CASA User Testing Meeting Minutes - 2015-04-07, 09:00 Socorro / 11:00 Charlottesville

Post-meeting minutes notes will be appended in blue text.



Present: Mark R., Anand, Juergen, Crystal

Apologies: Steve M.


  • Socorro: AOC-280; IP: or AOC-317; IP:
  • Charlottesville: Room 331; IP:

Minutes (Main Points Only)


  • 4.4 feature freeze officially passed. Test/stable/monthly packages are being produced for RHEL5 and 6.
  • First test/stable OS X package production (for 10.10 and 10.9) now available (marked as a stable, but closer to a test package in practice). Pre-release branch to be produced as soon as a stable version has been identified for RHEL5 and 6 and OS X 10.9 and 10.10. (see CAS-7403 and CAS-7385).
  • 4.3.1 is the current public release version for both Linux (RHEL5 and 6) and OS X (10.8). 4.2.2 is still currently being used for pipelined ALMA data reduction at the NAASC, but 4.3 has now been adopted for "manual calibration" reductions.
    • The same general-purpose CASA launcher script has now been deployed at CV, SOC and GB. Details are on the appropriate drop-down menu of the public CASA pages at
      • For anyone using test machines zuul01, 03 and 04 are running RHEL6, zuul02 is running RHEL5. REMEMBER: Use /usr/bin/casa on these machines to make sure that you are running the new test/stable packages (there are RPM installations on these).
  • Latest stable package (Linux only): 4.4.124 (svn r32854)

Number of CASA Jira tickets with "Ready To Test"/"Under Test" status (including EA, EU, JAO, Software-only tickets, but excluding Pipeline) prior to meeting: 50 (was 58).

Number of CASA Jira tickets with "Ready To Test"/"Under Test" status (including EA, EU, JAO, Software-only tickets) following meeting: ??.


  • 4.4 feature freeze deadline (March 1st) has passed. No new features can be added to 4.4 from now on. 4.4 pre-release branch to be announced soon, user testing to be conducted on the 4.4 stable packages for now (Linux only, OS X still to come).
  • New ticket assignments.
  • The "nag list", "input required" items
  • Major test coverage areas for 4.4 pre-release testing
    • Reworked statistics framework - check for changes in behavior. See CAS-7034
    • PlotMS
      • New PlotMS code implementing VI/VB2 and on-the-fly calibration. Related tickets (with revision 32835+) are: CAS-3034, CAS-4864, CAS-7117, CAS-7118, CAS-7119, (CAS-7386 and CAS-7393) (see below)
      • Besides testing the new functionality, including on-the-fly calibration and plotting sigma and sigma spectrum, please put PlotMS through its paces and make sure none of the old functionality was broken as a result of the underlying code change.
      • Check averaging and flagging. The Pipeline group will also be looking for any such issues.
      • Remaining related issues for release 4.4 include the creation of virtual model data when there is no MODEL_DATA column or SOURCE_MODEL column (CAS-7390), and improving the performance of the VI/VB2 iteration through the data when averaging (CAS-7412).
      • Also, regarding testing the OTF calibration: A callib parameter has been added to the plotms task in order to use this feature, e.g. plotms("", callib="callib.txt", ydatacolumn="corrected") where callib can be a filename or a python dictionary. PlotMS now has a Calibration tab where the OTF calibration can be enabled/disabled, but callib can only be set through the casapy interface for this release.
      • Any other issues should be reported.
    • Weight column (including weight column -> initialized weight spectrum). See CAS-4469. Testers to work with George.
    • New ATM library in 4.4 (CAS-7220). Should be (more or less) a drop-in replacement: testers just need to watch for any oddities during routine use.
    • For a limited group: HPC work (e.g. number of open files, etc.). Pipeline group are also involved in testing this. Probably does not need a lot of dedicated science user testing yet, beyond routinely trying to use split2, day-to-day MSTransform-type work, etc.
  • The next meeting is scheduled to take place on April 21st.
  • Any Other Business:
    • Crystal asked what the new headliner features would be in the 4.4 release (OTF?).
    • Mark R. to try to get the latest word on the target release date from Jeff.
    • Some general concerns voiced about MSTransform. Although split2 is thought to be good in of itself, it relies on MSTransform, and there are concerns that it (and cvel2) still have problems - there are a number of tickets still open.

Old Action Items

  • None

New Action Items Arising

  • TBA

PART 1: Items to be Covered During Meetings (as time permits)

Propose to Close Items

  • TBA

Items Overdue for Status Updates (i.e. the "Nag List")

  • CAS-7318 (Feb): 4.4 item. Verify unpolarized calibrator mode for linear basis (ALMA). Under Test. Tester: Steve. Ticket pinged. Steve and George to nag each other about this one.
  • CAS-4469 (Jun+ 2013): Split with channel averaging is creating spurious spectral features and weight is wrong when there has been channel flagging. Subtask of CAS-5245. Critical item. "Under Test". Tester: Crystal.
  • CAS-3580 (Aug): 4.4 item. Prediction of expected image based noise based on Tsys. Under Test in 4.3. Tester: Eric V. (to be tested at the JAO). Kept open at Remy's express request. Recent testing continuing by Eric. Tracked elsewhere(?)
  • CAS-4758 (Sep): 4.4 item. fluxscale fails if one of the reference fields is flagged. Under Test (r31121+) in current (new-style) stable. Tester: Claire. No testing progress on this since October. Claire had been trying to find a suitable dataset for testing. Steve thought that this should actually be fairly easy to testand that Claire and/or he may have been able to test this one. Ticket previously pinged.
  • CAS-6912: 4.4 item now. makemask copy always replaces image. 4.3 item. "Under Test" again in stable package 4.4.9+. Tester: Juergen. Just needs a minor documentation update and it's done.
  • CAS-4623 (Aug): 4.4 item now. SetJy: Method to set Pol Fraction and Angle as Function of Frequency. Under Test in current packages. Tester: Preshanth. Had been pending access to new testable package. Steve now has a test dataset for this. Ticket passed to Preshanth, although Steve will probably also do a bit of testing of this one. Preshanth has tested this, and promised to file his report weeks ago. Preshanth has been in Canada recently, hence the lack of a response. Steve's had a bit of a look at this, and thinks that it already sort of works. A test script is probably needed, though. Preshanth's back in the country now, and aware of the need to finish up this ticket soon. Ticket pinged again.
  • CAS-6707 (Sep): mstransform problems with CALDEVICE and SYSPOWER sub-tables when creating an MMS. Under Test in 4.3, but 4.4 item now. Tester: Previously passed to Steve for VLA user tester assignment. Previously discussed at length: Feature was already shipped in 4.3. To resolve or not to resolve (that is the question)? Steve had talked to James Robnett to get a sense of the status of parallelization. May be more of a developer/Pipeline testing item?
  • CAS-6527 CASA collides with easy_install.pth. 4.4 Blocker item. Under Test. Tester: Remy. Crash reported in ticket no longer happens (at the moment). The re-inclusion of PYTHONPATH may potentially break things again, though, and conclusive testing for this issue is dependent on the availability of an OS X package.
  • CAS-6529: 4.4 item now. MS processed with mstransform not handled correctly by uvcontsub, clean, etc... Under Test in latest new-style stables and pre-releases. Tester: Juergen (was Kristina). Close to done.
  • CAS-6962 (Oct): 4.4 item now. wvrgcal segfaults on a 9-antenna dataset in which only one antenna has a WVR, and minnumants=2. Under Test again. Tester: Todd. Ticket currently back with developers. Work ongoing, ticket pinged previously.
  • CAS-7034 (Mar 2015): Development of new Common Statistics Framework. Under Test now in current stable package. Tester: Peter Teuben. Tester just saw the ticket recently.
  • CAS-7364 (Feb 2015): wvrgcal has problems with purely numerical field names. 4.4 item. Under Test. Tester: Thomas Stanke. Ticket pinged. No progress yet (Tester is moving...)
  • CAS-5836 (Nov): 4.4 item. Create new task imrebin. Under Test again in stable. Tester: Amanda (was Adam). The dropdeg and box parameters should be hooked up correctly now. Mostly works, but a couple of details identified and addressed. April 10th report promised.
  • CAS-5053 (Mar): ms.getscansummary() fails to list all spws of a scan. Under Test in stable. Tester: Catarina.
  • CAS-7207 (Mar 2015): Flux density not working for multiple beam one per channel image. Available in stable now. Under Test. Tester: Juergen. Testing currently ongoing. Tester has requested additional information.
  • CAS-7109 (Mar 2015): Linear full mosaics. Available in stable now. Under Test. Tester: Steve
  • CAS-6952 wvrgcal fails on a source at low elevation (11 deg), but PWV is only 3.5mm toward the target and there is no sign of ground spillover. 4.4 item. Currently Under Test. Tester: Todd. Full retesting will require CASA version 4.4.112 or newer. Ticket pinged.
  • CAS-4983 (Mar 2015): frequencies in gain tables derived using combine='spw' are incorrect. 4.4 item. Available in stable now. Under Test. Tester: Claire. Some duplication with CAS-7097 (assigned to Claire).
  • CAS-7204 ia.regrid no longer works on certain images in the new release. Under Test in current stable. Tester: Juergen (was Kristina) Ongoing
  • CAS-7414 msmd.almaspws(chavg=True) returns True for FULL_RESOLUTION spws that have been channel-averaged offline. *Under Test" in the current stable. Tester: Nate
  • CAS-7389 Refactor LatticeStatistics to remove as much beam/image code as possible. Under Test. Tester: Paul F.
  • CAS-5689 (Mar 2015): spectral fitting results seem off. Viewer item. Currently RTT. Available in current stable package. Tester: Dirk P.

Other Items Currently "Under Test"

  • CAS-3571 (Jan): Ionospheric Correction (TECOR). Under Test now (probably in the 4.3 release). George to liaise with testers Jason Kooi, Chris Hales and Huib Intema. Steve will discuss this with George, and may look into it a bit himself as well. George reassigned this one to Chris, as discussed.

"Ready To Test" Items Pending Tester Assignment

  • PlotMS Items Mark R. would ideally like to assign a science user tester to work closely with Pam on this. Will ask Amanda and/or raise it at the NAASC meeting.
    • CAS-3034 (Mar 2015): Ability to apply calibration on-the-fly. PlotMS testing item. Currently RTT. Available in current stable package. Tester: TBD
    • CAS-7118 (Mar 2015): Plot sigma, sigma spectrum. PlotMS testing item. Currently RTT. Available in current stable package. Tester: TBD
    • CAS-7119 (Mar 2015): Add ability to plot averaged weights. PlotMS testing item. Currently RTT. Available in current stable package. Tester: TBD

  • CAS-7302 (Mar 2015): makemask expand does not work. Currently RTT. Available in current stable package. Tester: TBD (DA?) Tester: DA
  • CAS-4890 (Mar 2015): test_ia_subimage[test_stretch] leaves open image. Currently RTT. Available in current stable package. Tester: TBD (DA?) Tester: DA
  • CAS-6882 (Mar 2015): imstat sums over multiple planes in an image cube to produce a "flux". RTT, available in current stable. 4.4 item. Tester: TBD (DA?) Tester: DA
  • CAS-6971 (Mar 2015): imfit logger messages should indicate noise scheme being assumed. RTT, available in current stable. 4.4 item. Tester: DA Tester: DA
  • CAS-7268 (Mar 2015): importuvfits creates inconsistent MS. RTT, pending a new stable package. Tester: TBD (Nate?) Tester: Nate; However, taken out of RTT and taken back by developer for more work.
  • CAS-7314 (Mar 2015): Add capability to average across fields. Officially Under Test already, but needs the VI/VB2 version of PlotMS to test, so this would be an advance assignment. Question raised during previous meeting: What is the intended science use case for this? Answer: Different observations of the same field source might carry different field IDs. May also have mosaicking applications. Tester: TBD Tester: Steve

Single Dish (to be skipped during the meeting)

  • See SD ticket list below

Input Required

  • CAS-5334 (Feb 2014): Ellipse regions have wrong width (RA). Second fix committed. Was previously tested in casapy-test (r29326), set to Input Required for input from developer. Tester: Paul. Pushed back to 4.4. Cropped up in a Helpdesk ticket recently, so still a problem. Bouncing between developers at the moment.

  • CAS-5806 Mathematical prediction of post-gridding single dish beam. Formerly a 4.3+ Blocker, now "Critical". "Input Required?* Developer has done some modelling, but... ? This is a "blocker of a different kind..." High priority (blocking further development). Currently Input Required from Kana. Crystal and Kumar had been in discussion, but this ticket has been quiet since (effectively) December. Post-4.4 item now.
  • CAS-6975: not evidently possible to overplot from casapy. Input Required from Remy. Ticket pinged previously. Post-4.4 item now.
  • CAS-7282 (Feb 2015): add Gauribidanur Radio Heliograph to CASA. New item, low priority, post-4.4. Ticket with developer, but more input needed from user first.
  • CAS-4735 (Nov): imsmooth needs additional option for single dish use. Subtask of CAS-5844 (above). Open again. Tester: Tsuyoshi. Critical item. Code committed to trunk. 4.3 item. Some testing done, mostly works as intended. Input Required from Crystal for some remaining changes. Any remaining future work will have to be for post-4.4.
  • CAS-6124: imfit subtasks:
    • CAS-4538: migrate imfit input estimates from file to input parameters. Input Required (was "On Hold"). Subtask of CAS-6124. Ticket passed to Juergen, pending a CSSC discussion of what needs to be done and a scheduling of the work. Pushed back to 4.5. Ticket pinged. Juergen: More thought about imfit still needed by Science.
    • CAS-6234: imfit estimates should allow sky coordinates in addition to pixel values. Input Required (was "On Hold"). Subtask of CAS-6124. Ticket with Juergen, pending a CSSC discussion of what needs to be done and a scheduling of the work. Pushed back to 4.5. Ticket pinged.Juergen: More thought about imfit still needed by Science.
  • CAS-4748 (Dec 2012): Polarization selection does not select SIGMA. Input Required. Passed to Jeff for prioritization. Sanjay thinks it's a low-priority item. Version 4.5+.
  • CAS-5886 (Dec 2013): bizarre clean boxes for large images. Awaiting input from one developer to another. Version 4.5+.
  • CAS-6175 Plotms-vis-model (minus) normalization (visnorm) in gain,bandpass (seems to be missing now). Ticket with Jeff for follow-up. Pushed back to 4.5. Ticket pinged.
  • CAS-2825 Support for Lissajous mapping. Pushed back to 4.5+. Input from Tsuyoshi requested. Discussion ongoing.
  • CAS-5162 (Sep 2013): Improvements in flagging documentation and examples. Input Required from Science (via Jeff). This ticket has been left untouched since May 2013... Version 4.5+.
  • CAS-6794 clean is very slow handling this simple, small ACA mosaic. Input Required from Juergen.

Other Blockers

  • Miscellaneous VI/VB-related tickets:
    • CAS-6688 Turn on new vi/vb within imager and test. 4.4 item, but Unscheduled. Currently with Jim. Not a blocker for the 4.4 release?
    • CAS-7398 VB2 should list Unsorted row indices by rowIds(). 4.4 item. New item. Open. Currently with Jim.

  • CAS-7385 port ASAP to OSX 10.10. 4.4 item. Under Test. Done? Can be closed as soon as we have the first OS X 10.10 package.
  • CAS-7251 sdimaging crashed on 4.3 prerelease for OS X 10.8. 4.3 item(?). Open. Currently with Kana. Takeshi had been looking into this. Crash reproduced at NAOJ, but not yet in CV. Maybe NAOJ could try reproducing it again with 4.3.1 prerelease? Not a blocker for an OS X 10.10 CASA 4.4 release, but may need to be investigated further if/when we look at creating a 10.8 package. Will know more once we have CASA 4.4 OS X packages.

PART 2: Items Listed for Informational Purposes (note that these will not normally be specifically discussed during the meeting unless someone raises them)

Unable to Test Items

  • CAS-3614 Calibration and Analysis of Single Dish Polarization. Pushed back to 4.5+. Input from Tsuyoshi requested: Response was that cal/analysis strategy for SD pol not yet established, so no input possible yet. Leaving as "Input Required" until then.
  • CAS-7240 (Jan): 4.4 item. Dot option for grid lines in plotms does not work on Mac. RTT, pending a suitable OS X test/stable 4.4 package. Tester DA
  • CAS-7247 (Jan): 4.4 item. peak value in spectral profile Gaussian estimates window overlapping with slider on Mac. RTT, pending a suitable OS X test/stable 4.4 package. Tester: DA
  • CAS-4592: plotms on 10.7 issues. Half fixed due to Qt updates. Was "ARTT" in 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 pre-release. Scheduled again now. Also seen under OS X 10.8+. Ticket with the developer. Tester: Nathan. Awaiting a new OS X package.
  • CAS-5084 (May): Testing multi-term support in pclean. Lots of feedback supplied by Kristina and Claire. On Hold (since August 2013) and assigned to Kumar pending class refactoring. To be left on hold, pending the refactored imager classes.
  • CAS-6433 (Apr): Implement a function to derive Jy/K factor from amplitude calibrator observation. Open. Currently with developer. Was targeted for November 23rd Pipeline release. Pushed back to March(+) 2015 Pipeline release and flagged as a Pipeline Blocker.
  • CAS-6232 (Mar): writing version numbers in GUIs. Under Test in 4.3. Most recent commit to trunk was r29373. Tester: Juergen. However, this also needs to be checked in the table browser, the work on which is currently unscheduled. Spawned another ticket CAS-7033) for its underlying cause.
  • CAS-5379 - Subtle inconsistencies with other programs in Galactic Coordinates (Adam and Harvey). In a nutshell, shifts of ~0.2" are seen when taking data into other packages (e.g. DS9, IDL which both seem to agree with each other). It is unclear yet if this is an incorrect implementation in one or more packages, or possibly just a precision error. This is a subtle issue, and was pushed back. Ticket stalled. Needs to be looked at by someone with lots of time. To be left as-is for now. This needs significant work, including new science papers on how to actually define the Galactic coordinate system? Needs casacore discussion; this can be part of that. Passed to Jeff for now. Pushed back to some indefinite future release.
  • CAS-4636 (Oct 2012): Elevation dependent opacity application w/ Tsys. Still awaiting input from Science. Had been "On Hold" since August, awaiting data. Switched to Input Required and passed to Crystal for comment. Bumped back to 4.4+. Work on this is "Unscheduled" until further notice (more than a year, now). * CAS-6243: sdimaging does not accept type numpy.string_ for fieldid. Unscheduled, pending identification of a suitable example case. Commit was r29988. Discussion ongoing. Pushed back to 4.4(+). Tester: Todd. Todd hasn't seen this happening, but hasn't specifically tested for it either. Ticket pinged.

Upcoming Ready to (Re)Test Items

Not Yet Assigned To Testers

  • TBA

Single Dish

See below "assigned" SD list.

Already Assigned To Testers

  • CAS-6951 (Oct): 4.4 item now. mstransform creates a 4-polarization DATA column for single-polarization ALMA WVR data, and a 1-polarization DATA column for four-polarization ALMA data. Fix already included in current new-style test/stable packages newer than 4.2.23. Scheduled again now. Tester: Todd. Ticket currently back with developer(s) again. Ticket pinged.
  • CAS-3532 (Sep): Incorporation of Alma Primary Beam in Mosaic. Was ARTT, currently Scheduled. Tester was Scott S., but ticket passed to Crystal for input. Some test imaging done. Ticket with developer. Pushed back to 4.5.
  • CAS-3517 (Aug): Improve remapping interface (Cal libraries). Input Required from developer. Tester: Steve. Some testing done, recommendations made, ticket back with developer. Discussion ongoing. Further callibrary work to be pushed out to 4.4 in Jira. Previously identified as a duplicate of CAS-5617, but now (also) a sub-task of it. Ticket pinged.
  • CAS-5893 (May): Now a 4.5 item. Add the ability to write a spectral profile to an ASCII file in the ia tool. Was Under Test in 4.3. Commit was r29681. Tester: Assigned to Juergen for testing and a possible CSSC discussion. Might also need a task adding for this, but this will be 4.5 work. Recent testing done, passed back to developer for 4.5 work.
  • CAS-5127 (May): Document ia toolkit methods. Status Scheduled. Mark is working on this. Most of Juergen's prioritized list of 26 items has been done. Dates to be added his future documentation updates. Prioritized by Mark. Ongoing. ia.regrid docs will require more work. Still needs code commits. Mark to restart work on this under Linux soon.

Single Dish

  • CAS-6999 (Mar): MS transition: enable blfunc='cspline' in the new baseline task for MS. Subtask of CAS-6988. Under Test. Tester: Junko.
  • CAS-6995 (Mar): MS transition: update weight in Tsys calibration. Subtask of CAS-6988. Under Test. Tester: Patricio.
  • CAS-6572: (Aug): A new baseline task that handles baseline table. Under Test in latest 4.3 casapy-test/new-style stable packages. Mostly done. Ticket with Kana. Ticket previously pinged.

-- MarkRawlings - 2015-04-02
Topic revision: r4 - 2015-04-07, MarkRawlings
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