Category "News"

[idl81-linejoin]: “Line joining in IDL 8.1”
[idl82-linejoin]: “Line joining in IDL 8.2”
[netcdf-lib]: “netCDF library routines”
[symbols]: “New symbols”
[whats-new]: “IDL 8.2 What’s New”

IDL 8.2 was [released today][whats-new], 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.”

[fall-meeting]: “IDL User Group 2012 Fall Meeting – Boulder, CO”
[visualize-2012]: “VISualize 2012”

In addition to [VISualize][visualize-2012] coming up soon in June, Exelis VIS is holding a [fall User Group meeting][fall-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)!

[envi 5 post]: “An ENVI 5 extension”
[batch programs]:
[^1]: My next question would be is there a way to write an extension that works for both old and new versions of ENVI? I think so.

The IDL Data Point has a [post][envi 5 post] showing an example of using the new object-oriented interface for user functions in ENVI 5. Mark discussed [batch programs] in ENVI 5 last week.

I don’t look forward to rewriting old ENVI user functions, but the new interface does look much better than the clunky old ENVI programming interface. My biggest question is how well is it documented?[^1]

This year’s VISualize, the IDL/ENVI User Group meeting, will have the theme “Climate Change and Environmental Monitoring.” It will be held June 18 to 19
in the World Wildlife Fund Conference Center in Washington, DC.

Exelis VIS is now accepting abstracts—due May 18! Not sure what I should talk about this year (I’ve talked about GPULib for the past couple of years), but I will definitely submit something and attend in any case.

[curator needed]:!topic/comp.lang.idl-pvwave/EXNcNsT0FVs “Web Site Curator Needed”

David Fanning [says he is retiring from IDL][curator needed]:

> I’m retiring. No, really, this time I’m really retiring. :-)

Hopefully this is a false alarm, but in any case, good luck David and thanks for years of valuable information!

I will be AGU next week (Tuesday through Thursday morning). I’ll be hanging out at the Tech-X booth (circled at right, just up from the NASA booth) most of the time, but will also be patrolling the posters and hitting a few talks as well.

Here’s our press release:

> Tech-X Corporation invites you to visit our booth (Booth #1748) at the [American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2011][AGU], December 5 – 9, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
> We will be featuring GPU Computing, including GPULib, our library of mathematical kernels for GPU computing.
> We will also be demonstrating the Remote Data Toolkit, which allows seamless access to remote data with IDL.
> Personnel from Tech-X and/or their collaborators will be participating in the following activities:

> Session A53C: Multisensor and Model Aerosol Data Inter-comparison and Synergy III Posters
> Friday, December 09 1:40PM – 6:00PM, Halls A – C

> A53C-0382 Aerosol type estimations for the ERBE period (1985 – 1989) Jose R. Fernandez, SSAI, Hampton, VA; Seiji Kato, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA; Fred G. Rose, SSAI, Hampton, VA; David W. Fillmore, Tech-X Corporation, Boulder, CO

Exelis VIS will be at booth #1431; I haven’t heard about if there will be an IDL user group meeting.

UPDATE: Also, if you have an iPhone, I recommend the [AGU app]. It has been very useful already for me.

*Full disclosure: I work for Tech-X Corporation.*

[AGU]: “AGU Fall Meeting”
[AGU app]:

Google’s cache of Usenet newsgroups seems to be down right now. I don’t see new posts since June 27 in the couple newsgroups that I regularly read, including the very informative IDL newsgroup `comp.lang.idl-pvwave`. But that doesn’t mean the newsgroup is not there; I actually hadn’t noticed anything was wrong until someone told me about Google’s problem because I access the newsgroup using a Usenet client reader with an actual Usenet news server.

This is not hard to do and is a much better experience: less spam, using native application interface instead of a web app, etc. Here are the basic steps to do this yourself:

1. Get an account on a Usenet news server. I use [Eternal September]( because it provides free access to text-only newsgroups like `comp.lang.idl-pvwave`.
2. Get a Usenet client reader. I use [Thunderbird]( from Mozilla; it is free and available on all the popular platforms.
3. Configure your Usenet client reader to use your Usenet server account. This depends on the client you chose, but is fairly straight forward from the information that your Usenet news server provides you.
4. When starting to use a new Usenet server, there is a process of downloading the list of available newsgroups and then subscribing to the one(s) you are interested in.

[Here]( is a detailed description of using Thunderbird with Eternal September to access a newsgroup, just use `comp.lang.idl-pvwave` instead of `rec.arts.disney.parks`.

You’re set to go, welcome to 1980!

UPDATE: articles are appearing on Google Groups again, but I still recommend using an actual news server.

ITT VIS is hosting a [webinar]( at 2 pm (EDT) about the new features in IDL 8.1. Topics for discussion:

> 1. Data Visualization, including new Graphics routines and display features, new mapping features and an interface that exposes event handling in a Graphics window
> 2. File Access, including reading and writing GRIB/2 files, writing to KML/KMZ files and new set of tools for creating high-quality video output to popular movie formats using the open-source FFmpeg library
> 3. Mapping, including new GSHHS high-resolution coastlines, updated country boundaries and reprojection tools
> 4. Image Processing, with new routines and updates to functionality in existing routines
> 5. Development, with the Workbench including source control management plugins for CVS, Subversion, Git and Perforce

Make sure to [register]( beforehand, you have just under two hours.

IDL 8.1 was released last week during VISualize. This caught me a bit by surprise, but I will do a few posts on 8.1 features in the coming weeks. Here are the basic features:

1. “IDLffVideoWrite“ class for high-quality video output in either mp4 or avi files. This uses the FFmpeg library.
2. There are now keywords to set event handlers for specific types of events in a new graphic or “WIDGET_WINDOW“ window.
3. Added methods for new graphics programmatic API.
4. Extended longitudes and high-resolution shorelines in MAP using GSHHS map database.
5. New methods for “List“ and “Hash“ classes: “::isEmpty“, “::count“, and “::findValue“ (like “WHERE“).
6. GRIB read and write programmatic API (containing 38 “GRIB_*“ routines) for UNIX and Mac OS X only.
7. KML/KMZ output options in new graphics “MAP“ function.
8. Workbench now comes with source control plugins for git, Subversion, CVS, and Perforce.

There are more features, so check the “What’s New” for more details.

ITT VIS has announced an expanded VISualize 2011 in Washington, DC on April 12 – 14. The new three day format will have Workshops on the first day (morning for IDL, afternoon for ENVI), a day for the IDL User Group Meeting, and a day for the ENVI User Group Meeting.

Abstracts for talks can be submitted until March 11:

> Suggestions for topic areas include, but are certainly not limited to:
> 1. Remote Sensing, GIS and Geospatial Applications
> 2. Atmospheric & Climate Applications
> 3. Data Analysis & Visualization
> 4. Astronomy, Astrophysics & Planetary Physics
> 5. Medical/Biological Applications

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