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2.4 Getting Help

As well as the command descriptions in this document (especially the reference section Appendix B) you can get help for STILTS usage from the command itself. Typing

   stilts -help
results in this output:
   Usage:
      stilts [-help] [-version] [-verbose] [-allowunused] [-prompt] [-bench]
             [-debug] [-batch] [-memory] [-disk] [-memgui]
             [-checkversion <vers>] [-stdout <file>] [-stderr <file>]
             <task-name> <task-args>

      stilts <task-name> help[=<param-name>|*]

      Known tasks:
         calc
         cdsskymatch
         cone
         coneskymatch
         datalinklint
         funcs
         pixfoot
         pixsample
         plot2d
         plot3d
         plothist
         regquery
         server
         sqlclient
         sqlskymatch
         sqlupdate
         taplint
         tapquery
         tapresume
         tapskymatch
         tcat
         tcatn
         tcopy
         tcube
         tgridmap
         tjoin
         tloop
         tmatch1
         tmatch2
         tmatchn
         tmulti
         tmultin
         tpipe
         tskymap
         tskymatch2
         votcopy
         votlint
         xsdvalidate
         plot2plane
         plot2sky
         plot2cube
         plot2sphere
         plot2time

For help on the individual tasks, including their parameter lists, you can supply the word help after the task name, so for instance

   stilts tcopy help
results in
   Usage: tcopy ifmt=<in-format> ofmt=<out-format>
                [in=]<table> [out=]<out-table>

Finally, you can get help on any of the parameters of a task by writing help=<param-name>, like this:

   stilts tcopy help=in
gives
   Help for parameter IN in task TCOPY
   -----------------------------------

      Name:
         in

      Usage:
         [in=]<table>

      Summary:
         Location of input table

      Description:
         The location of the input table. This may take one of the following
         forms:

          * A filename.
          * A URL.
          * The special value "-", meaning standard input. In this case the
               input format must be given explicitly using the ifmt parameter.
               Note that not all formats can be streamed in this way.
          * A scheme specification of the form :<scheme-name>:<scheme-args>.
          * A system command line with either a "<" character at the start, or
               a "|" character at the end ("<syscmd" or "syscmd|"). This
               executes the given pipeline and reads from its standard output.
               This will probably only work on unix-like systems.

         In any case, compressed data in one of the supported compression
         formats (gzip, Unix compress or bzip2) will be decompressed
         transparently.

      Type:
         uk.ac.starlink.table.StarTable
If you use "*" instead of a parameter name in this usage, help for all the parameters will be printed. Note that in most shells you will probably need to quote the asterisk, so you should write
   stilts tcopy help='*'

In some cases, as described in Section 2.3, you will be prompted for the value of a parameter with a line something like this:

   matcher - Name of matching algorithm [sky]:
In this case, if you enter "help" or a question mark, then the parameter help entry will be printed to the screen, and the prompt will be repeated.

For more detailed descriptions of the tasks, which includes explanatory comments and examples as well as the information above, see the full task descriptions in the Command Reference.


Next Previous Up Contents
Next: Invocation
Up: The stilts command
Previous: Task Arguments

STILTS - Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library Tool Set
Starlink User Note256
STILTS web page: http://www.starlink.ac.uk/stilts/
Author email: m.b.taylor@bristol.ac.uk
Mailing list: topcat-user@jiscmail.ac.uk