Modern IDL

A Guide to IDL Programming

Modern IDL is an opinionated guide to using IDL, including information about recent versions of IDL, advanced topics, and best practices. Modern IDL is also a useful reference guide for both beginners and advanced users, collecting tables and lists of items that are scattered through the online help.

Topics includes:

  • A thorough tutorial on the core topics of IDL programming: variables, syntax, file input/output, creating routines.
  • Covers the IDL Workbench and other aspects of the IDL environment.
  • Comprehensive introduction to the object graphics system.
  • Using the iTools and new graphics routines.
  • Writing external routines and calling them from IDL.
  • Covers common problems and gotchas with many examples.
  • Advanced topics not normally found are discussed throughout the book: regular expressions, object graphics, advanced widget programming, performance, object-oriented programming, etc.
Modern IDL provides a thorough study of developing applications using IDL. This book has a place on the shelf of any scientist or developer using IDL.

What others are saying about Modern IDL:

... But I've always wanted a thorough, concise, up-to-date overview of the the IDL language and its vast capabilities. This is exactly what Mike's book provides in 464 very informative pages. Can't wait to have the "real thing" on my bookshelf. Highly recommended!

—Mort Canty, author of Image Analysis, Classification and Change Detection in Remote Sensing, With Algorithms for ENVI/IDL

In my opinion, Galloy has written an outstanding and comprehensive book covering a vast range of topics relevant to the current world of IDL programming. This is a terrific resource — one that I will definitely revisit time and time again.

—Lesa Williams, Exelis VIS Programming Consultant

Details. 462 pages. Published May 2011. English. 8.5 x 11 inches.

Michael Galloy is currently a Software Engineer/Programmer at NCAR. He works on data from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) in the High Altitude Onservatory (HAO). Previously, he worked as a research scientist for Tech-X Corporation involved in scientific visualization using IDL and Python. Before that, he worked for five years teaching all levels of IDL programming and consulting for Research Systems, Inc. (now Exelis Visual Information Solutions). He is the creator and maintainer of several open source projects including IDLdoc, mgunit, dist_tools, and cmdline_tools. He has written over 300 articles on IDL and scientific visualization for his website He is the principal investigator for NASA SBIR grants "Remote Data Exploration with IDL" for DAP bindings in IDL and "A Rapid Model Fitting Tool Suite" for accelerating curve fitting using modern graphics cards. He is a frequent contributor to the comp.lang.idl-pvwave Usenet newsgroup.