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Re: Top 10 IDL Requests

Michael W Asten (masten@mail.earth.monash.edu.au) writes:

> 1) Try harder to keep backward compatibility when releasing new
> versions, eg how silly when the TODAY function disappeared on transition
> from idl5.2 to 5.3 (problem with y2k compliance apparently).

I'm sure it is obvious to anyone who has ever written any
code at all, but I'll point it out nonetheless: it is often
the case (more often than we would like to admit, probably)
that "new features" and "backward compatibility" are mutually
exclusive software properties. Certainly anyone perusing
these Top 10 Requests has to be struck by how hard it would
be to accomplish all that is desired and still be able to
run legacy code.

For software that is nearly 20 years old, IDL does a 
remarkable job of backwards compatibility. True, it
is often at the expense of awkwardness and funny
syntax. But I for one applaud their efforts.


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