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… panel if not backgrounded. (#1151)

* FIREFLY-872: Make Job information available when it's a background job.
- Show job info icon in background monitor as well as loading mask when it's a background job
- remove unless backgrounding code
- use log4j to output logs to console as well as files when in a docker container
Changes from PR reviewer recommendations
- Move 'Table Meta' and 'Job Info' tabs from table options into table info and make table info show by default for all table
- Remove parameters and results from Job Info dialog
- Rename labels
- Change Copy to Clipboard to the once used in Image Readout
- Rearrange Mask Panel when there's error
- Add help icons to Job Info and Table Info dialogs
- fix package summary not showing
- Fix Job Info not updated when a new job is selected from background monitor
- Fix job info link is always available with it's a backgrounable search
- Fix: in background manager, show 'Job Failed' instead of error message
- Fix: info icon disappear when dialog is not wide enough to display full title/label

* FIREFLY-872: changes requested by science CCB
* FIREFLY-872: changes requested by PR reviews

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Note - if you are pulling, look at the branches section

Release Notes are Here.

Firefly builds are available on Docker and the notes for using it are on the Docker Page.

Firefly Framework

Firefly is being reused for various archives because it is a framework of archive components. This has allowed us now to implement multiple archive systems at a fraction of the cost of the first system, Spitzer Heritage Archive. Firefly has undergone an extensive re-write since then, adopted React/Redux framework for the client side, making it much easier to work with other JavaScript libraries. Recently we have adopted Plotly.js graphing library.

Firefly Viewer

By default, this repository builds a default example webapp. This tool can be used for viewing FITS data, catalogs, and xyplots. It is a general viewer tool for retrieving and viewing astronomy related data.

Firefly APIs

Firefly APIs exposes the most powerful components of Firefly in a way that can be used by any web page with no prerequisites. It allows any web developer access to Firefly's FITS visualizers or Table Tool with just a very few lines of JavaScript. The goal is to make these APIs very easy to use with only a 10 minute learning curve.

An important feature is that the Firefly APIs server can be installed cross-site. In other words, it is not required to be on the same server as the web page. Firefly APIs can do this because it uses JSONP or CORS for the server communication. This allows Firefly APIs not to be limited by the server's Same Origin Policy and to give the developer a lot of flexibility. The web developer does not have to do any installation, but can simply just start using Firefly APIs.


The firefly components contain three main visualizers for astronomy data.

Tabular Data Display

Firefly has implemented “Excel-like” tables on the webpage. In an easy, interactive way, a user can sort the results, filter the data on multiple constraints, hide or show columns, or select data for download or visualization. The Firefly APIs server is optimized to show very large tables without significant performance degradation. We have tested it with over 10 million rows, 50 column tables.

FITS and HiPS Visualization

Firefly provides a first-class FITS visualization on the Web without any plugins. All of the significant components you would expect to see in a basic desktop FITS application are available with data that Firefly displays. The FITS visualizer allows for overplotting any table data with Lon(RA) and Lat(Dec). Therefore, users can overlay multiple catalogs over their FITS image and interact with it.

In addition, Firefly is able to display all-sky images in the IVOA standard HiPS format, and display catalogs overlaid on them just as with FITS images.

Scientific Plotting

Firefly shows 2D graphs interactively so that a user can read the data point values as he moves his mouse around or zooms in to investigate the data at a finer level. These graphs are used for spectrum or plotting table columns. The user can specify any column that the tables are showing. The user can also define expressions from the columns for the XY Plot, such as (col1*col2/tan(col3)). Table based charts share their data model with the table, so both table and chart can trigger or respond to the common events, such as filtering of the data. Firefly also supports creating and plotting 1D histograms and heatmaps (2D histograms).


There are several branches the this repository. Here are the ones that you should care about.

  • rc-YYYY.N: The next release candidate branch. This is generally the most stable branch.
  • dev: This branch could be updated every day. It is the active development branch. It is not stable. Nightly builds are performed.
  • firefly-xxx-reason, IRSA-xxx: These branches are temporary development feature branches and are associated with corresponding tickets in IPAC Jira.
  • master: No longer regularly updated and should not be used by anyone.



Prepare before the build

  • Make sure you have <GRADLE>/bin, <JAVA>/bin, and <NODE>/bin in your PATH.
  • Install yarn via npm: npm install yarn -g

How to build Firefly.jar:

First git clone the firefly repository or download the zip (and unzip) to your target machine. Then install the prerequisites (node, java, tomcat).

In a terminal, cd into the firefly directory, then run:

$ gradle :firefly:jar

This generates firefly.jar located at ./jars/build/. You may include this jar into your project to build advanced astronomy web applications.

How to build and deploy Firefly Viewer:

In a terminal, cd into the firefly directory, then run:

$ gradle :firefly:war

To include the API documentation and tutorial into the war archive run:

$ gradle :firefly:warAll    

This generates firefly.war located at ./build/dist/. Simply drop this file into your $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/ directory to deploy it. $CATALINA_HOME is your Tomcat server installation directory.

Goto http://localhost:8080/firefly to launch Firefly Viewer. The documentation is accessible via http://localhost:8080/firefly/docs/js/index.html

Supported Browsers

Firefly supports the following browsers:

  • safari >= 12
  • chrome >= 81
  • firefox >= 79
  • edge >= 83

More Docs

Firefly JavaScript API overview

See (Deprecated [docs/])

Firefly Remote API using Python overview


Code Examples Using Firefly APIs

See (Deprecated [docs/])

Setting up the Server correctly for FITS files


Changing the Firefly runtime environment


Adding external task launcher or Python Launcher to Firefly


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