Category "News"


IDL 8.7 was released recently. The listed features are:

  • ROUTINE_DIR function that returns the directory for the file containing the calling routine
  • asynchronous job classes
  • a few miscellaneous other updates

The asynchronous job classes look interesting:

The IDLAsync classes allow you to specify units of work to execute asynchronously outside the main IDL session. To do this, create an IDLAsyncQueue and one or more IDLAsyncJob objects that encapsulate the work to be performed. As jobs are added to the queue, they will be executed at some point in the future as resources are available. When a job is complete, you can retrieve its results for further use. You can also construct an IDLAsyncJoin object and pass it into the jobs on creation. If you do this, you can wait on the join object for all of the jobs it observes to be finished before continuing.

Check the release notes for more details.

VISualize 2013, the annual IDL user group meeting, is planned for June 12-13 at the WWF headquarters in Washington, DC. Registration and call for abstracts are now open.

There will be an ENVI and IDL User Group organized by Exelis VIS at this year’s AGU:

At the event you will:

  • See what’s new in ENVI and IDL and what’s coming down the road
  • Learn how you can access ENVI and IDL functionality in the cloud
  • Share feedback with us over complimentary food and drinks

The event is Wednesday December 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Jillian’s San Francisco.

I will be presenting a poster right before the User Group meeting. Drop by if you are interested in using GPU’s, accelerating curve fitting in IDL, or something else. The poster is IN33A-1529, “GPU accelerated curve fitting with IDL” and will be in Moscone South on Wednesday December 5 from 1:40-6 pm (I won’t be there the whole time, will probably do my time at the beginning of the session). I also did some work with IN53C-1744, “A Python Geospatial Language Toolkit”, on Friday December 7 at 1:40-6 pm, but I will be gone by that time.

Exelis VIS will be at booth #916. Tech-X will not have a booth this year, I’m focusing my energy on posters and individual meetings. If you are interested in getting together to talk, let me know!

The IDL Online Help is now online! I can now finally link to the help page for CONGRID.

Third party libraries are also included in the “Documentation Center“. My personal library1 is present, but the parsing of my routines used by the Doc Center doesn’t catch all the comments in the headers. I’m working on a release of IDLdoc that will produce Doc Center compatible output for the third party libraries that use IDLdoc.


  1. Although I have never really released a full version of my library. I’m trying to get a more complete version together—expect news on this soon. 

IDL 8.2.1 has been released:

Last, an editorial. Though 8.2.1 includes bug fixes (52 CRs closed), we’re also adding several new features, so it feels like more than just a maintenance release. I think this is a result of us getting better at the “release early, release often” software philosophy.

I’m downloading now.

UPDATE: note to Mountain Lion users—the Mac installer is not signed, so Mountain Lion will refuse to install it if you haven’t changed your defaults. To do a one-time bypass of this, right-click (or control-click) on the installer to get the popup menu and select “Open”. That will give you an option to install anyway.

Looks like IDL 8.2.1 is ready:

IDL 8.2.1 will be released next Wednesday, October 3. It includes updates to, primarily, (New) Graphics, the widget toolkit and the Workbench. I’ll have a more detailed listing, along with a link to download a set of programmatic examples, in a post next week.

From the version number I’m guessing this will be mostly bug fixes, but Mark does mention the addition of Brewer color tables!

The abstracts and presentations for VISualize 2012 are now available from the Exelis VIS website.

Also, James Goodman from HySpeed Computing wrote an article on his experience at VISualize:

A central topic of discussion in the presentation by HySpeed Computing, and a common theme heard around the conference, is the need for increased collaboration, improved access to analysis tools, and greater data accessibility.

I agree. Even though James was talking about the ENVI community and used the IDL community as an example with good code sharing, I think we could do a lot better.

Here are the slides and example code for my “Accessing climate data via DAP” talk at VISualize this year.

Also, note that Mark Piper’s talk “Using IDL+ENVI with NPP VIIRS Data” used some routines that I worked on last fall.

IDL 8.2 was released today, and while it might not have many headline grabbing features, there are some nice additions to IDL’s libraries as well as some fixes for old problems. The Workbench finally seems to work for me; a bug in the way curl library was linked was fixed, allowing me to use OPeNDAP on my Mac. Unlike releases like IDL 8.0 with its many new features and also many new bugs, IDL 8.2 feels much more stable to me.

Continue reading “IDL 8.2 review.”

In addition to VISualize coming up soon in June, Exelis VIS is holding a fall User Group meeting as well:

The IDL User Group Meeting 2012 will be held September 19-20 at the beautiful LASP facility on CU-Boulder’s East Campus. Please join us for presentations by members of the IDL community and by the IDL development team at Exelis VIS. We’ll also have a competition for the best IDL visualization. Pre-registration will be required since seating is limited.

The preliminary schedule is:

Day 1 (Wed Sep 19):

  • Short workshops on selected topics in IDL (bring a laptop, if you wish)
  • Presentations by the IDL development team
  • User discussion groups

Day 2 (Thu Sep 20):

  • User presentations
  • Visualization contest

I will definitely be there (especially since it’s less than two miles from here)!

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