Category "News"

ITT VIS hosted a users group meeting at AGU to announce IDL 8.0. With over 40 IDL users in attendance, Bill Okuko, IDL Product Manager, gave an introduction to the major features while Chris Torrence, IDL Development Manager, provided the details.

The main goals of this release are to "modernize and simplify" IDL. The features discussed fell into four categories: Workbench, language, graphics, and a new graphics API.

Continue reading "AGU IDL Users Group Meeting."

ITT VIS will be holding a [IDL User Group Meeting]( at AGU this year on Wednesday December 16 starting at 5:00 pm. And, of course, they will also be in the exhibit hall at booth 821.

Tech-X will also be in the exhibit hall with a couple IDL-related products: GPULib and the Remote Data Toolkit, my project to improve remote data access using DAP in IDL. I will be at the booth regularly, though not all the time, from Monday through Wednesday.

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

An issue with using `SCOPE_VARFETCH` inside the IDL Workbench (discussed in [this]( `comp.lang.idl-pvwave` thread) has been fixed in the IDL 7.1.2 patch:

> The fix is CR56369 and it is now available in the IDL 7.1.2 patch
release. Please note, you will need to contact ITT VIS Technical
Support (TechSupport at ittvis dot com) for the link to download this patch.
Be sure to mention your OS platform and architecture (32 or 64 bit).
Other than this CR, this patch release fixes an issue with extended
ascii characters.

> Bill Okubo, IDL Product Manager

The [3rd Annual IDL User Group Meeting]( will be February 24, 2010 at LASP in Boulder, CO.

The call for presentations is open. There will also be an image competition again—winner will receive an iPod Nano. Submit abstracts and image entries to `` by January 30, 2010.

There will also be a pre-conference day of hands-on sessions:

> In addition, on February 23, 2010, ITT VIS will host a full day of hands-on seminars for those interested in learning more about IDL and the wide range of new functionality that is coming out in IDL 8.0. Space is limited in these hands on workshops, so please register early to save your spot. Refer to the Pre-Conference Sessions Tab above for more information. Due to the number of people in this workshop, you must provide your own laptop for this hands-on seminar.

More details to follow.

Win a free Wii in the [Opticks Open Source Programming Contest]( by writing an Opticks extension in C++, Python, or IDL. I'm not familiar with [Opticks](, but it looks like an ENVI competitor:

> Opticks is an expandable remote sensing and imagery analysis software platform that is free and open source.

ITT VIS is doing an [object-oriented programming in IDL]( webinar on October 21.

From the [newsletter](

> For IDL, release 8.0, scheduled to release mid next year, will add new language features and visualization experiences aimed at breaking down the barriers between complex data and actionable results. IDL users will quickly and easily be able to create highly interactive visualizations from their complex data sources, while also IDL’s powerful analysis capabilities. In addition, new language features will allow customization of visualizations with ease and efficiency, allowing users to concentrate on analysis.

ITT VIS has a [YouTube channel]( There are quite a few videos describing ENVI features, all of which were uploaded about three weeks ago. They are marketing-oriented, but still provide some useful information about ENVI's capabilities. A programming language is not as easy to create a video for, but it would be nice to see some for IDL.

The format for VISualize 2009 was 8-10 talks, each 30-45 minutes long, per day with a couple 15 minutes breaks and an hour long catered lunch. The networking on the breaks and lunch was great, but I would encourage even more time devoted to things other than talks next time i.e. panels, lightning talks, birds of a feather sessions, hands on training, un-conference time, etc. There is somewhat of a trend in conferences of becoming more interactive and I think VISualize (and the other ITT VIS seminars) should follow it.

On the other hand, all the talks were well done, interesting, and relevant. Several of the talks were similar to [talks at the fall IDL User Group meeting]( in Boulder, so I won't go into them: Richard Azuah from the NIST Center for Neutron Research talked about building an application using the iTools framework; Rob Dimeo from the NIST Center for Neutron Research talked about using IDL to visualize quantum mechanics; John Quillen from Jacquette Consulting talked about Slither, the IDL to Python bridge (Jason Ferrara gave the fall talk, though); and Peter Messmer from [Tech-X Corporation]( talked about GPULib. Ronn Kling also talked in the fall, but on a different topic.

Continue reading "VISualize summary."

Bill Okubo, product manager for IDL at ITT VIS, gave an overview of the roadmap for the next few versions of IDL at the VISualize 2009 meeting in Washington, DC last week.

I'll list the highlights from my perspective below, but I believe Bill's presentation should be available from the ITT VIS website soon ([here's the link]( to the shorter presentation given last fall at the IDL User Group meeting in Boulder). For IDL 7.1:

1. 24-bit color PostScript in direct graphics
2. command line for Windows
3. multibyte text support for object graphics
4. iTools procedural API
5. interactive opening of data files from Workbench
6. drag and drop visualizations
7. plugin update site wizard
8. enchancements to Workbench project build process
9. new image processing filters for noise reduction and image restoration

Beyond IDL 7.1 (see the diagram above for when these are planned for release):

1. modern interactive graphics
2. modern language features (associative arrays, lists, operator overloading)
3. modern UI toolkit
4. "Workflow Solution to visually drive user defined workflows" (I believe this is integrating tools to do common tasks into the Workbench)

So what would you like to see in IDL?

I'm hoping to post more about the seminar over the next few days.

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