[Ifeffit] Problem opening up project files

Bruce Ravel bravel at bnl.gov
Wed Jan 20 13:08:19 CST 2010

On Tuesday 12 January 2010 05:22:25 pm Lisa Van Loon wrote:
> I am using Athena in Windows and I have been having trouble with some
>  project files. I would like to determine the cause: after closing the
>  original file I am unable to reopen the project file again properly. I
>  have attached a file to demonstrate the problem (test1.prj) Saving
>  different versions does not help. When I open the file, no spectrum is
>  displayed. (If I click on a file during the importing then that spectrum
>  will remain displayed). At the bottom the "removing background..." never
>  says "done". It seems like everything is working except the graphing
>  window. I haven't been able to determine what is different about this data
>  from other data that opens without any problem.


Wow.  This was a tricky one.  I had to follow several false leads
before actually figuring out the problem here.

Here's the story:

At one point in the process of importing data from a file, header
lines get truncated to 256 characters if they are longer than that.
Several of the header lines in your orginal data files (in a separate
email, Lisa sent me the original data files) are longer than 256.
That by itself is not a problem.  However, when some of these long
header files were truncated, you had the misfortune of having the
256th character come after an open parens and before a close parens.
This triggered a problem in Ifeffit that it has when it encounters an
unmatched and unescaped open parens in a character string.

Way back in the early days of Athena (maybe 6 years ago or more), this
was a serious issue leading to all sorts of troubled and unhappy
users.  I thought I had fixed the problem, but apparently I only fixed
the most common examples of this problem.  Your specific data files
represented an edge case that slipped through the cracks.


I now have things fixed.  Not only do your data files no longer lead
to a project file displaying this problem, I even figured out a way to
fix your broken project on the fly.

Sadly, there is no work-around for you in Athena.  The only immediate
solution is unpleasent -- you will have to edit each offending file by
hand and remove the very long header lines.  Ick!

I will build a new Windows executable soon which incorporates the fix
and make it available to the automated updater.  However this will
take a few days as I have another Athena improvement that needs to get
written and tested before I make the release.  I am working on that
right now, so I am hopeful that I'll have a new version by next week.
I hope.

Sorry for the hassle.  Thanks *very much* for complaining about it.
As I have said many many times, the extent to which my programs are
any good at all is a tribute to the kidn and helpful feedback that I
have received from all the users.


P.S. While I am at it, I'll look into the issue of non-ascii
characters in filenames that Mingliang asked about earlier today.


 Bruce Ravel  ------------------------------------ bravel at bnl.gov

 National Institute of Standards and Technology
 Synchrotron Methods Group at NSLS --- Beamlines U7A, X24A, X23A2
 Building 535A
 Upton NY, 11973

 My homepage:    http://xafs.org/BruceRavel
 EXAFS software: http://cars9.uchicago.edu/~ravel/software/exafs/

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