After the IDL 8.0 overview at the IDL User Group meeting last week, Bill Okubo also asked for a list of features IDL users needed. I think I have all the ideas people gave (along with some pertinent links to proof-of-concept ideas and background material):

1. better map projections
2. geo-browser export (i.e., to Google Earth, etc.) ([exporting from ENVI](, [discussion of doing it in IDL](
3. stereo display ([simple anaglyph system](, I also have code for using Alioscopy’s autostereoscopic monitors from IDL object graphics which I have not published yet)
4. a better widget system ([a way to make IDL bindings for Qt?](
5. easier runtime distribution ([`MAKE_RT` über-installation](
6. better handling of large data sets
7. better support for databases
8. integration of GPU and parallel processing (Tech-X does both [GPU]( and [parallel processing]( in IDL)
9. OPeNDAP support ([I have something coming soon for this!](
10. easier interface to gridding data
11. ability to read Matlab “.sav” file
12. better volume rendering

Thoughts? Did we miss something crucial?

*Full disclosure: I work for Tech-X Corporation and have worked on GPULib, FastDL, and the Remote Data Toolkit.*