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fv 3.0-15
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                      FV 3.0 Release Announcement
                           November 9, 2000

Version 3.0 of the fv software tool for viewing and editing any FITS format
image or table is now available.  Fv has a graphical user interface written
using Tcl/Tk.  Fv is available either in source or executable form.  The
source distribution -- intended only for Unix platforms -- ships with
everything you need to build fv (i.e. you do not need Tcl/Tk already
installed on your machine).  Executable distributions are available for
Solaris, OSF, Linux (x86), Mac OS, and Windows (95/98/NT) platforms.

Fv has the following features (items marked with a * are new with this
release):

   - fv runs under most major operating systems: Unix/Linux, Windows,
     and Mac OS.

   - Basic fv functions -- open, close, save, display, plot, and sort
     data -- can be accessed from simple TCL scripts.  With the XPA
     package (available separately from SAO) for unix, fv can be
     controlled by other programs.  On Mac OS, fv can be controlled
     with AppleScript. Sample programs written using XPA (C, Tcl, and
     Csh), Tcl, and AppleScript are included in the sample_scripts
     directory.

   - Files can be opened (read-only) across the internet (http and ftp
     protocols). FTP sites can be browsed from the "Open File" dialog
     box.

   * The SkyView online database can be searched for images of and
     object lists for a region of the sky. Results are downloaded in
     FITS format which then can be plotted.

   - Filename completion eases browsing large directories and typing
     long names... type the first few letters of a filename and then
     hit TAB.

   - A summary window lists the contents and size of all the
     extensions in the FITS file.

   - Entire extensions can be copied, cut, and pasted to/from the
     clipboard which can be saved to a new FITS file. 

   - New, empty FITS files can be created. Empty extensions of any of
     the 3 basic types -- image, ASCII table, and binary table -- can
     be appended to existing files.

   - FITS headers may be displayed in a scrolling text window.  
     Keywords may be edited, inserted, or deleted, and an ASCII
     text listing of the header may be generated.

   - Checksum keywords can be created or updated when a file is
     modified.

   - Selected columns in a FITS table may be viewed in a scrolling spread
     sheet.  The values in the table may be edited, and rows and columns
     may be inserted or deleted in the table.  The contents of the table
     may be saved to an ASCII text file.

   - Tables can be sorted using multiple keys.  Rows with identical keys
     may be optionally deleted.

   - Table rows can be selectively deleted using a boolean expression
     evaluated for each row.

   - A spreadsheet calculator function allows you to create new columns
     by performing arithmetic operations on existing columns.

   - Line plots of one or more columns in a table may be generated.  
     Plots are displayed using the POW widget.  The user may then zoom 
     in on any area of interest in the plot. The plots may be saved and
     printed in postscript format.

   * When plotting, data can be extracted from a subset of rows; each
     row of a vector column also can be plotted as a separate curve.

   - Line plots of arithmetic expressions involving one or more columns in
     a table may be generated.

   - Individual columns or pairs of columns can be used to produce 1D or
     2D histograms, respectively, and plotted in POW.

   - FITS images may be displayed with the usual pan, zoom, and color
     table manipulation facilities.  Users may choose to use the SAOtng
     image display tool (available separately from SAO), or the
     internal image display widget called POW that is supplied with fv.

   - Double clicking an image displayed by POW will bring up a fv
     table of the image data with the clicked pixel highlighted.

   * Image data can be smoothed using a boxcar filter. 

   * On Unix machines with FTOOLS installed, one can select and
     execute an FTOOL from within fv.

   - Selected rows or columns of an image can be averaged and their
     pixels plotted in a line graph.


Items specific to the POW display widget...

   - POW supports interactive manipulation of the image colortable (i.e.
     contrast and bias twiddling).  

   - POW supports TrueColor displays and has more "colormap friendly"
     support for PsuedoColor display.  See the documentation for
     the "-cmap" fv command line switch or the POW "Color" help menu
     item for details.

   - Histogram Equalization colormap intelligently distributes the
     colormap according to the distribution of pixel intensities in an
     image.

   - POW interprets standard FITS World Coordinate System (WCS) keywords,
     and optionally displays grid lines.  Newer 'CD' style keywords 
     supported in latest release.

   - Once displayed in POW, the contents of graphs can be edited and
     multiple graphs can be merged into one. Coordinate information
     (labels, pixel sizes, WCS parameters, etc) can be modified as well. 

   - Graphs can have linear or logarithmic axes.

   - Text labels can be placed on a graph at a position fixed either to
     the graph (eg, a legend) or to the graph's coordinate system (eg, 
     an object label).

   - Font, size, and style of labels can be independently controlled for
     graph titles, axis labels, tick labels, and each text label.

   - Multiple images can be mosaiced within a single graph. The only
     restriction is that the images have identical rotations.

   - Each curve plotted in a graph can be displayed in a number of
     line styles/widths, point shapes/sizes, and colors. A single
     dialog box controls both the graph-level features (labels,
     contents, etc) and the display styles of each of a graph's
     curves.

   - POW can create, read, write, and graphically manipulate regions
     (boxes, circles, ellipses, polygons, lines, and points).

   * Reads and writes new DS9-style region files.

   * Measure the distance between two points on a graph using the
     Ruler tool.

   * Flux and centroid values for a region of an image can be
     calculated with the Probe tool.
   
   * Plot an image cross-section with the Profile tool. 

   - POW can "blink" a set of images or graphs in rapid sequence. A 3D
     image cube can be animated in this manner. 

   - POW can create contour maps of images.


Fv currently runs on many Unix platforms, including SUN Solaris, Dec
OSF, and both Mac and PC Linux. Binaries for Windows PCs and Mac OS are
also available.

Fv may be obtained from the HEASARC (High Energy Astrophysics Science
Archive Research Center) FTOOLS Web site at:

         http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftools/fv

See the INSTALL file in the fv distribution for instructions on
installing and running fv on unix.  Any comments or suggestions about fv
should be sent to ftoolshelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov.

--------
The fv development team currently consists of:

    William Pence:  Project Scientist, author of CFITSIO
    Peter Wilson:   Tcl/Tk programmer, fv/POW programmer
    Ning Gan:       Tcl/Tk programmer, fv/POW programmer

fv and fitsTcl were originally written by Jianjun Xu.
POW was originally written by Lawrence Brown.