History of XAS
As it stands on 13 Sep 07 12:04
1955 Mar: LC is born
1979 Sep: LC starts working in X-ray astronomy
198x xxx: Italian institutes propose the SAX X-ray satellite mission to the
National Space Plan (PSN)
1982 Jul: LC works at Exosat Observatory and is dissatisfied with lack
of a general-purpose X-ray astronomy analysis system.
1985 Jan: LC becomes involved in SAX
1985 Nov: Draft "notes for building a portable XAS package"
At the time Italian institutes involved have in house a variety of platforms from IBM mainframes,
HP1000 mini and VAXes. Nobody has heard of Unix or C.
1986 Sep: LC and Marco Morini (IFCAI) produce
"A Study on Fortran compatibility".
1987 Dec: PSN sets up a Technical Committee to supply VAXes to Italian
1988 Feb: Technical Committee issues final report
1988 Mar: LC and Marco Morini produce
"Elements for a discussion ...for SDC software component"
which contains most of the guidelines for XAS.
1988 Aug: LC and Marco Morini begin working on the design of
the software. The name XAS is invented.
1989 Jun: the VAXes 8250 bought by the Italian Space Agency (ASI,
formerly PSN) are delivered to the SAX Institutes.
1990 Jan: LC (since Marco Morini left research) issues
"A proposal for XAS specifications - draft 0.5"
otherwise known as 'the XAS dream book"
Around the same time institutes start acquiring their first Sun and HP workstations, while
continuing using their previous platforms.
1991 Apr: date of earliest Unix VOS routines (on Sun, 2 during 1991)
1991 May: date of earliest VMS VOS routines (8 during 1991)
1991 Jun: one Ultrix DECstation is delivered by ASI to the SAX Institutes.
1991 Oct: Issue 1.0 of definition of XAS file format
1991 Dec: date of earliest XAS library routines (2 during 1992)
1992 Feb: first document defining XAS directory tree
1992 Apr: first concept of "packetcap" to access SAX telemetry data
Daniele Dal Fiume (ITESRE) starts collaborating to VOS
1992 May: date of earliest XAS program (draft version 0.0, 9 during 1992)
1992 Aug: Issue 2.0 of definition of XAS file format
1992 Sep: LC uses extensively XAS libraries in building programs
for EPIC simulations
1992 Nov: first release of XAS 1.0 for VMS, Ultrix and SunOS with
35 library routines, 21 VOS/Unix, 17 VOS/VMS and 7 main programs
1993 Jan: first routines for client-server communication
1993 Feb: fromfits 1.0 (first program not written by LC)
1993 May: first implementation of "packetcap" (fotlib library)
1993 Jul: X11 and PostScript client-server prototype on Ultrix
1993 Aug: Daniele Dal Fiume releases xasbuild 1.0
1993 Nov: LC and Daniele Dal Fiume start working at XAS 1.1
1994 May: working prototype of FOT filing program
LC and Daniele Dal Fiume resume working at XAS 1.1
1994 Aug: release of XAS 1.1 - this set of WWW pages started
XAS includes 123 system-independent library routines,
62 VOS/Unix, 38 VOS/VMS and 44 main programs excluding demos
1994 Nov: MECS calibrations at Panter. VMS XAS used for quick look.
Ultrix XAS extensively used for calibration data analysis.
1994-95 : XAS (Ultrix and HP-UX) used extensively at Italian SAX institutes
for NFI ground calibration data analysis (with several ad-hoc
1995 Jul: first sample FOT available, XAS accumulator programs start
reading flight-format data
1995 Sep: SAX SDC imports the current XAS distribution
1996 Jan: one AlphaStation is delivered by ASI to the SAX Institutes.
1996 Feb: prototype of XAS HTML help files
1996 Mar: pre-release of XAS to SAX SDC
1996 Apr: SAX is launched
1996 Jun: SAX instrument Commissioning Phase starts
first real FOT data. XAS used on experimenter's stations in SDC to
support near real time analysis.
1996 Jun: full set of AlphaStations delivered by ASI to the SAX Institutes.
1996 Jul: SAX Science Verification Phase starts
1996 Aug: XAS ported to Digital Unix (OSF/1)
1996 Oct: these WWW pages updated and moved to new server