ESO-MIDAS Documentation

ESO-MIDAS is decribed in full detail in a number of documents. These cover the needs for MIDAS users, describe the installation procedure of ESO-MIDAS, give support to those who intend to develop MIDAS applications, and finally inform the user community about recent developments. All documents are shortly described below and are available via the

ESO-MIDAS anonymous ftp account

The "standard set" of documents contains the following.

The MIDAS Installation Guide

These installation documents ( for UNIX and VMS systems) describe the complete installation procedures of ESO-MIDAS on computer systems running the UNIX or VAX/VMS (Open-VMS) operating systems.

ESO-MIDAS User's Guide

Three volumes describing the MIDAS core system, the applications, and the help files:
  • Volume A
    Describes the basic MIDAS system with all general purpose facilities such as MIDAS Control Language, all available commands, data input/output (including plotting and image display), table system (MIDAS Data Base). Site specific features are given in an appendix.
  • Volume B
    Describes how to use the MIDAS system for astronomical data reduction. Application packages for special types of data or reductions (e.g. long slit and echelle spectra, object search, or crowded field photometry) are discussed assuming intensity calibrated data. A set of appendices gives a detailed description of the reduction of raw data from ESO instruments.
    If you want to use DAOPHOT II (see chapter DAOPHOT II: The Next Generation), you should download the postscript manual (which is not included in Volume B!) from here: Download DAOPHOT II manual (postscript file) Unfortunately we cannot offer any other file format.
  • Volume C
    Volume C gave the on-line detailed description for all commands available. This volume is not available anymore as it can be accessed via the Midas GUI XHelp (from the shell with helpmidas or from Midas with create/gui help).

Everything you always wanted to know about Midas

A guide to useful info about Midas which is difficult to dig out from the official documentation

The MIDAS Environment

A document describing the guideline for the development of MIDAS application code either in FORTRAN or in C. It contains a description if the MIDAS environment with it various data structure and the subroutine/fucntion calls in FORTRAN or C to access these structures. A compressed PostScript version of this document is also available.

The AGL Reference Manual

The MIDAS graphic applications are based on low level graphic routines provided by the Astronet Graphic Library (AGL) and written by the ASTRONET Group. Although the MIDAS Environment includes a set of standard graphic interfaces, there may be cases where the basic functionalities provided by AGL are required. AGL routines are available in FORTRAN and C. The implementation of AGL in MIDAS is a stripped version of the complete AGL library. The complete distribution can be obtained from the anonymous ftp account of the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri in Florence .

The IDI Reference Manual

Similar to the AGL graphics library, the IDI library contains a set of display routines provided in C and FORTRAN.

Other Information

Apart for this "standard" set of documentation, the MIDAS Users community is provided with four other sources of information:

The MIDAS system has been described in various papers. General overviews can be found in Banse et al. (1983) and in Grøsbol and Ponz (1990). MIDAS as a development environment is discussed in the document ``MIDAS Environment'' (ESO-IPG, 1993) and by Banse et al. (1991). The performance of MIDAS on different platform is described by Grøsbol et al., 1988. The implementation of the table file system is described by Grosbøl and Ponz, 1985. For a more complete reference list, see References.

The ESO-MIDAS Courier was a newsletter which informed the user about recent developments concerning MIDAS, in particular about new releases, new applications, and availability of patch levels. Because of the increasing usage of providing information via the WWW the newsletter was discontinued in 1995.