Pleinpot introduction Programmer's manual Users's manual Installation manual

PLEINPOT User's manual

The present documentation address the following topics:

The command line interface

The programmes can be executed as command line (ie. the parameters are provided after the name of the program), or, if the parameters are not given on the command line, the user is prompted for their value. The other major mode of operation is through an http server, as it is implemented in the HyperLeda database.

Starting the environment

The first step is to start PLEINPOT, probably typing plstart, depending on the definition you will have aliased in your .cshrc or .profile file. For example, the following definitions are convenient in csh:
 setenv PL_ROOT /users/pleinpot/
 alias plstart "echo \!* >\! pls; source ${PL_ROOT}unix/plstart.csh; rm pls"

The first time you start PLEINPOT, a working directory $HOME/plwork is created. It contains the Pleinpot environment history Files.

Starting PLEINPOT initialize variables. It does not start a monitor (unlike Midas or iraf), hence you can always use any other commands, and for example mix shell and Pleinpot commands.

Running applications

To run a PLEINPOT command you just have to type its name, then you are prompted for the input parameters. Alternatively, you can give these parameters on the command line, after the command name.

The commands psetenv and psetgra allow to customize respectively the general and graphic environments.


The application programs are presented in: pleinpot_applications

CGI interface

The programme hipican readily be used as a cgi. Copy it to a directory where the http server allows execution of cgis:

       cp $PL_ROOT/bin/exe/hipi hipi.cgi

You can then try to access your own database (if you have one, see below), a remote database (eg. Hyperleda or process images or spectra.

Here are a few examples (assuming that the http server has the address: http://pleinpot_test:

Image/spectra access

See imgeopen.

Database management and access

The database server in Pleinpot

Except if you installed a mirror of HyperLeda, the initial installation does not create a database server. It will be created the first time that the hlstart command is issued:

        cd $PL_ROOT; make hlstart

This same command has to be used also to restart the server, either after the machine rebooted, or the server was stopped with make hlstop. This commands operate the Postgres server (postmaster): creating the database, some default users (see the configuration in the installation manual), and start/stop the server.

To access the database, use the command line application hupsq or directly the Posgres client psql.

Tables used by Pleinpot

Pleinpot can access to any table loaded in the Postgres database, but in order to handle and display them properly, Pleinpot also uses special tables, called meta-data tables, associated to any of them. The meta-data tables are named after the data table: To mytable is associated the meta-data table metamytable.

The content and purpose of the meta-data tables are explained in hmeta.

Loading data from external sources

A convenient way to load new data in the database is to use topg to read the data from plain ASCII or FITS files (local or remote) and load them in the database. The tables and meta-data tables are automatically created.

Querying the database: The HQL language

HyperLeda Query Language (HQL) is processed by the Pleinpot library to extract and process data from databases and to format the output.

Simple examples of HQL requests:

Retrieve the records corresponding the object named "M87" from catalogue number "0" and display the result as an html document.
c=i&o=dss1:$[$ o:ngc4874,12$]$&z=vg
Retrieve an image cutout from DSS1 and make a gray scale display.
Display the file "search.html" and initialize the javascript variable "" to the value "J12+12".

Consult the detailed HQL user's manual: HQL.

Pleinpot documentation (Wed Jan 23 22:23:27 CET 2019 )