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Re: Alpha/UNIX rehosting question

wbiagiot@suffolk.lib.ny.us wrote:
> In the near term, I might be faced with porting my IDL application from
> a Win95/98 platform over to an Alpha/UNIX combination.  I would like to
> ask if anyone is currently using IDL in this configuration and if there
> are any outstanding problems/inconsistancies or anything that I should
> know.  A couple of years ago, I was a Sun Solaris user but have lost my
> edge after being numbed with MS Windows.

A few things to watch out for:
(1) Byte order
Although the Alpha/Unix combination has the same byte order as Windows,
now would be the time to make your application independent of host byte
order. I say this because if you get your application running smoothly
on Alpha/Unix, then someone will want to port it to another Unix
platform. If you've been dealing with ASCII, 8-bit, or netCDF/HDF etc.
data only, then there's no problem. However if you're reading or writing
any kind of multi-byte data, then I'd take some time to sort it out.
(2) 24-bit vs. 8-bit display modes
Whenever you port to another platform, you're bound to run into cases
where someone will have a different display depth (8 or 24). Now is the
time to make sure your application runs equally well in either display
(3) Files and directories
If your application filenames and directories, you'll need to make sure
the relevant routines are equally happy with Windows or Unix path
(4) Widgets
If your application uses widgets, then you'll be ok as long as you've
mostly relied on IDL for widget positioning and sizing. If you've
tailored your widgets for Windows with lots of xsize, ysize, xoffset,
and yoffset keywords, you'll have some work to do on Alpha/Unix.


Liam E. Gumley
Space Science and Engineering Center, UW-Madison