MIDAS comprises two somewhat different sets of programs - the System Primitives (MIDAS programs developed by ESO software staff) to provide the basic functions of the system, and individual application programs (written by or in collaboration with astronomers according to the MIDAS standards defined below). In addition to the application programs MIDAS provides a powerful command language (the MIDAS Command Language, MCL). This command language makes it possible to create MIDAS procedures, series of MIDAS commands which look like programs. The MIDAS system from the user's point of view is described in the MIDAS User Guide which includes three volumes.
This document concentrates on the development of MIDAS application code either in FORTRAN or in C. Hence, if you are not interested in writing a FORTRAN or C program to run within the MIDAS environment, then you have time for a coffee: This document is not for you. However, if you are interested you will find in this document a description of the MIDAS environment with its various data structures and the subroutine/function calls in FORTRAN 77 or C to access these structures. It replaces and supersedes all previous versions of the Environment Document.
Chapter provides a general introduction and description of the MIDAS system and its data structures. Chapter gives an overview of the coding standards which should be used when writing a MIDAS application program. Chapter describes the ``STandard'' Interfaces to images, catalogues, keywords, descriptors, files, text, errors in a language independent way. The detailed descriptions of these interfaces for C and FORTRAN 77 are given in Appendix . Chapter describes the interfaces to the MIDAS Table File System; the detailed C and FORTRAN 77 interface description is given in Appendix . Chapter contains the graphics interfaces. Detailed descriptions of the routines, for C and FORTRAN, can be found in Appendix . Chapter describes the interfaces for connecting to a Midas server (``background Midas''); the detailed C interface description is given in Appendix . Chapter explains how to integrate and run your application in the MIDAS environment. Appendix contains a brief description of the standard descriptors and other conventions used for images and tables while Appendix contains a number of complete examples of MIDAS application programs using the interfaces described in this document.
If you are new to the MIDAS environment, you should read Chapter and completely, find out what subroutine calls are available in Chapters , and , and then look carefully at the examples in Appendix and the detailed interface descriptions in the Appendices , , and . Our intention was to write this document for you, and we hope you will find it useful.
If you are an experienced MIDAS programmer, then you probably have not bothered reading this far unless you happen to read this kind of stuff for pleasure (?). In any case, Chapters , and should serve as a reference on how to use the ``STandard'' Interfaces, the MIDAS Table File System Interfaces and the Graphics Interfaces. The appendices should provide the information about the exact calling sequences for either FORTRAN 77 or C.
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