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Re: It costs how much?!!?!

Bill's message seems points to a growing trend which RSI had best be
concerned about-- IDL is not the only programming tool available these
days:  Wavemetrics IGOR, Mathworks MATLAB, and a few others are all
gaining ground and cost a fraction of what RSI charges for IDL!

If I didn't have access to a department site license for IDL I'd never
have begun using it.  As a grad student myself I am all for RSI reducing
the cost of single licenses to students!  I own a laptop which I take with
me on 'vacations' and field experiments and it is frustrating not to be
able to 'show off' my IDL plots at conferences or simply display my
results on the road.  Forget about the 'crippled version' though, I
develop both in C and IDL and it is essential that I can use both of these
tools together on my desktop computer and my laptop.

I know people have been promoting the use of Matlab around my department
as well.  By coincidence, I contacted the Mathworks sales department about
a single license for my laptop... Simply put: I need to be able to plot
results in the field and the cost of IDL is prohibitive.  I contacted RSI
also and I've been told there will be an announcement early in the new
year regarding OS support and pricing.  I'll give them until the
end of February.

One last thought:

Does anyone use GKS anymore? (GKS = 'Graphic Kernel Systems' which was
widely used at NASA and other atmospheric research labs for visualization
about 5-10 years ago). They had an equally nasty software license which
cost about the same as IDL and was node-locked, single-machine,
os-dependent, etc.  Could this be the fate of IDL?  

I wonder if there are any people from RSI-Kodak who are reading this


> > One final note, to those who commented about RSI not being interested in
> > marketing or selling to graduate students...  That is a very poor
> > marketing practice!  People are creatures of habit.  If you get all of
> > the physics graduate students using IDL, then you will have 90% of them
> > going out to industry and purchasing IDL.  On the contrary, why on earth
> > would I go out and buy IDL in my new job if I had never used it and
> > wasn't familiar with it?  We have a matlab licesnse available at school
> > and I have switched to it... the license is much more flexable and the
> > people at MathWorks are quite keen to have graduate students using thier
> > products (i.e. personal use student licenses of non-crippled software
> > are not $1000 CDN).
> Oh man, have I seen that before. Back where I used to work, every student workstation had
> Matlab on it and now some of those students are working there. And guess what they use?
> Unfortunately, Matlab has become more of a crutch than a tool for building/prototyping
> production software. Oh well. (That's not to say the same thing couldn't happen with
> non-judicious use of IDL).
> It seems - to me at least - that the licensing terms for IDL site licenses change often
> enough to elicite sighs of frustration from those who oversee then. The TC (tech
> computing) people back at the old job are now encouraging people to switch to (or start
> with) Matlab because they've had jack of dealing with IDL licensing (e.g. I asked if my
> laptop IDL 5.4 license was available and was asked "When you going to change to Matlab. 
> It seems to be all the rage." and then told "We just ordered a pretty good package for
> matlab.  We were able to purchase a department license, and a group of offsite licenses.")
> It seems Mathworks provides more flexible alternatives that allows the TC crowd to do TC
> stuff rather than chase around who's got what license and is it covered under this or that
> site agreement.
> Sheesh.
> Morning winge over. Sorry. Off for coffee.....
> paulv
> -- 
> Paul van Delst           Ph:  (301) 763-8000 x7274
> CIMSS @ NOAA/NCEP        Fax: (301) 763-8545
> Rm.207, 5200 Auth Rd.    Email: pvandelst@ncep.noaa.gov
> Camp Springs MD 20746