CASA User Testing Meeting Minutes - 2013-07-16, 09:15 Socorro / 11:15 Charlottesville

NOTE: Start time delayed by 15 mins due to 11:00am Charlottesville fire drill. Charlottesville meeting will be in room 230 for this week only.



Present: Mark Rawlings, Juergen Ott, Jeff Kern, Kristina Nyland, Deb Shepherd

Apologies: Jen Donovan Meyer (ALMA Ph1M testing), Crystal Brogan (conference), Bryan Butler (interview panel)


  • Socorro: AOC-317; IP:
  • Charlottesville: Room 331; IP:

Minutes (Main Points Only)

Status of Packages

  • CASA 4.2 May stable:
    • The May casapy-stable is available for both Linux (r24824) and Mac OS X (r24870). (It may still identify itself as 4.1, but is actually 4.2). * CASA 4.2 June stable just released last night:
    • The June casapy-stable (r25430). This is not recommended for general use, though, due to a larger number of test failures than usual. It is probably better to test using the current casapy-test and wait for the July stable.
    • CASA 4.2 July casapy-stable is planned for release at the end of this week.
  • A new casapy-test has already been released (r25406), and should already be available. Some of the user testing of items flagged below as "awaiting the next stable" may be done with this instead, given the above problems with the June stable package.

Current Number of CASA Jira tickets with "Ready To Test" status at start of meeting (including EA, EU, JAO, Software-only tickets): 67.

(Reduced to 61, immediately following the meeting).

Any Other Business

  • Kristina mentioned a problem with pclean when checking inputs. She was advised to talk to Kumar.
  • Deb had talked with Bryan about testing the new framework. It had been felt that there were not many VLA people available that were appropriate for this. She suggested approaching some people in Charlottesville, such as John Tobin (who has VLA data, but is away in Germany this week at a conference) or Jen Donovan Meyer?
  • Mark and Juergen will exchange e-mails today regarding first drafts on some sample image analysis tool documentation.
  • Deb reported that Miriam had developed a 3-bit CASA guide, Deb had suggested some references to her. Gustav is currently reviewing this.
  • It was felt that we should remind the users about the feedback checklist, to try to improve input on the tasks-level documentation, etc.
  • Mark will be in Chile for August. In his absence, he will continue to prepare the agendas for these meetings, but Jeff can run the meeting if need be.
  • Regarding the scheduling of the next meeting: we will see where we are in the release cycle towards the end of the month, and make the call then as to whether to schedule the meeting on July 30th or August 6th.
  • Jeff noted that a change to autocorrelation flagging had been introduced: there had been two ways of doing it that were completely redundant, but these two now do different things (see the relevant Jira tickets for full information).
  • Several items involving ALMA array data combination had been bumped up to "Critical" by Crystal within the last couple of weeks (CAS-5228, CAS-5227, CAS-5207, CAS-5202, CAS-5260). Mark has pinged the appropriate tickets for a developer response. Responses posted to CAS-5260, CAS-5202. CAS-5227 now RTT (see below). Nothing more on CAS-5207 yet (feathering documentation). Fix subsequently put in for CAS-5228 as r25489. Ticket now RTT and passed to Remy.
  • Miriam will no longer be available for user testing assignments from August 15th. Many thanks to her for all her help!

Current testing items/issues (see also Google spreadsheet workbook)

Spreadsheet available here

CASA 4.2

Open Blockers

No new ones for user testing.

  • CAS-5335 (July): CASA Region Text File pixel sizes not handled properly. Status: "Open".

Ready To Close

  • CAS-5014 (May): Make a wrapper around the partition task to use the mstransform framework. Should already be regarded as ARTT for 4.2 as it's already also in the current release branch. MSTransform-related item; subtask of CAS-4754. Resolved following the meeting.
  • CAS-4645 (May): Universal support for outlier fields. Subtask of CAS-4640. Currently ARTT. Developer had been investigating a possible issue that turned out to be unrelated. Josh and Frazer have looked at this in the past. Resolved following the meeting.
  • CAS-4053 (May): specfit dictionary should return coordinates. Currently ARTT; should be in current stable. Juergen to check on the formatting. Should be more or less done, though?
  • CAS-4865 (Jun): I/O Infrastructure in the MSTransform framework. To be tested as part of CAS-4754. Resolved following the meeting.
  • CAS-5211 (Jun): imfit fails with inexplicable error message (dies if minor axis > major axis). Currently ARTT. Tested by Ed Fomalont. Resolved as done, following meeting.
  • CAS-5178 (Jun; originally Aug): Improved support for multiple cubes (spectral plotter). Currently ARTT in casapy-stable (May 2013; r24824). Adam has looked at this, and it appears to be more or less done. A "patch" request remains in the ticket. To be put in if easy to do, otherwise the item is to just be resolved as done.

New Approved for Testing Targets

All of the following should already be in the current casapy-test (r25406), and will be in the imminent (delayed) June stable:

  • CAS-3116 (Jun): Comprehensive computation of spectral index from image(s). Ticket currently "Open", but preliminary task interface completed. Laura Perez will be testing this for the VLA. ALMA will hold off on testing this for now, pending the VLA testing. Currently ARTT. Should be included in the latest test package. Ticket to go to Laura (when Jira permits).
  • CAS-4959 (Jun): imregrid: When using image templates, the default shape used should be that of the template (not the input image). Currently ARTT. Should be included in the latest test package. Mark assigned to test during the meeting.
  • CAS-4227 (Jun): Channel averaging displays average color, but not value. Currently ARTT. To be tested by Miriam.
  • CAS-5241 (Jun): predictcomp showplot=False option does not work. Currently ARTT. Todd to test.
  • CAS-4790 (Jun): Add support for time variable calibrators for Perley-Butler 2013 standard for setjy - Subtask of CAS-5156. Currently ARTT. Bryan to user test this.
  • CAS-5276 (July): Loading region file with box, ellipse and poly shapes produces warning and does not load. Currently ARTT. Ticket parked with Mark for now. Reassigned to Anand to check bug fix.

Ready for Retesting

Items Currently Being Tested / Already Available For Testing

  • CAS-5132 (May): create image crop method. Currently ARTT. Ticket still assigned to Juergen for technical reasons, but Alison Peck has been assigned this to test.
  • CAS-5084 (May): Testing multi-term support in pclean. Should already be ARTT for 4.2 (as it's already experimental in 4.1). Kristina will test this.
  • CAS-3046 (Jun): Support and use of ephemeris table when available. Currently ARTT in casapy-stable (May 2013; r24824). Being tested by Dirk et al., with input from Bryan. Some testing done, and it seems to generally work, but an additional minor fix was committed as r25140.
  • CAS-5123 (May): Support for On the Fly Mosaics. Currently ARTT. JAO (ALMA) and Socorro (VLA) to test. Awaiting suitable data? Deb reported that Bryan is aware of the situation, and plans to talk to Jeff and Steve about how the VLA pointing tables problem affects this.
  • CAS-3885 (May): Post-deconvolution wide-band PB-correction for 'ft' and 'mosaicft'. Currently ARTT. VLA-only item. Ticket is with Bryan, but Frazer's been testing this in routine use. Ticket provisionally marked as done following the meeting (see ticket for a full explanation).
  • CAS-5117 (May): Association of Syspower Cal entries with scan / field in table or during apply. Currently ARTT in casapy-stable (May 2013; r24824). Information posted to ticket by developer. VLA item, so ticket assigned to Bryan, to reassign as he sees fit. Deb reported that Emmanuel Momjian has been approved to work on this. Rick will provide data, Claire will look at it.
  • CAS-5124 (Jun): Improvements to PV-Diagram in the Viewer. Currently ARTT in casapy-stable (May 2013; r24824). Juergen assigned to test this. Steve has been working on this a bit.No suitable ALMA data are available yet. Going back to RTT following meeting. Fixes put in (r25525) in response to Juergen's comments.
  • CAS-4991 (Jun): memory usage for VLA pipeline prevents running more than one job per cluster node. Currently assigned to Bryan, but Claire's involved with this one too. Not yet in current stable; fix should be in latest test package, but Bryan thinks this is a larger issue. The pipeline will need to be run with the new dataset. This can be regarded as ongoing. Deb has been working on this. She had tried to run a release version and it clearly exhibited memory problems. She then tried a stable version over the weekend: the memory usage profile was different, but it crashed. One of the pipeline-called parameters had been deprecated (gaincurve). Claire et al. are reworking the affected pipeline code to work around this. Memory use slowly just ramps up and memory does not get released afterwards. In her plots from the stable version, it goes up to about 10 GB, and then still holds onto about 7 GB. This issue is actively being addressed.
  • CAS-5213 (Jun): feathering GUI (casafeather) upgrade. Currently ARTT; should be in current stable. Juergen to test. Note: Ed thinks that feathering works well enough for now, and that this ticket should not be treated as a priority right now (there are more urgent feathering-related issues). Crystal agrees with this.
  • CAS-5134 (Apr/Jun): viewer crashes after certain interactive steps - Currently tracked as as RTT, pending next stable. One of the two original problem cases given remains (but there has been some subsequent addition to this ticket). Additional imview() crash fix item will be available for test in the next stable. Testing being done by Josh and Kristina. Kristina has recently posted new feedback of reproducible failure modes. Ticket assigned to Kristina. Developer has promised to look into this. Mark checked back on progress on the ticket, following the meeting. Kristina has supplied more sample datasets and input - comments exchanged with dev. Work is ongoing.

  • CAS-4754 (May): Create a new framework with a new task and tool to replace applycal concat, cvel, partition, hanningsmooth and split. Currently (partially) ARTT. Still awaiting user tester(s) assignment. Significant documentation of the mstransform task is linked from the ticket. See also the list of subtasks below (r24639; included in May stable). NOTE: This is a major item, and will need significant effort assigned.
    • CAS-4848 (May): Add capability in MSTransform framework to separate SPWs. To be tested as part of CAS-4754. VLA item. Assigned to Juergen for testing.
    • CAS-4846 (May): Add capability in MSTransform framework to apply Hanning Smoothing. To be tested as part of CAS-4754. Assigned to Adam for testing.
    • CAS-4845 (May): Add capability in MSTransform framework to change the reference frame. To be tested as part of CAS-4754. Still awaiting user tester(s) assignment.
    • CAS-4900 (Jun): Add capability in MSTransform framework to apply channel average. To be tested as part of CAS-4754. Assigned to Adam. Adam has tested this in isolation. Seems to work as advertised in isolation (with the odd remaining question or two for the devs).
    • CAS-4863 (Jun): Add capability in MSTransform framework to split a data selection. To be tested as part of CAS-4754. Assigned to Nuria Marcelino. Testing report duly filed by Nuria. Questions responded to by developer. Item now RTT again. Some fixes put in (as r25496) - to be retested, pending available package.

Upcoming Test Items

  • CAS-5049(May+): Viewer parent ticket. Assigned to Adam. No subtasks currently "Ready To Test" in Jira, but there will be.
  • CAS-4957 (Jun): We need a version of the file written in LOC coordinates. Currently RTT, pending next stable. Todd to test. On hold: awaiting real ALMA interferometry data for testing.
  • CAS-4808 (Jun): make ImageBeamSet simpler - Underlying software modification, but can definitely be tested by users. Currently RTT, pending July stable. Awaiting user testing assignment.
  • CAS-5142 (May): issues with the spectral profile tool (for inclusion in 4.2 release). Currently RTT. Tester: Jen(?). Tested by Jen in casapy-stable 2013-05. Much better, but a couple of issue remain. Status updated back to 'RTT' (June 24th). Some additional fixes in, Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5282 (May): imsubimage does not select the corresponding beams from per plane beams array. Currently RTT, pending July stable. Tester: Jen(?).
  • CAS-5287 (May): immoments fails on images with multiple beams. Currently RTT. Tester: TBD. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5285 (Jun): imview colorwedge=T doesn't work in some cases. Currently RTT. Ticket currently assigned to Crystal. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5172 (Jul): Add capability for fftshift to regridding portion of MSTransform". Currently "RTT". Subtask of CAS-4754. Tester: TBD. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5013 (Jul): "cvel handling of different sensitivity spw". Currently "RTT". Subtask of CAS-4754. Tester: TBD. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5143 (July): update simobserve documentation to clear up some confusion. Currently listed as RTT, pending July stable. Note: Only a documentation change. Assigned to Kim Scott.
  • CAS-5216 (Jun): moment image has malformed header. Ticket returned to RTT again, following checking by Remy and additional work. Further testing pending July stable.
  • CAS-5125 (July): Make frequency an axis display option (viewer). Currently RTT. Ticket provisionally assigned to Juergen for reassignment. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-4961 (July): imregrid: axis ordering of data cubes appears to be inconsistent. Ticket returned to RTT again, following reworking by the dev. Probably to be tested by Mark. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5227 (July): The non-zero value used in a mask affects clean output. Currently RTT. Ticket provisionally assigned to Juergen for reassignment in Crystal's absence. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5171 (July): Rework of MSTool for consistency and correctness. Currently RTT. Ticket provisionally assigned to Juergen for reassignment. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5324 (July): make behavior of dock widgets (animator, cursor tracking, and regions) consistent. Currently RTT. Ticket provisionally assigned to Mark for reassignment. Question for Jeff: Do we need a designated tester for this? Mark suspects not: can be tested as part of other usage/testing. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5328 (July): cs.reorder() requires to be run twice before it does axis reordering. (New cs.transpose available!). Currently RTT. Ticket provisionally assigned to Juergen for reassignment. Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5323 (July): simutil.simutil.itrf2loc does not return height. Currently RTT. Todd to test.
  • CAS-5371 (July): MSMetaData classes must be modified to ignore FLAG_ROW. Currently RTT. Question for Jeff: Does this need a Science User tester?
  • CAS-5044 (July): Flagdata mode='clip' should allow WEIGHT as an option for datacolumn. Currently RTT. Todd to test (ticket currently parked with Mark). Pending suitable July(?) test/stable.
  • CAS-5096 (July): impbcor says shapes not the same when they are in cases where immath works. Currently RTT. Crystal to test? Pending July stable.
  • CAS-5111 (May): Implement autoboxing capability. Currently Open. This one had previously been ARTT. There had been some differences in opinions regarding the correct algorithm to be implemented for this. Jeff will set up a meeting to discuss this further, so the ticket's been temporarily assigned to him.

Developer Addressing Test Results

(To be added to)

Input Required

  • CAS-3580?
  • CAS-5127 - (Currently assigned to Mark, but needs input from Science). Mark and Juergen will iterate on this after the meeting (see above).
  • CAS-2252 (May): calculate the rotation measure. Currently ARTT. VLA item. Some discussion about implementation. Bryan will decide how to proceed.

Other issues


Running List of Action Items

* Item Description: Review and rationalize imregrid-related tickets (including CAS-5182)
* Assignee: Mark
* Date Assigned: 2013-06-04
* Due Date: ASAP

* Item Description: Incorporate SD 4.2 deliverables list into Google spreadsheet
* Assignee: Mark
* Date Assigned: 2013-06-04
* Due Date: ASAP
- Started. Still needs full integration.

Standard Template Format:

* Item Description:
* Assignee:
* Date Assigned:
* Due Date:

-- MarkRawlings - 2013-07-11
Topic revision: r7 - 2013-09-17, MarkRawlings
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