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Re: IDL 5.4. Neato. NOT.

"Joseph B. Gurman" wrote:
> In article <39F9F19A.7912306D@ncep.noaa.gov>, Paul van Delst
> <pvandelst@ncep.noaa.gov> wrote:
> > p.s. FWIW, I applaud RSI for not caving and paying license fees for the
> > LZW/GIF stuff.
> Without any real details of the terms and conditions, I can't concur.

I made that statement somewhat based on my rather isolated and insulated usage of IDL but
mostly on principle (I reckon Unisys pulled a fast and dirty one) rather than real world
economies such as affects Joseph Gurman and Co. After reading his summary, it could be
quite a soul- (and budget-) destroying job having to convert a bunch of code to input and
output different image formats (despite Dennis Boccippio's suggested solution).

Maybe a better solution would have been for RSI/Kodak to offer licenses just for that
capability, e.g. you pay extra $$ and you get sent an extra "FEATURE" line for your
license.dat for LZW/GIF stuff. I have that option for my (unix based) Fortran/C/C++
compilers (i.e. extra $$, access to more compilers).

So, at the risk of it seeming I change my mind more than my underpants, I guess I agree
with Joseph Gurman.

Having said all that, I have never used IDL's ability to create GIF output mostly because
I think the text looks really crappy (although I recognise there are ways to improve the
look of the text output...not enough for my liking though). I create PS output and then
use Unix utilities (which are free or site licensed) to convert the PS->GIF. For cases
where I have done this on a semi-regular basis, I have run IDL within a shell script so
folding in the convert process was trivial (read: No SPAWN use). This, of course, isn't a
solution for Windows based (or Mac?) users.


p.s. My comments above are not to be confused with those for whom I currently work. Me
just peon.

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