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Monday, October 13, 2014
The ALOG2 function
computes the logarithm base-2 of the input variable.
The BigInteger class allows you to create and manipulate integer
numbers of any size. You can use BigIntegers in mathematical
expressions in combination with other BigIntegers or regular numbers.
The BigInteger class also has numerous methods for exploring the
properties of your BigInteger numbers. For example:
b = BigInteger(2)^1279 - 1
PRINT, '2^1279 - 1 is prime?', b.IsPrime() ? 'true' :
c = b.NextPrime()
PRINT, 'next prime is ', c - b, ' greater'
B BIGINTEGER <ID=1 LENGTH=1279 bits> =
2^1279 - 1 is prime? true
next prime is 2056 greater
For more examples see the BigInteger class.
You can now create BOOLEAN variables which only contain the values 0
(false) or 1 (true). Boolean variables are actually variables of type
BYTE with a special boolean flag. Because they are type BYTE, boolean
variables can be used anywhere that a byte variable is used.
There are also two new system variables, !TRUE
which are boolean variables with the value 1 and 0, respectively.
The boolean flag is used when printing out HELP information, when
modifying elements within a boolean array, and when converting to and
from JSON. For example:
a = [0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 3.0]
b = BOOLEAN(a)
b = "yes" ; equal to "true"
B BOOLEAN = Array
0 1 1 1
For more information, see the BOOLEAN and BOOLARR functions.
You can now analyze the code coverage for your applications using
function. The function returns the line numbers of code that were
executed and not executed for your given routine. In addition, the Code
Coverage feature has been integrated into the Workbench. You can turn
on Code Coverage highlighting for Editors, as well as display Code
Coverage statistics in the Profiler View:
For more details see the CODE_COVERAGE
function, the Code
Coverage Workbench page, and the Profiler
The new FOLDERWATCH
object monitors folders for changes and invokes a user-defined callback
whenever a change occurs. This enables IDL programmers to create a
"batch" client that watches a specified "hot folder" and subsequently
performs processing when specific conditions have been met (e.g. a file
has been added to, modified, or deleted from the folder).
; Get working directory
f = FOLDERWATCH( c, 'MyCallback', /ADDED )
The new FFT_POWERSPECTRUM
function computes the Fourier Power Spectrum of an array. In addition,
the function can return additional information including the amplitude,
phase and significance levels associated with the result.
The Generate Code
method generates the code needed to reproduce the contents of a
graphics window. This method can be used to generate code after changes
have been made interactively in the graphics window, e.g., moving,
resizing, or changing properties.
p = PLOT(/TEST, THICK=3, COLOR='red', LAYOUT=[2,1,1])
b = BARPLOT(/TEST, FILL_COLOR='green', LAYOUT=[2,1,2],
/CURRENT) p.GenerateCode, 'mycode.pro'
You also have the option to save all the data used in the
visualizations within the graphics window so you can share the
For more information on generating code, see the Generate Code Guide Me.
You can now create simple inline routines that can be used for
functional programming. These Lambda routines can be used with the new ::Filter,
methods, or you can simply call them as standalone functions or
procedures. For example:
; Use Map to return the square root of a number
var = [0:5]
PRINT, var.Map(LAMBDA(n: sqrt(n)))
0.000000 1.00000 1.41421 1.73205 2.00000 2.23607
Next use Lambda with the Filter method to return prime numbers:
var = [2:50]
lam = LAMBDA(n:n le 3 || MIN(n mod [2:FIX(SQRT(n))]))
newvar = var.Filter(lam)
2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47
We can also make function calls directly on the returned Lambda
; Are these prime numbers?
PRINT, lam(499), lam(4999), lam(49999), lam(499999),
1 1 1 0 1
See LAMBDA and LAMBDAP for details.
You can now access special attributes on all IDL variables. For
var = RANDOMU(seed, 200, 100)
These attributes provide a convenient shorthand for the SIZE,
N_ELEMENTS, and TYPENAME functions, and are also faster to call. See Variable
Attributes for details.
You can now call special static methods on all IDL variables except
objects and structures. For example:
var1 = RANDOMU(seed, 200, 100)
var2 = var1.Sort()
VAR2 FLOAT = Array
Another example using strings:
str = " IDL is Hard. "
if (str.Contains("hard", /FOLD_CASE)) then $
str = str.Replace("hard", "fun", /FOLD_CASE)
str = str.ToUpper()
str = str.Trim() ; remove leading/trailing whitespace
IDL IS FUN.
In many cases, calling the static method will be faster and more
efficient than the equivalent function call. For example, the ::Sort
methods both avoid making an intermediate "index" array and just return
the sorted or unique elements.
Many of these methods provide new functionality. For example, see
For details see Static
Methods and Attributes.
The ARRAY_EQUAL function has new keywords: NOT_EQUAL and QUIET. The
NOT_EQUAL keyword reverses the meaning of the test, which is useful for
checking whether an array contains a particular value or not. The QUIET
keyword suppresses any type conversion errors. See ARRAY_EQUAL for
ERRORPLOT has two
new properties: ERRORBAR_LINESTYLE and ERRORBAR_THICK, to control the
linestyle and thickness of just the error bars.
procedure now has a RECYCLE keyword, which will send files to the
operating system's recycle (or trash) bin, instead of permanently
deleting them. This keyword is only available on Windows platforms and
is quietly ignored on other platforms.
The List, Hash, Dictionary, and OrderedHash objects have three new
The List object also has a new NestedMap method, which passes the
data values and arguments in a nested loop, to perform list
For details see List,
Dictionary, and OrderedHash.
You can now create Hash and OrderedHash objects with
case-insensitive keys. If the FOLD_CASE keyword is set, then the case
for string keys will be ignored when accessing keys, adding new keys,
removing keys, or changing values. Note that even though the key
matching is case insensitive, these objects always preserve the case of
the key when it was originally set. See Hash for details.
The List object has a new List::Sort
method which lets you sort the list elements using an optional compare
The IDL_Container class has the following improvements:
For details see IDL_Container.
Better chromacoding and formatting for structure fields and system
Added TICKUNITS="numeric" and TICKUNITS="scientific" as optional
types to IDLgrAxis.
If a routine is marked with compile_opt
nosave, then it will be excluded from IDL save files, unless the
routine was specifically included as an input argument to the SAVE routine. See compile_opt for
You can now unregister properties from any object than inherits from
IDLitComponent. Unregistered properties will no longer appear in the
Property Sheet for that object, but can still be accessed through
::GetProperty and ::SetProperty. See IDLitComponent::UnregisterProperty
By default, graphics windows are created with a toolbar containing
some common tools such as Print and Save. You can use the new
NO_TOOLBAR keyword to avoid creating the toolbar. This allows you to
create graphics windows that are smaller than the default size. This
keyword is available on all graphics functions such as PLOT or WINDOW.
By default, when saving to a bitmap that is less than 300
dots-per-inch, IDL will now use anti-aliasing to produce a
smoother output image. You can use a new ANTIALIAS keyword to control
this default behavior. See the ::CopyWindow and ::Save methods for details.
The ISA function has new keywords: COMPLEX, FLOAT, INTEGER, STRING.
These allow you to test the data type of the input variable. See ISA for details.
When converting an IDL structure, you can now set a new LOWERCASE
keyword to convert the tag names to lowercase in the resulting JSON
JSON_SERIALIZE now converts byte values into integer values (in the
range 0–255) instead of a "true/false" boolean. Before, JSON_SERIALIZE
used to convert all non-zero byte values to "true", which caused a loss
IDL's object and new graphics now allow you to input Unicode
characters that have up to 8 hexadecimal digits. For example:
p = PLOT(/TEST, TITLE="!Z(10900)", FONT_NAME="Aegean")
cURL library updated to version 7.36.0.
OpenSSL library updated to version 1.0.1g.
HDF5 library updated to provide read-only support for SZIP (v2.1)
The TIMER object now
has Block and Unblock methods. IDL no longer automatically interrupts
In previous versions of IDL messages from FFmpeg would be reported
as errors and IDLffVideoRead
object initialization would fail.
Now in IDL 8.4 if the video file contains any video or audio codecs
that are not supported then IDL will quietly ignore these codecs and
continue to open the file.
Users can set the new VERBOSE keyword to force IDL to issue
informational messages when it encounters any unsupported codecs.
IDL 8.4 will be the last version to include the
obsolete Live Tools routines. After IDL 8.4 these routines will no
longer be included with the IDL distribution.
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