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Re: Top 10 IDL Requests

Mark Hadfield wrote:
> "Paul van Delst" <pvandelst@ncep.noaa.gov> wrote in message
> 3985E8F2.76182471@ncep.noaa.gov">news:3985E8F2.76182471@ncep.noaa.gov...
> > Mark Hadfield wrote:
> > >
> > > > "Kristian Kjaer" <Kristian.Kjaer@Risoe.Dk> wrote in message
> > > 3981DA40.F3BC8FC9@Risoe.Dk">news:3981DA40.F3BC8FC9@Risoe.Dk...
> > > >
> > > > A print button (and an equivalent cmd-line command) which would work
> > > > on (direct) graphics already rendered to the screen (using std. direct
> > > > graphics commands) would null _the_ major quirk in IDL, IMHO.
> > >
> > > And how would it be done?
> >
> > Who cares? This is an implementation (i.e. an RSI) issue.
> But your solution, like others, doesn't work "on (direct) graphics already
> rendered to the screen ", because the graphics already rendered to the
> screen are now just pixels.

I'm not disputing anything you said - I agree with you all the way
(hence my attempt and WPLOT result), but at the end of the day I want to
be able to say

PLOT, x, y


SURFACE, x, y, z



and have the graphics window pop up as usual but with a toolbar with
"Output to Printer" or "Output to PostScript" buttons. I click on either
and the appropriate action is taken.

How that functionality is implemented, e.g. objects graphics, direct
graphics saving commands, or direct graphics reading pixels from the
screen I absolutely do not care. I just want printable/importable plots.
Your objections as to how any of this can be done with the current
incarnation of direct graphics commands are noted, but since *I* don't
want to write the software that does it, it's a moot point to me (and
most other users I imagine).

The thing I like most about IDL is that it is easy to get stuff on
screen to look at it, visualise the data. I don't think it's too much to
ask nowadays for a little bit extra extending that to some form of
hardcopy(to printer) or softcopy(to PS file) output.

Since I'm harping on about this, I think a graphics window with a mouse
driven zoom in/out rubberband box capability (ala DF's xwindow or
whatever it's called nowadays) should be *the default* graphics window.
Farting about with X/YRANGES on the command line seems terribly clunky.

I think this sort of stuff is something that wouldn't be terribly hard
to do (at least by the RSI people) but that would add considerably to
the ease of use of IDL. I don't know why they haven't grabbed some of
the user community's software (or the ideas/needs that drove their
generation) and incorporated it in the basic IDL package
(licensing/copyright issues notwithstanding).

Maybe we need a more direct line for the IDL user community to the ears
of RSI folks that make the decisions than via the chance opportunity
that David encountered by meeting an RSI VP at a picnic (or whatever).

Phew! I'm outta here.

Paul van Delst           Ph:  (301) 763-8000 x7274
CIMSS @ NOAA/NCEP        Fax: (301) 763-8545
Rm.202, 5200 Auth Rd.    Email: pvandelst@ncep.noaa.gov
Camp Springs MD 20746