work
> of one person, Chisato Yamauchi[2]. This work it's outside NOAO or
> I help him doing the testing of his developments in my
> Fedora system, as he develops in CentOS.
> Iraf includes a copy of the libc of the time of its early developments
> (mid-80s), replicating the functionality of basic system calls. It
> also includes a modified copy of ncar[3] graphics library 1.0 (current
> version is 5.0). ncar wasn't free at that time (I don't know if it's
> free know, it seems to be composed of several packages, some free and
> some not).
> Iraf graphics facility, x11iraf, contains non-free code also. I tried
> to package it in the past[4], but the package couldn't be included due
> to legal restrictions again. That's where the thread[5] in
> comes from. It was me complaining about the license text in the
> faq no representing the real status of iraf and x11iraf,
> misleading into believing that both were free software when they
> weren't. You can see also the answer to the complains about closed
> code in iraf, basically "please fix it yourself and send me the
> patches". As iraf is very far from trivial to compile, I suppose that
> the number of patches received across the years is nearly zero.
> Neither or noao provide tools to work in iraf development,
> such as a version control system. So, if we want to develop something
> based in iraf, we at least need to establish a source tree somewhere.
> Don't call it a fork if you want, but it's the only way to work.
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]

Thanks for all those precisions Sergio.
If I understood well, our better (and only ?) option if we want IRAF
in Fedora is to push it to our trac server and work hard, right ? ( i
do not consider the waiting solution )

Michael Ughetto (Telimektar)
<telimektar1er@xxxxxxxxx> || <telimektar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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