a wrapper that makes FITSIO look like IMFORT to a calling program
is a set of Fortran subroutines that look like
the IMFORT subroutines which access the native IRAF image format, but actually
call FITSIO library routines to open and manipulate FITS image files.
This enables someone with a collection of legacy code (ahem),
full of IMFORT calls, to keep it alive by using FITS files without
changing the code.
Why would anyone want this? A little history: many astronomers use
package to manipulate their data, especially 2-d CCD images.
IRAF used to use only its own format for image data, and stored each
image in two files, header foo.imh and pixel data foo.pix.
The IRAF people supplied a library of subroutines called IMFORT that
could be called from FORTRAN (and C if you were ingenious)
if you wanted to write your own program to manipulate the .imh and
Later versions of IRAF (v2.10?) became able to handle FITS image files.
FITS is a widely accepted standard and is far more portable than
the native IRAF format was (if I recall correctly, before IRAF V2.11
the .pix files were even raw binaries that got mangled when moving from
big-endian to little-endian machines). This was a major step
forward. And if you want to write programs to access FITS files,
you can use the
Legacy Code problems
Unfortunately, if you had already written lots of code with more
than a trivial number of IMFORT calls, porting it to use FITSIO
is a royal pain. This is what FITSIOWRAP is for. It is essentially
an IMFORT lookalike written in Fortran that calls FITSIO routines.
You just link your code to both it and a FITSIO library.
I wrote this a while ago, and there may not be anyone else left
with a bunch of IMFORT-using legacy code. I'm putting this up
in the hope it saves somebody else a headache. If you're dedicated
enough to read this far, you may be one of those people.
It does not implement all IMFORT subroutines, but most of the
ones that you need to access 1-d and 2-d images and image headers.
The code is simply two Fortran files:
fitsiowrap.f - all the subroutines
nmax.f - header file that defines the biggest image you'll use
e.g. 2048, 4096, etc. edit to change.
(I can't imagine anyone could actually sell this code, but
what the heck, I always wanted to give some software away)
FITSIOWRAP doesn't include every last IMFORT subroutine. It has
the common ones that I've needed. If there is a subroutine that
you desperately need and it's not included, contact me and I might
be able to implement it.
You can download the
IMFORT manual provided by IRAF. It doesn't have the reference
manual pages for commands (possibly the most essential part), though.
FITSIOWRAP grew out of a germ of two routines written by
Dan Kelson. The bulk of the original version was written by Ben
Weiner. Povilas Palunas cleaned some routines up and added several.
I (BJW) am responsible for the "final" version. FITSIOWRAP was
written while I was supported by a fellowship from the Observatories
of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Contact: Benjamin Weiner, email bjw at