StarView FAQ

Background Info
    1. What is StarView?
    2. What's being done with the old StarView (XStarView and CRT)?
Instalation
    1. How do I install StarView?
    2. How do I get the updates to the StarView software?
    3. Will StarView work from behind a firewall?
    4. Do I need to have/apply for an STScI archive account?
    5. Why does StarView need my email address?
    6. What is my SMTP hostname?
    7. How do I figure out the Netscape path stuff (Unix ONLY)?
Basic StarView Operations
    1. How do I do a basic search?
    2. What does the Science Only checkbox do?
    3. How do I copy and paste things into StarView?
    4. What are the Update/NoUpdate features on the Form?
    5. How do I preview data?
    6. How do I export data?
    7. How do I restore a search?
    8. How do I retrieve data?
Advance StarView Operations
    1. How do I create my own form?
    2. How do I edit and save a form?
    3. What is CrossQualify (XQual)?
    4. How do I resubmit an HST retrieval request?

What is StarView?

StarView is an astronomical database browser and research analysis tool. Developed in Java, StarView provides an easy to use, highly capable user interface that runs on any Java enabled platform as a standalone application.

StarView's main functions are:

This new Java-version of StarView fully replaces the previous versions of StarView and XStarView.

In addition to all of the old functionality, this new version of StarView provides new and improved interfaces and abilities including


What's being done with the old StarView (XStarView and CRT)?

The former versions of StarView has been replaced by this java-based StarView.  Because of the maintenance requirements needed for old StarView it has been discontinued.


How do I install StarView?

Please refer to the StarView for information on downloading, installing, and running StarView.

How do I get the updates to the StarView software?

StarView has an auto-update feature. You will not have to download any installers in the future, but rather have the program update itself. For personal installations, the program will ask you if you wish to update it when updates are available and, if allowed to, will reinstall all files as needed and restart the program. For site installations the program will inform you that there is an update and ask you to have your system administrator update starview by running the program.
 


Do I need to have/apply for an archive account?

New data in the HST archive is propritary for a year.  This meens that only the PI and other apporved people can receive it.  For that reason, user verification is needed.  Other users who need to retrieve non-propritary data will soon be able to do so anonymously (June 2002).  Until then, all users need to get a retrieval acount.

To request an account, please visit the Archive Registration page.


Why does StarView need my email address?

StarView sends its some of its data requests to the archive via encrypted email. If there are problems with the email communication, the address from which the email is sent is needed to send back problems. Once received, your registered email information will be used to tell you what has been requested and to tell you when the request is completed. This information is not collected or sent to the server in any other fashion.

What is my SMTP hostname?

Your SMTP hostname is your outgoing email server. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. StarView needs to know your SMTP hostname to be able to send mail to the archive when you want to retrieve data.

If you're not familiar with your SMTP hostname, please contact your system administrator. Alternately, if you use Netscape or some other mail program,  you may check its setup to find your SMTP hostname (sometimes referred to as the Outgoing mail server).


How do I figure out the Netscape path stuff (Unix ONLY)?

Some of the features that StarView provides link into the web. To use a more fully featured browser than provided in the Java environment, starview will communicate with Netscape (under Unix, for Mac and Windows it uses the system to communicate with the users default browser). To figure out what to put in the two Netscape environment, first execute which netscape or which communicator depending on whether you type netscape or communicator to start the browser. This will tell you where the startup script is. You should be able to the type more `which netscape` to look at this file (those are backwards single quote characters around which netscape). If it is comes back with binary data, the startup script is the same as the binary location. If not, scroll down through the script until you find where the netscape program is actually started, typically near the very end of the script. This is the location of the binary.
 


What does the Science Only checkbox do?

The science only checkbox tell StarView to try to restrict the search results to science data only.  It will do its best to filter out calibration and engineering exposures.  For most missions (e.g. IUE) there is only science data, so this does nothing. For others (HST) this will add extra qualifiers to the query to restrict the results.


How do I copy and paste things into StarView?

Different OSes have different clipboards, which adds to the complexity of this question.  In fact, OpenWindows and CDE under Solaris use two different clipboard systems.  Java only listens to one of these. Because of this, under CDE and OpenWindows, to copy and paste from an X terminal window you will have to use the Control-C and Control-V commands.  Highlight the text you wish to copy and then type Control-C (or use the copy button on the keyboard if you keyboard has one).  Then use Control-V to paste this text into StarView. You will not be able to use the standard X windows middle mouse button to paste. Some systems (Suns OpenWindows and CDE) have copy and paste buttons that work with the System clipboard that can be used to copy things out of other windows. For other OSes, the standard Control-C and Control-V (also known as Option under Macintosh OS) will work.

Sun suggests the following solution for Linux but it should work for any X-Windows system (this is taken from http://developer.java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/Programming/linux/ ):

 
If you have been using Windows or a keyboard with a copy and paste key, you might be wondering how to copy and paste text between Java programs and other desktop programs and terminals.

Linux uses a mouse-driven copy and paste mechanism where mouse button one selects and copies text, and mouse button two pastes the text. This technique works for Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) components because they use the primary selection to achieve copy and paste. Project Swing components, however, use the system clipboard for copy and paste, and most tools on the desktop, apart from the Netscape browser, do not use the clipboard.

A workaround to this limitation is to map a key or mouse button to access the system clipboard as follows:

*VT100.Translations: #override \
            <Btn3Up>:                select-end(CLIPBOARD) \n\
            <Btn2Up>:                insert-selection(CLIPBOARD) \n

The above lines can be passed as a value to an X tool using the -xrm option. Alternatively, the mapping can be made accessible to the entire desktop by including them in the .Xdefaults file in the user's home directory. The command xrdb -merge $HOME/.Xdefaults will reload updates in the .Xdefaults file.

We do not claim this will work for all systems and that it will not break other programs. If you find a better solution, please let us know. For those of you wishing a more technical reason as to the problem:
Java uses the system clipboard for all platforms and under Windows and MacOS all other application use the same clipboard buffer. This is the CLIPBOARD selection under X-windows (as defined by Sun). Many X-windows programs use the PRIMARY clipboard.  The problem is getting the items to pass between these two bufferes.  Sun uses the Copy and Paste buttons to do this for Sun style keyboards. Hence the need to override the actions of buttons under X (to map the copy and paste to the CLIPBOARD rather than PRIMARY buffer). Note that Netscape uses BOTH buffers, and can do this as it is compiled for the system on which it is installed. To remain platform independent, Sun did not take this approach

Will StarView work from behind a firewall?

StarView requires an outward connection to our server via port 80.  Currently StarView does not support a proxy server connection. To test your configuration simply type
telnet starview.stsci.edu 80
Followed by a control-D and a return.  If you get something like this (bold faced characters are typed by the user and ^D is control-D)
corsair> telnet starview.stsci.edu 80
Trying 130.167.1.151...
Connected to starview.stsci.edu.
Escape character is '^]'.
^D
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<TITLE>302 Found</TITLE>
</HEAD><BODY>
<H1>Found</H1>
The document has moved <A HREF="http://starview.stsci.edu/html/">here</A>.<P>
<HR>
<ADDRESS>Apache/1.3.17 Server at <A HREF="mailto:archive@stsci.edu">starview.stsci.edu</A> Port 80</ADDRESS>
</BODY></HTML>
Connection closed by foreign host.
Then your firewall supports direct connections via port 80. If not, please contact your systems administrator to see what can be done to allow such a connection.


How do I do a basic search?

Choose any of the standard forms available under the Searches pull-down menu or click the Quick button to load the Quick Search form. Quick Search is the most generic and to the point. Enter qualifiers, if any, in the Qualifiers column of the table found near the middle of the GUI to narrow your search. Click on the Search button in the toolbar and wait a moment for the first 100 records to be fetched from the database. You can scan through the data using the navigation buttons on the toolbar. Also, to review each record during a scan, toggle the Update/No Update button at the bottom of the form to Update. This will slow things down so you can peek at each record in the scan. No Update does not refresh the screen as it is scanning, but will refresh when Stop is chosen from the navigation buttons.


What are the Update/NoUpdate features?

You can toggle the Update/NoUpdate button at the bottom of a form to either see each record during a scan or move quickly to the end. The Update feature allows you to peek at each record while scanning through your data.  The screen is repainted for each record so this slows things down.  A No Update scan does not refresh the screen as it is scanning, but will refresh when Stop is chosen from the navigation buttons or when the last record is reached.


How do I preview data?

For data sets that have previews, the Preview button will become active.  There are two different icons you will see in this.  The first looks like a cartoon galaxy.  This if this is in color, there is a preview FITS file for the selected dataset. If you click on it, the preview will be displayed in an interactive FITS image viewer called JIPA.  You can rescale the color map or zoom the image using the image processing tool that is displayed by hitting the p key.  If a spectral preview is available, the preview button will have a cartoon graph on it.  Clicking on this will load the preview into the SpecView tool, where you can rescale the plot and smooth the data. Additionally with spectra, you can use the overplot button to send another spectrum to be plotted in the same frame as previous spectra in the SpecView tool.


How do I retrieve data?

Retrieving data can be done in two ways. You can mark data to be retrieved from a form and it will invoke or highlight a retrieval screen that houses all of your marked data. Or, you can invoke retrieval from the View pull-down menu and add datasets to your retrieval lists from there by choosing the Add Dataset button. From there you can load datasets by hand or from a list in a text file.

From a form, choose Mark from the toolbar to mark the selected record for retrieval. The retrieval screen will popup showing your newly marked dataset in its table. You may unmark datasets at any time; either from the retrieval screen by unchecking the box to the left or by clicking on Unmark from the main toolbar. MarkAll and UnmarkAll are also available. Note: If there are still fetchable records, you will get a warning asking you if you really want all the data (in your form and the rest fetched from the database) to be marked. Hitting MarkAll on an unqualified, general search will take several minutes.

Once you have marked all the data to be retrieved, click on Submit to enter you username and password, select the data type(s), choose how you'd like the data delivered, and override classes and extensions ( in rare cases ). Click done when this Submission screen is complete. You will get a message saying your request has been mailed to the archive. The data in your table will now be unchecked to convey that you have requested it. You can hit Purge Unmarked to clear your table of all unchecked items.


How do I create my own form?

There are two ways to customize forms. The first is to take a standard form, modify it to your liking, and save it to your local system. This method is explained under the next heading. The second is by starting from scratch and building the form attribute by attribute using the Custom Query Generation Tool and saving it locally.

To start from scratch click New located in the toolbar. From the Custom Query Generation Tool, select in what form the first attribute is to be displayed (Field, Table, List, Area). Either navigate through the database tree to find the appropriate attribute or enter a search string to search on fieldname, keyword, definition, or instrument. Caveat - You must be familiar with the structure of the database or you may invalidate your form/search by adding inappropriate attributes. Clicking on the attribute will pop it up in a new, generically-titled Custom Results View (also referred to here as a form). You can click and drag the component around. You can keep adding attributes to your form this way, but remember to choose the component type before selecting the next attribute or it will be displayed as the same component type as the previous addition. When you have finished adding new components and rearranging them, toggle the Edit button at the bottom of the form to Static and choose save from the toolbar to save your new form locally. If you save the form to the default directory, you will find this form in the Searches pull-down menu every time you use StarView. Once the form has been saved, it's title will change to reflect the saved-as name.


How do I edit and save a form?

There are two ways to customize forms. The first is to take a standard form, modify it to your liking, and save it to your local system. The second is by starting from scratch and building the form attribute by attribute using the Custom Query Generation Tool and saving it locally.

Modifying a Standard form: Use the Searches pull-down menu and select a form that is closest to your goal. Toggle the button at the bottom of the form from Static to Edit. Now you can move components around and add and delete components. To move components, simply click on the label portion and drag. To delete, right click on the label portion and choose Delete Component. To change the component's properties ( label and data width, label and data alignment, and label text, right click on the label portion and choose Properties. Adding components is done by choosing Custom Query Generation Tool from the View pull-down menu, navigating through the database tree to find the appropriate attributes, selecting in what form they are to be displayed (Field, Table, List, Area) and rearranging the new components on the form. Caveat - You must be familiar with the structure of the database or you may invalidate your form/search by adding inappropriate attributes. Choose save from the toolbar to save your modified form locally. If you save the form to the default directory, you will find this form in the Searches pull-down menu every time you use StarView. Once the form has been saved, it's title will change to reflect the saved-as name.

Creating a new form: This feature is dealt with above.


What is CrossQualify (XQual)?

One of the major additions to StarView is the ability to use the results of one search to drive the query of another. This is more or less giving the user the ability to do joins across database fields that are not specifically set to do joins. There are two ways of cross qualifying: from a current search result and from a file.

To cross qualify from a file you need only have the qualifiers you wish stored in a text file The list of qualifiers should be stored one per line for each field you wish to qualify on. For example, if we wanted to search by RA and Dec on two coordinates our file might look like this:

10:20:30,2:44:32
-12:24,19:22
We then create (or use one of the Standard forms from the Searches pull-down menu) the form we want to search and click on Cross Qualification.  When asked, choose search "From a File". Point the File name dialog to point to your file (either by typing the full path to the file in the box or browsing to the file using the Select File button). The file contents are then displayed in the box below the filename. Next, select the attributes you will pair from the list below. List them in the order in which they appear in the file. Also, there cannot be more entries in the file or attributes in the dialog box. The qualifiers are then loaded from the file and associated with the current form when you select OK.

To cross qualify from a current search result you need to have at least two forms in your workspace. Whichever form is in focus or highlighted when you click Cross Qualification will be your FROM form. This FROM form should have the qualifiers you would like to push to another form. For example, you may wish to use results from the Proposal database using the Proposal Abstracts form and take the results of that search to drive a general search to find the data files that resulted from those proposals. After clicking Cross Qualify, choose From a Screen. Now select the field (or fields) to feed into the qualifiers of the second screen. If you have more than 2 forms in your workspace, choose which form will be your TO form. Clicking OK pushes the qualifiers from your FROM form to your TO form.

You can then mark the records of interest for retrieval, or refine the qualifications further.


How do I export data?

Make sure you are focused on the form that contains the data you want to export. Click on the Export button in the toolbar. You may get a warning asking whether you want to fetch the rest of the records from the database. Type in the new file name. The default format is tab delimited fields with carriage returns between each record. Click on Format if you'd like to customize the format of the data file. On the format screen you can check the Use Custom ASCII File Options box. This allows you to choose how you want records, fields, and blocks of text delimited. Next you can select only the attributes you want exported by checking the Use Custom Attributes box. Otherwise, you will export all the attributes on your highlighted form.


How do I restore a search?

When ever you want to, you can click the save qualifiers button to store the current search to a file. Later, you can load a form and then load these qualifiers into that form. You will have to reissue the search to get the results from the database.

How do I resubmit an HST retrieval request?

Old XStarView had a UNIX executable called sv_dads_retrieve that allowed savvy users to resubmit their .req files found in their .svdata directory.  StarView 6.2 includes similar functionality in java.  From the command line it can be accessed in this way:

            java -classpath StarView.jar edu.stsci.dadsretrieve.OriginalRequest

This new java version can be wrapped using csh as such:

#!/bin/csh
setenv STARVIEWHOME /usr/local/StarView
setenv CURRENTDIR `pwd`
cd $STARVIEWHOME

java -classpath $STARVIEWHOME/StarView.jar edu.stsci.dadsretrieve.OriginalReques
t $* 
edu.stsci.dadsretrieve.OriginalRequest $*

cd `pwd`
Using the -h flag on the command line will produce a simple list of all options for this program.
usage hst_resubmit (options) <> <> ...
  Options:    -p <>       | use password for the archive password
              -n <>       | use password for the network/ftp password
              -d < list="">   | use this comma separated dataset list
              -a < list="">   | append this comma separated dataset list
              -r
| send request to this email address

-b | debug mode (doesn't encrpt message)
Note the program will prompt for passwords as needed using java windows

Last Updated - April 3, 2001