Change page style: 

Archive of Known Bugs 2000 - 2011

You are here

PIT Known Bugs

Known bugs (and workaround, where possible) in the Phase I Tool are described here.Please also read the Frequently Asked Questions / Common Mistakes (FAQ/FMM)page and Solaris/Linux distribution README files for other possible problems. If you find a new problem, please submit the information via the Gemini HelpDesk

1 February 2010 - Fixed in the 2012A release.
On OS X closing a proposal can cause PIT to exit :
For PIT on OS X (Macintosh), closing a proposal with the red window manager button can cause the PIT to exit completely and the user will not be prompted to save changes. Closing from the File menu or with Apple-w works correctly.

9 January 2005 - Fixed: units for RA and Dec can be selected and entered values are converted when the units change.
RA values considered to have units of hr:
The units for RA are assumed to be hr (hours). Values greater than 24 are 'unwrapped' e.g. 243.7, intended to be in degrees, is interpreted as 10 revolutions plus 3.7hr and is converted to an 'RA' of 3h 42m.

30 August 2004
Items on "submit page are grayed out/not editable:
By design, the partners-specific items (partner check boxes, time requested etc)are 'locked' and not editable after the proposal (or, for joint proposals, oneor more partner components) has been submitted. (This is also true of the example proposal distributed with PIT). This feature is intended to avoid accidental changes or re-submission of previously submitted proposals. Normally you canreset the submission status using the "reset" button. In some circumstances - the one known case to date is attempted submission without any partner selected - the reset button does not clear the locked proposal. The workaround is to save the proposal as an XML file, open the file in yourfavourite text editor and locate the line near the top of the proposal that reads something like:

<phase1Document created="2004-09-02" proposalKey="7df05f69-500b-431e-80e2-a9ba3f1d6b58" lastModified="2004-09-02" dtdVersion="1.2">

and delete just the element proposalKey="7df05f69-500b-431e-80e2-a9ba3f1d6b58".(Your key will different). The proposal XML file can then be re-opened in PIT and proceed as normal.

10 October 2002 - Fixed in the 2012A release.
Exiting Windows PIT using [x] button does not save changes:
If you close the Windows version of PIT using the [x] button in the corner ofthe window the currently open proposals are not saved and no warning is given.You should use the File...Exit menu.

14 September 2002 - Fixed at server sites.
Some guide star catalogues searches return incorrect results:
When using the catalog assistant to find guide stars for observations, the GuideStar Catalogue at ESO and the USNO Catalogue at ESO return invalidguide stars due to incorrect queries. The other catalogues (e.g. GSC at CADC,GSC2 at ESO) operate correctly.

14 September 2002 - Fixed in the 2004B release.
HTML summary can lose first character in line of text:
In text fields (abstract, science and technical justifications), the HTMLsummary can lose the first character of the last line if there is a carriagereturn (CR) at the end of the previous line. The XML file retains the correct text.

3 March 2002 - Fixed in the 2004A release.
HTML summary link problems under linux:
Under linux only, the links from the table of contents at the bottom of the HTMLsummary do not always function correctly. The links are fine if the HTML file issaved and opened in a browser.

5 February 2002 - Fixed in 2002B release that support user-defined proxy settings.
Guide star catalogue or digital sky survey searches fail because user machine is behind proxy server:
If the user's computer connects to the outside world via an HTTP proxy server then PIT catalogue assistant searches, PIT proposal submission (UK, Canada and Australia)and OT guide star or image searches will fail, often with the error exception occurred while retrieving the Connection refused. This problem arises because PIT and OT currently do not support sites with an HTTP proxy (support is being added for the next public releases of PIT and OT).

There is a workaround for those using PIT and OT under solaris or linux operating systems. (If you are using Windows, please contact us as there may also be a solution). The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on Solaris and Linux allows setting two system properties at runtime to indicate that HTTP access should go through an HTTP proxy server.

The two system properties are:

  • http.proxyHost -> The host name of the proxy machine
  • http.proxyPort -> The port used by the proxy host

By setting the site specific values for these two properties before starting PIT and OT, the access for posting the proposal and gathering WFS stars will go through the indicated proxy. You may find the name of your proxy by looking in your web browser preferences.

A modified command for starting PIT would look like the following (where the -D allows setting the system property on the command line):

   exec java ${JFLAGS} -Dhttp.proxyHost="proxy host" -Dhttp.proxyPort="port" 

An example script is available that includes two new variables (called PROXYHOST and PROXYPORT) and can be edited with your local information. Similar modifications should work for the OT.

5 October 2001 Fixed in 2002B release
No previous observations in HTML summary:
The current release omits details of previous observations from the HTML summary. The information is included in the XML file that is submitted to the NTACs.

12 September 2001 - Fixed: only present in 2002A version.
Can't start PIT or PIT freezes when off-line:
As part of future development, a feature whereby PIT connects to the web to access reference files was unintentionally left in the 7 Sept. release (version 2002A.09). If you attempt to use PIT off-line (i.e. when not connected to the internet) this will cause PIT not to load or to freeze after opening a proposal.The current download (version 2002A.10) has fixed this problem. If working on-line there is no issue.

7 September 2001 - Fixed by re-release of 2002A PIT
CIRPASS not in list of 2002A instruments:
The initial release of 2002A PIT (Sept 6, version 2002A.08) did not include CIRPASS from the listof instruments. This was corrected in the PIT re-release on 7 Sept. (version2002A.09). If you don't intend to use PIT there is no problem as the two releases, and proposals they generate, are otherwise identical. If you wish to propose to use CIRPASS and don't see it listed in the resources, please re-install the software. We are working on a simpler deployment scheme for future releases.

3 September 2001 - Fixed in 2002B release with user-specified proxy setting
Can't find WFS (guide) stars:
On occasion, the catalogue assistant will report that the search algorithm failed and that it was unable to find any wavefront sensor (guide) stars. There are two possible reasons for this (a) there genuinely are no guide stars (thiscan occur particularly if the patrol field of the WFS is small, e.g. Hokupa'a,or when searching deep in the Galactic plane) or (b) the catalog assistant cannot connect to the chosen GSC server. The latter may be due to your system firewall and proxy server configuration. To test your connection outside of PIT, try the GSC test page. (If you know that a suitable WFS star does exist, you can addit manually).

1 April 2001 - Fixed in 2002A release by not defaulting to XML file extension.
(Text) saving within PIT:
The save button on pages that have text editing (abstract, scientific justification,technical justification, target list, TAC) save the contents of the text box only(not the whole proposal) to the name of the original xml file. To save the whole proposal use the as menu.

23 February 2001 - Fixed in 2002A release.
TAC help page within PIT:
The context-sensitive help within PIT for the TAC tab points to the wrong help page. The correct help page is accessible from the left-hand contents list.

11 February 2001
PIT opens off the screen:
Occasionally, when starting a new proposal it opens off the top left of the screen and only a few pixels of the bottom corner are visible. This is a problem with the interaction between the Java JDK and X-windows. Further investigation is necessary. As a work-around,close the program and re-launch PIT.

2 October 2000 - this bug was fixed in the 2001B release of PIT however it may still be relevant when importing affected 2001A proposals
A problem occurs when the default observing constraints for a specific Observation are overridden using the "Override Default Constraints"function in PIT. If you override the default constraints with the same (the default)constraints, or in fact just specify the same set of constraints within the Observation as the default constraints, then save the proposal (as an xml file), the next time you read in the proposal and try to access the override constraints, by clicking on the expand tree icon, you will generate a Java dump starting with the lines:

Exception occurred during event dispatching:java.lang.IllegalStateException: The referent has never been edu.gemini.phase1.model.P1Reference.getReferent(

and you can't access the override constraints and the proposal won't submit.
To solve this problem you have to manually edit the xml file and edit the reference codes for the constraint sets. This is an ASCII file so you can use your favorite text editor but for safety you should make a back-up copy of the xml file before starting to edit.What has happened is that each constraint set is given a reference ID in the form ref-0, ref-1etc (see the constraint sets at the bottom of the xml file). In the observations section of the file (that starts with <observation>) the associated constraints are referenced as

<constraintRef constraintId="ref-0"/> <constraintRef constraintId="ref-1"/> 

and so forth. One of these ref- values is not a valid constraint set (see the constraint references at the bottom of the xml file) and does not even exist. You must manually edit the non-existent constraint ref- code to an existing ref- code and save the change before reading the xml file back into the PIT.

28 September 2000 - Fixed in 2002A release.
Can't select the same institution from the drop-down menu for consecutive co-Is:
There are two work-arounds: (1) select a different institution and then re-select the one you want, (2) copy the co-I and change the name (that way you get the basic phone, fax and institution e-mail details too).

9 September 2000
Linux and the twm window manager:
On start-up the PIT windows often do not appear at their correct size/shape when using the twm window manager which is bundled with Linux RedHat 6.x. It is possible to re-size the windows but this sometimes leads to missing text/screen sections. Users are encouraged to switch to either the Gnome Enlightenment window manager (also bundled with RH6.x) or fvwm2both of which allow the PIT to run-up and operate normally.

Gemini Observatory Participants