Enhanced SAOimage (v. 1.24E) is a special version of the NASA funded version of SAOimage which was originally written by Mike Van Hilst between 1989 and 1994. SAOimage in its original version is an X Window pseudocolor server which allows display of images in FITS, SAD, and other formats, and interactive control of pan, zoom, color lookup table selection, cursor drawing, and other operations. Limited program control was available with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's image analysis program IRAF. The need for a comunications interface which could allow a user written program to easily control SAOimage and in addition read back information from the program such as cursor coordinates, was recognized by me in late 1992. In consultation with Mike, I began creating some modifications to SAOimage, and a set of modules which would permit a user to write a program which could easily load multiple independent images, carry out cursor and vector drawing, perform cursor readback and lookup table control. By loading images to SAOimage in quick succession, it was possible to do video. An initial version for OpenVMS was ready in late 1994 and this was ported to Unix in 1995. The Package includes several example programs which put Enhanced SAOimage through its paces and illustrate the new capabilities, as well as provide source code examples. A full description of the modifications and the communications interface can be found in the February 1995 issue of Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
The recent arrival of inexpensive Linux systems prompted me to update the code and ensure that the package would function under Linux. This update was completed in September, 1999. The faster machines allow video frame rates of up to 100 per second (for a 90 by 90 pixel area). A port to the Mac OS X was completed in April, 2005.
Enhanced SAOimage is also available in the MIIPS
(Multipurpose Interactive Image
Processing System) package. In MIIPS, SAOimage is
used as the default display server, and as a plotting device. Full
all the features of Enhanced SAOimage is made use of in MIIPS.
Note: It is incorrect to refer to X Window as X Windows, XWindow, or XWindows.