See the following sections:
Supported Platforms in IDL
||7 SP1, 8, 10
||10.10, 10.11 (El Capitan)
||Kernel 2.6.32, glibc 2.12
- Supported versions indicate that IDL was either built on the lowest version listed or tested on that version. You can install and run IDL on other versions that are binary-compatible.
- IDL Help requires an HTML5-compatible browser.
- An X-Windows manager is required for Macintosh. IDL was tested using XQuartz 2.7.11.
- The Windows installer installs both the 32-bit and 64-bit binaries so that you can launch IDL in 32-bit mode on 64-bit Windows systems. You can find the 32-bit versions of IDL in the IDL program group under Windows Start > Programs > IDL x.x > 32-bit (where x.x is the IDL version).
New Routines and Features in IDL
This section lists the new routines and features that are available in this release.
You can use the new ROUTINE_DIR function to get the fully qualified path to the calling routine, without the filename. This is useful when you want to open a data file that lives alongside your code.
Asynchronous Job Classes
The IDLAsync classes allow you to specify units of work to execute asynchronously outside the main IDL session. For a more detailed description, see the IDL Asynchronous Jobs topic in IDL Help.
- IDLAsyncBridgeJob: Represents a unit of work to be done at some point in the future inside an IDL_IDLBridge.
- IDLAsyncBridgeTaskJob: Allows the user to specify a single IDLTask that will be executed inside an IDL_IDLBridge.
- IDLAsyncJob: Represents a unit of work to be done at some point in the future.
- IDLAsyncJoin: Observes one or more IDLAsyncJob objects to know when they are done.
- IDLAsyncQueue: Manages a collection of IDLAsyncJob objects that are to be executed at some point in the future.
- IDLAsyncSpawnJob: Represents a unit of work to be done at some point in the future by spawning an external process to perform the work.
- IDLAsyncSpawnTaskJob: Allows the user to specify a single IDLTask that will be executed by the TaskEngine.
- IDLTaskJob: Provides an interface for any job that wants to run an IDLTask.
A new example has been added to the Images Gallery. The example shows how to read and display GOES-16 (GOES-R) data on a map projection.
The JOURNAL procedure has a new ALL keyword, which forces all informational messages (such as compile output and save/restore output) to be saved to the journal file.
On Windows, you can now set VIEWPORT_EVENTS=2 on WIDGET_DRAW to have the draw widege continously send events as the scroll bar is moved. This behavior was always true on Motif.
revision key was added to all task files, so that users can keep track of task definition changes between versions. Because of this update to the task template, the task schema key is now
Backward-Compatibility Issues in IDL
Fixed Issues in IDL
|IDL-69027: Index tab in IDL 8.x help can be slow
||Disabled the setting for partial word search so it does not start searching on every letter combination as you type in the index search field.
|IDL-69670: The results of the bionomial function do not match a user's expectations
||Reworked BINOMIAL to use the IBETA algorithm.
|IDL-69747: "idl" script from Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris MAKE_RT distribution is hard-coded to only work from original product install directory location
||Updated the startapp script so that if IDL_DIR is set, then the setting cannot be overridden.
|IDL-69799: JSON_PARSE/SERIALIZE mismatch on Double values
||Updated JSON_SERIALIZE precision for type double, to add one more digit.
|IDL-69845: RDPIX.pro is not working properly in IDL 8.6.1
|IDL-69834: 64-bit addressing problem
|IDL-69876: IDL Image() function throws an error on 3-band pixel data when x/y coordinates are also specified and need to be reversed
||Changed to use Reverse(), after determining which dimensions are x and y and not bands. Updated IDLitVisImage::_SetData to have same fix.
Known Problems in IDL
create animated GIFs
Because of vendor issues in the ffmpeg library, IDLffVideoWrite cannot
create animated GIF files. Use the WRITE_GIF routine instead.
drop event can cause IDL to crash if an error exists in the DRAG_NOTIFY callback
If there is an
error (such as an undefined variable) in the custom DRAG_NOTIFY
callback routine, IDL may freeze or crash since the error halts
execution in the child routine and IDL cannot return to the calling
Handle potential problems in the callback routine by including CATCH
statements in your code. See the documentation topic "Responding to
Drag Notifications (Callbacks)" for more information.
opened via links, shortcuts, or alternate paths
performance, IDL always compiles the first version of a file it finds
in its path. If you open a file in the editor and set a breakpoint,
then compile from a version of the same file with a different path, IDL
will not assume that the two files are the same. As a result, IDL will
not stop at the breakpoint set in the second file.
Alternate paths to
the same file can be constructed via UNIX links, Windows shortcuts,
mapped drives, or UNC paths.
Make sure that the full path to the file in which you set the
breakpoint is the same as the full path to the compiled file. If you
use the IDL Workbench, compiling using the Workbench menus or toolbars
will ensure that the same path is used for compilation and debugging.
a project or
directory within a project while the project is open causes exceptions
when the Workbench exits
a project file or a directory within a project is deleted from outside
the Workbench (for example, from Windows Project Explorer) while the
project is open, a warning message may be issued while the Workbench is
still running. An exception may occur on exiting the Workbench.
|IDL-51318, IDL-51322: Formatter
for keywords and class names are
ignored by the Source > Format
The keyword and class name formatting preferences
set on the IDL Formatter
preference page are not applied when the code is highlighted and the Source > Format
command is selected.
is corrupting .pro files with non-English characters
characters are converted to symbols when imported into the IDL
Workbench. Importing a .pro
file containing non-English characters in IDL permanently corrupts the
file with bad characters.
opening a file or before
saving an open file, change the file encoding to ISO-8859-1 for Spanish
or German, or to Shift-JIS for Japanese.
To change the encoding for an individual file, open the
file in an IDL editor, then select File
In the Resources dialog box, change the Text file encoding
To change the default encoding preference for IDL,
select Window >
In the Preferences dialog box, choose General
> Workspace. Change the Text file
|IDL-57214, IDL-58285, IDL-58839: IDL
Crashes occur on Macintosh
and UNIX when performing graphics operations where GL drivers are
Rename the gl_driver.so
file (located in bin\bin.<platform>)
|IDL-60473: Accessing Preferences while IDL is busy may hang the Workbench
||Trying to change Preferences while IDL is busy (for example, when a lengthy command is being executed) may cause the Workbench to hang.
|IDL-63902: Using the IDL_Java Bridge causes the Workbench to ignore the current directory in CLASSPATH
||Workaround: Copy the .class file to any other directory explicitly listed in CLASSPATH.
|IDL-69848: The COLORBAR function issues an error when used with the CONTOUR function
||The COLORBAR function does not behave as expected when used with CONTOUR. The labels, values, ticks, and colors seem to not work properly with the keywords and options.
|IDL-69817: In the Workbench, changing directory via CD clears the outline view of an open IDL source file
||If you enable the Outline view, then in Project Explorer, right click on a different folder in the same project and select "Set Selection as Current Working Directory," the outline view of the open source will be erased.
|IDL-69856: Issuing .RNEW after compiling a procedure causes IDL/IDLDE to crash
|IDL-69885: SCALE_FACTOR does not go back to 1.00 after being set to a value less than 1.00
||If you display an IMAGE in a WIDGET_WINDOW, set the SCALE_FACTOR to a number less than 1.0, and then reset 1.0, the resulting SCALE_FACTOR will not be 1.0.
|IDL-60599: On Macintosh OS, only one Workbench instance can run at a time
Even if the
preference "Prompt for workspace on startup" is set and multiple
workspaces are available, only one instance will run.
Workaround: Run the Workbench from the init
script located in the idlde.darwin.x86_64.app/Contents/MacOS
directory of your IDL installation.
|IDL-64149: Widget interface loses focus when selection is made in a drop-down list
In X11 Preferences, enable "Click-through Inactive Windows."
|IDL-67319, IDL-67320: Graphics
rendering causes memory and device errors
XQuartz version 2.7.2 causes these error messages when creating IDL
Graphics. When IDL is installed, the Macintosh operating system may
you to install the most recent version of XQuartz.
Workaround: Use the latest version of XQuartz.
the IDL Workbench on Macintosh may prompt installation of Java v1.6
If you launch the IDL Workbench on Macintosh without first having Java
v1.6 installed, the Macintosh OS may prompt you to install it first.
This will happen even though IDL includes Java v1.8. For more
information on this issue, please see: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11919004/eclipse-4-2-mac-os-x-10-8-ml-and-java-6
the Macintosh version of Java 1.6 when prompted. The Workbench will
continue to use Java v1.8 as it was installed with IDL. Another
workaround is to add a softlink as sudo from Frameworks 1.6 ->
as described in the link above.
|IDL-69858: IDL Workbench menus disabled on Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra) in non-English mode
||All menus in the IDL Workbench are greyed out on Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra).
applications to freeze until an event is sent to the application
events fail after 10 events. This problem happens in the following
Workaround: Chain timer events by setting the
next timer after any computations are completed. For smoother
performance, set the next timer based on how long the computations
execute, which accounts for variances in machine speed. For example, to
fire the timer once every second, set the next timer to 1.0 - (time
to perform computation)
- Timer events are chained together by setting the next
timer within the
handling of the current timer and before the "work" section of the
event handler is performed.
- The next timer goes off during the current timer
event processing (for example, during a lengthy calculation).
values is slow While IDL is busy or blocking
If you edit a
variable value using the IDL Workbench Variables view while IDL is busy
(for example, when a lengthy command is being executed, or when a
widget application is blocking), it may appear that the variable is not
being updated. The new variable value is displayed when IDL is no
longer busy. (Related to ID 49604.)
on Windows 7 may
have unpredictable behavior when using graphics
The cause may be
graphics cards that are unsupported in Windows 7. Please see a list of
supported graphics cards on the Microsoft.com website. You may want to
upgrade your graphic driver or switch the IDL Graphics preference to
use software rendering.
into a directory named with multibyte characters may
cause the IDL Workbench to not launch
If you are
installing IDL into
a directory that contains multibyte characters, path names in
idlde.ini file may be truncated.
In the <install_dir>\IDLxx\bin\bin.x86\idlde.ini
file, edit the following lines:
Line 2 should read:
Line 14 should read:
In the <install_dir>\IDLxx\bin\bin.x86_64\idlde.ini
file, edit the following lines:
Line 2 should read:
Line 14 should read:
for a C++ project that Uses COM_idl_connect.tlb needs to be in the
\bin directory to run
If you create a
C++ project that uses COM_idl_connect.tlb,
the .exe must be
installed in <install_dir>\bin\bin.x86
or <install_dir>\bin\bin.x86_64 to
Alternatively, you can add the install
path to the PATH environment variable.
|IDL-69849: Writing a large JPEG2000 file can cause IDL to crash
|IDL-69852: GOES-R projection does not fill properly with the MAP function
|IDL-69854: WV_CWT does not support any discrete wavelet families
||The IDL continuous wavelet transform WV_CWT function does not support discrete wavelet families, such as HAAR and SYMLET.
|IDL-69860: NCDF_GET returns wrong dimensions in case dimensions are odd
||When using NDCF_GET to retrieve the dimensions of variable #1 of a NetCDF 3 file which has odd dimensions, IDL returns the dimensions of variable #2.
|IDL-69870: Latest Windows 10 updates breaks saved IDL graphic text
||Windows 10 Version 1709, released 10/18/17 causes problems when saving IDL graphics to files. The entire text box is colored in.
|IDL-69873: IDL Workbench 64-bit Fails to launch for non-admin users on Windows 10 where Linux BASH is active
||If a machine has a Linux subsystem active on Windows 10, the 64-bit Workbench of IDL can fail to run for non-admin users. The workbench will open, but it will hang (and say "not responding"). No information loads in the IDL console.
|IDL-14221, IDL-30564: DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP
Causes IDL to hang when called from a modal widget
This is a known
problem with no known workarounds except to use DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP
with a non-modal widget.
does not run in
security enhanced Linux
versions of Linux implement mandatory access control in the Linux
kernel using the Linux Security Modules framework. IDL will not run in
such an environment without a modification to the security context for
the IDL binaries.
Workaround: Either disable SELinux or modify
the default security context for IDL. See Help
Article 3092 for details.
|IDL-43301: The upper
left corner of
a tree widget is never a valid drop zone
When the ability
to drag and drop tree widget nodes has been enabled, the UNIX tree
widget does not recognize the upper left corner of the widget as a
valid drop zone. This area typically extends over the icons of the
first two nodes (but not the labels). This is a vendor issue. You can
drop items onto the first two nodes by moving the cursor over the
labels instead of the icons.
Dataminer requires the latest
libraries used by
the IDL Dataminer module require a library that may not be available by
default on some newer Linux systems.
Attempting to run the IDL Dataminer may cause IDL to issue an error
similar to the following:
% DLM_LOAD: Error loading sharable executable. Symbol:
IDL_Load, File =/rsi/qa/unix/idl71/bin/bin.linux.x86_64/idl_dataminer.so
cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
You will need to install the appropriate libstdc++
compatible library for your platform.
IDL requires a
64-bit version of libXp. Red Hat-based Linux distributions such as RHEL
and Fedora may not install this library by default. On Red Hat you can
obtain this library using the following command:
yum install libXp.x86_64
crashes on Linux 64-bit running in the Workbench
DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP from the Workbench causes 64-bit IDL to crash.
Workaround: To set up a printer, launch IDL
in command line mode and run DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP. Once you have set up
a printer, the information is cached in your home directory. Then
printed IDL programs will go to the appropriate printer regardless of
whether you are running the Workbench or command line IDL.
crash in Ubuntu versions of UNIX
of Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions may not ship with
library, which is required by Xerces. You will need to download this
library and install it in the /bin/bin.linux.x86
directory of your IDL installation. (On 64-bit installations, this
directory is /bin/bin.linux.x86_64.)
graphics may fail with
software rendering on Linux
IDL graphics in
in software rendering mode may fail on Linux machines if the display is
local and Xinerama is not enabled.
Configure Xinerama on the system or run from the IDL command line.
|IDL-68960, IDL-68965: Java-IDL
Bridge with drawable Windows may not render properly
with software rendering
When using the Java-IDL Bridge with drawable
windows and software rendering, the window may not display anything.
Note that this affects the example code in the IDL documentation (IDLWindowExample.java and IDLgrWindowExample.java).
If nothing appears in the drawable window, change to hardware rendering
by setting your drawable object's RENDERER property to zero
|IDL-69332: Selecting the
Help preference can crash the IDL Workbench on some Linux systems
Selecting Window > Preferences > Help on
some Linux systems may cause the IDL Workbench to crash.
Workaround: Open the idlde.ini file and find the -vmargs
line. Add the following new line after the -vmargs line: