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Re: What do you think of VIP?

Grant W. Petty (gpetty@rain.atms.purdue.edu) writes:
> I recently received some promotional information from RSI concerning
> something they call VIP.  It's supposed to be a new visual programming
> interface that allows you string IDL modules together by linking them
> together on your computer screen rather than writing text programs
> containing IDL statements.  I got a demo CD for VIP but haven't yet
> had the time to install it on my HP workstation.

I would definitely take the time to install it
and see what you think.

> Is it flexible enough to do everything that one might 
> normally attempt in a traditional IDL program?  

It is flexible enough to do *many* of the things
one might attempt in a traditional IDL program.
It lacks a few of the more flexible programming
features (e.g., loops) that you might expect a first
release to lack. I hear these things are coming.

> Does the visual interface really speed up the programming
> process that much compared to typing an equivalent set of IDL commands
> (assuming one is already fairly comfortable with the IDL syntax)?  

I would say it can speed things up significantly, *especially*
if you are a lousy typist (say like 90% of the people who
take my programming classes :-). It certainly cuts down
on making and fixing typos. :^)

> In short, is it worth the money?

I honestly don't know how much it costs. But I do know
some people who have snatched up the promotional price,
because together with an IDL license it cost a lot less  
than a single IDL license. Hard to go wrong there! :-)


David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting
Phone: 970-221-0438 E-Mail: davidf@dfanning.com
Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/
Toll-Free IDL Book Orders: 1-888-461-0155