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No. of variables allowed?


I am having a rather severe problem with IDL 5.0.2.  I have a IDL data
file with a lot of variables, currently about 250.  When I ran a program
that created som new variables, I found to my horror that IDL was
replacing variable contents with the contents of other variables, i.e. a
variable called 'AREAID', intead of being a string array of size 16, was
now a float[193], etc. This was occuring without any warnings or error
messages being given;  only when some of  my routines begin failing due
to data having been overwitten did I realize what was going on. It
appears that when I attempted to create variables in excess of 255 (a
guess) , IDL began to randomly reassign existing variables with new
contents.  This is very disturbing, as the integrity of a lot of my data
is now in question.  Some questions:  Is there an absolute limit on the
number of variables in a .sav file?  Do later versions of IDL have this
limit?  Why is there no warning of a limit being reached? I realize now
that I need to compartmentalize my data and reduce the number of
variables in a single session, but I'm curious if others have had this
problem or have any suggestions.  Thanks in advance-

A slightly panicked
Med Bennett