Friday, August 4, 2017

Sherpa 4.9.1 Release

Sherpa 4.9.1 - an incremental improvement over the Sherpa 4.9 release - has now been released and is available via our Conda channel (, pip (, Zenodo (, and GitHub ( This release supports Python 2.7, 3.5, and 3.6.

We thank everyone who contributed to this release with feature requests, bug reports, testing, code contributions, or questions.  Please join in the fun on GitHub:


This version introduces full support for Python 3.6. It also fixes issues with non-Chandra response files, correctly handles the AREASCAL column in PHA files, and fixes a significant regression that was preventing user statistics from working in v4.8.2. It also introduces a number of smaller improvements and fixes. In particular, quite a few improvements have been made to the documentation and to the testing framework, including several new tests to improve stability.


Infrastructure and minor non-functional changes have been omitted.

#335 Fix `` install command

The ` install` command was not enforcing the installation of the dependencies listed in ``. This has been fixed.

#368 Remove ds9 warnings when run under Python 3.6

Update the DS9 code so that external processes are cleaned up properly, so to remove the potential ResourceWarning warnings when running DS9 on Python 3.6.

#351 fix handling of AREASCAL column in PHA files (fix #350)

Add support for handling the AREASCAL value (either scalar of vector) for PHA data sets. This array is used in XMM RGS data to handle missing chips.

#358 Properly handle Swift RMF when using Astropy backend (fix #357)

A Swift RMF could not be read in when the AstroPy back end was in use. The problem was that the code did not support RMF matrices that were not stored as variable-length arrays. This has now been fixed, and new tests have been added for this kind of file.

#343 Fix user statistics regression (fix #341)

A number of regressions were introduced in version 4.8.1 up to version 4.9.0, so user statistics that were properly working in version 4.7 have not been working any more. This has been fixed, and a number of regression tests have been added.

#381 Fix `bdist_wheel` command

We reviewed our customization of the setuptools commands as we realized that a recent bug fix (#335) introduced a regression in the bdist_wheel command used by pip to build Sherpa from source distributions. Both commands should now properly work.

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