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Re: Lose control of IDL window

<philippe_fischer2000@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
> I have recently switched from using IDL in a UNIX environment to
> Windows2000 (not my choice!). When running a job in the idlde I lose
> control of the window while the job is running. I regain control once
> the job finishes. By lose control I mean I cannot maximize the window
> (if I have minimized from the toolbar), I cannot view output in the
> window and I cannot "break" out of the job. If I try to put the cursor
> over the idlde window it disappears. An example of job that causes this
> problem is:
> for i=1L,1000000 do print,'hi'
> Has anybody encountered this problem?

Er ... yes.

> I have been corresponding with
> somebody at RSI but he hasn't come up with any solutions yet.

That doesn't surprise me.

What does surprise me (slightly) is that the problem doesn't occur on Unix.
(I have run IDL on various versions of Windows for 7 years now, but hardly
ever on Unix.) I think it has to do with the differences between Unix (or
X-Windows) & Windows in how they allocate responsibility for managing
windows: in Unix the window manager can minimise a window but on Windows it
leaves this to the application. If IDLDE is busy then it neglects to manage
its window and all events received inside the IDLDE window boundaries are
queued up. The only exception seems to be that IDLDE clears its events when
a program calls the WIDGET_EVENT function. (But I am guessing to some extent

<old_fart_mode>Actually you young people of today don't know how lucky you
are. Back in the days of 16-bit Windows, running any time-consuming command
in IDL would make the entire machine unresponsive until the command had

Anyway to get to a solution (of sorts): Back in the 16-bit Windows days I
wrote a widget application that allowed other applications a look in by
calling the Windows API Yield function. This has metamorphosed over the
years into my MGHwaiter class. The idea is that you create a MGHwaiter
object then during a lengthy calculation you can make regular calls to the
object's Yield method. See:


I don't know if this "solution" is of any use to you. You may find, as I
have, that you can live with an unresponsive IDL window after all. Why not
play Pinball while the command is running? Or scan the comp.lang.idl-pvwave

Mark Hadfield
m.hadfield@niwa.cri.nz  http://katipo.niwa.cri.nz/~hadfield/
National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research
PO Box 14-901, Wellington, New Zealand