What's New in IDL 8.6.1
What's New in IDL 8.6.1
Note: If you are new to IDL or upgrading from an older version, see also:
IDL Breakpoint Properties
In the IDL Workbench, when you set a breakpoint in your IDL code you can now control the
breakpoint's behavior. For example, you can set the breakpoint to only break once, to only
break after a certain number of hits, or only when a certain condition is met (for example
when a variable is a specific value). These breakpoint properties can be set by right-clicking
on a breakpoint and bringing up the "Breakpoint Properties" dialog, or from the "Breakpoints"
In addition to the standard way of specifying hex constants, you can now use a simpler 0x
notation. For example:
IDL> a = 'FF3A'x ; existing notation
IDL> a = 0xFF3A ; new notation
GOES-R Map Projection Support
IDL now has support for the GOES-R map projection. This map projection lets you convert
from longitude and latitude into GOES-R scan-angle radians, and vice versa. For details see
MAP_PROJ_INIT and the MAP function.
HDF5 Set Character Encoding
The IDL HDF5 module has a new H5T_SET_CSET routine that lets you set the encoding type to
either ASCII or UTF-8 for strings within datasets and attributes.
XML Parse Routine
The XML_PARSE function allows you to automatically parse an entire XML file or string into an
IDL ordered hash variable. You can then use simple array indexing to access all of the
attributes and values within the XML.
CDF Library Updates
The CDF_ATTPUT procedure has new keywords to let you specify the CDF data type for the
attribute. The CDF_COMPRESSION procedure now has new keywords to let you get or set a
variable's blocking factor for compression.
Convol Function Constant-Edge Keyword
The CONVOL function has a new EDGE_CONSTANT keyword. Set this keyword to a specific
value to make CONVOL compute the values of elements at the edge of the array as if the
array were padded by a constant value.
Octal Constants and Strings
Previously, if you tried to create a string that started with a double quote followed by a digit
0–7, then IDL would always attempt to interpret the string as an octal number. Now, IDL only
creates an octal constant if there is no trailing double quote. Otherwise, IDL will create a
string. For example:
IDL> a = "123 ; creates an octal number = 83
IDL> a = "123" ; used to throw an error, now returns a string
Near Side Perspective Map Projection: Ellipsoid Support
The Near Side Perspective map projection now supports both spherical and ellipsoid. Ellipsoid
support is critical for certain satellite images - for example, the GOES-R mission uses "GRS
1980" as its ellipsoid. For details see the MAP_PROJ_INIT function and the MAP graphics
Task Engine License Timeout
The Task Engine now lets you specify a timeout in seconds to wait for an available license. If
you have a limited number of licenses, this will allow your task to wait for a license instead of
TrueType Font Updates
IDL has new TrueType fonts for Helvetica, Times, Courier, Symbol, and Monospace Symbol.
For direct, object, and function graphics, these fonts should look more modern and should be
more consistent between font families.
For object graphics and function graphics, the new TrueType fonts are now embedded within
PDF and EPS files, which should give better compatibility between text on the screen and in
the file. In addition, for the TEXT function the Greek alphabet has been modified to be more
consistent with the default DejaVuSans font.
Note: For direct, object, and function graphics, when using TrueType fonts you may notice slight
differences in the appearance and position of characters compared to earlier IDL versions.
You can now use function keys F13–F24 as keyboard accelerators in your widget applications.
For a complete list of available keyboard accelerators see Accelerators in Widget Applications.
- The CDF library has been updated to version 126.96.36.199.
- The IDL Python bridge now supports Python 3.6.