Here’s my picks for the most important IDL events of 2007 (and a bit of wishing for 2008):

  1. Workbench in IDL 7.0: While the new Workbench helped me immensely from the start, I think the most important aspect of the Workbench is that it provides a platform for future features. Now that there is a common code base for all the platforms, I have much greater expectations for the future. Plus, with the ability to install plugins, features can be added without ITT VIS having to do anything.
  2. Users group meeting: Does the users group meeting really mark a start to more openness from ITT VIS? There have been more postings on the newsgroup by ITT VIS engineers which has greatly eased the transition to the new Workbench. My biggest wish for IDL in 2008 is expanded ITT VIS support for the IDL user community: more users group meetings, a conference, and/or more online presence.
  3. IDL 6.4: Not only did IDL have two releases in year, but also pushed out a fix for a performance issue with the Workbench and a IDL 6.4.1 release to support Mac OS X “Leopard”. While only IDL 7.0 was a major release (although IDL 6.4 had some nice features, it wasn’t exactly earth shattering), each update relieved pain/increased joy for some IDL users.
  4. Command line for Windows: I haven’t been able to use this since I don’t have Windows anywhere right now, but I would really like to see the “bonus” features not available in the regular IDL command line. The Workbench brought a lot of improvements to the IDL development environment, I would like to see a few improvements for the command line interface as well.