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*Subject*: Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines*From*: Liam Gumley <Liam.Gumley(at)ssec.wisc.edu>*Date*: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 09:04:47 -0500*Newsgroups*: comp.lang.idl-pvwave*Organization*: Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison*References*: <7r90g4$rqb$1@nnrp1.deja.com> <37D82EA9.BA62A369@wellesley.edu> <7r9jbl$aem$1@nnrp1.deja.com> <37DCCE9A.F1AC4BF1@zedat.fu-berlin.de> <MPG.1246a891f3c895e19898eb@news.frii.com> <37DE1600.5E99BDE4@zedat.fu-berlin.de>*Xref*: news.doit.wisc.edu comp.lang.idl-pvwave:16530

FIT wrote: > I definitely disagree. It is inferior to Java, Python, C/C++ (if You're able to > program a little bit of OpenGL and Motif yourself) to name only some, far too > expensive, introducing new bugs with every release (maybe a merger with Micro$ > would be adequate), lacking hooks for any reasonable development environment (or > have You ever managed to get it to work with Rose or SNiFF+ to name only a few). The following excerpt from the 'History of IDL' in the IDL demo summarizes the philosophy behind the initial development of IDL in the early 1980s: "It became clear to him (David Stern) that his colleagues needed a computer language that went beyond the functionality of FORTRAN and provided easier, faster application development, data analysis and visualization. As a solution, Stern wrote the Mariner Mars Spectral Editor (an IDL prototype), a software language that successfully allowed scientists to test hypotheses without employing a programmer every time they needed to write or modify an application." The strength of IDL lies in enabling researchers to get results fast without a ton of programming. In the languages you mention, how may lines of code are required to read and display an 8-bit 512x512 gray scale image? In IDL, it takes four lines: openr, lun, 'image.dat', /free_lun image = bytarr(512, 512) readu, lun, image tvscl, image Those four lines of code will work on any IDL platform, and in under a minute you're looking at an image. I believe that most IDL users don't want to learn "a little bit of OpenGL and Motif" just to display an image. You must understand that for most IDL users, the *program* isn't the point: the *data* and the *visualization* are the point. Most of my colleagues don't get paid for writing elegant OOP applications; they get paid for coming up with new algorithms, visualizations, and publications from the analysis of remotely sensed data. IDL isn't perfect by any means, but as a cross-platform tool that provides researchers with a rapid analysis and visualization environment, it is hard to beat IMHO. Cheers, Liam. -- Liam E. Gumley Space Science and Engineering Center, UW-Madison http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/~gumley

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*Theo Brauers

**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*Karl Young

**References**:**ODEPACK***From:*ushomirs

**a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*Richard G. French

**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*ushomirs

**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*FIT

**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*David Fanning

**Re: a plea for more reliable mathematical routines***From:*FIT

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