Miriad status report

Miriad code management has been revamped recently. New features aim to facilitate the installation of Miriad outside the ATNF, or on a laptop or home computer:

  • Now supported for Mac OS X (Darwin), both PowerPC and Intel. (Consequently, the RPFITS library is now also supported for these platforms.)
  • Binary installation kits are provided for solaris, linux (32- and 64-bit) and Darwin (PowerPC and Intel). The statically-linked executables are self-contained with respect to third-party libraries (RPFITS, PGPLOT, etc.), so there is no need to install these separately.
  • For those systems where a binary installation is not provided, or where code development is intended, installation of Miriad from source code is now based on the standard GNU configure/make model.
  • Installation instructions have been rewritten, and the Miriad homepage and related manuals revised.
  • A new update procedure, mirsync, allows those with ssh access to ATNF's computer network to update their Miriad installation easily. mirimport is still supported for updating a source-code installation.
  • ATNF's Miriad installation has been moved to the directory /nfs/atapplic. The observatories now mirror the Epping system each day via the normal rdist/rsync mechanism.
For Miriad programmers (particularly with future CABB development in mind):
  • All Miriad source code is now maintained within RCS, thus allowing code changes to be tracked line-by-line.
  • The compile scripts (mircadd, mirclnk, etc.) have been replaced by a system of GNU makefiles.
  • The makefiles support development within a programmer's private workspace (so-called "sandbox").
  • The makefiles perform a full dependence analysis, including that of executables on object library modules, thus ensuring that whenever a low-level include file or subroutine is modified everything that uses it is recompiled.

The new system answers many of the needs expressed by Miriad users since I took over Miriad management following Bob Sault's departure last March — over 500 emails have accumulated in my Miriad folder since then! Many queries originated from overseas users, frequently relating to Mac OS X. There has also been a steady flow of bug fixes and requests for code enhancements. Bob still maintains an active interest and assists with more esoteric questions.

On a related matter, a new mailing list, "atnf-data-reduction", has been set up for announcements and discussion relating to all offline data reduction software used within the ATNF, including Miriad; see www.atnf.csiro.au/lists/ .

Mark Calabretta