Fanning Software Consulting

Reader Comments on IDL Programming Techniques

Here are some comments and reviews of IDL Programming Techniques from people who have used the book.

"I just want to express my gratitude for your IDL programming book and the programs on your web site. I learn every day from that book and it is without doubt the book I have used most often during my research. Many of my fellow students are always asking "why don't they have that book at the library?" ... and I just sit back with a little smile and my personal copy. It is simply the best book to learn IDL from that I have ever seen. Your examples are very general and I have used many of them while learning to write my own programs. It has absolutely made my life as a student/researcher easier! Hope you keep doing this! "

Kim Nielsen, Fairbanks, AK

"Just received the 2nd edition and couldn't put it down till I finished the new chapter on objects! Even though I bought the 1st edition last year, that chapter was was worth the entire price. Although I had taken the RSI course in object graphics a few years ago, I didn't appreciate their general applicabilty. You've motivated me to start writing (and re-writing ) all my code with objects, they are fun! "

Peter Kupferman, Los Angelos, CA

"I've only had your book for two days now and it has already answered many of the questions I had left over from my reading of the IDL manuals. I appreciate the style in which you've written the book (i.e. providing simple IDL codes followed by a paragraph on the codes functionality). You have a knack for writing about the common points of confusion that IDL programmers encounter. "

Todd Ehlers, Salt Lake City, UT

"First of all, I bought your book (IDL Programming Techniques, 2nd Edition) many months ago and still find it to be a useful resource. It's well-written, informative, and provides a fine dose of humour that takes the edge off the process of learning something new. (And hey, you even checked the spelling/grammar unlike the RSI training manuals!). Well done!"

Merle Robertson, Ontario, Canada

"Although I've been using IDL for eight years, I never actually understood why or how many things worked (or didn't). I just came up with code by a combination trial and error, cannibalizing other people's codes, and trying to decipher the cryptic IDL manuals. After one evening with your book, I actually understood why the colors of my IDL plots change from one system to another, and how to write IDL programs so that the colors don't go weird on someone else's computer. Not a word about any of this in the IDL manuals. I may never open the IDL manuals again...just your book. WELL DONE!!"

Dr. Curtis Mobley, Senior Scientist, Sequoia Scientific, Inc.

"I have had access to your book for only about a month. Fantastic! I spent 10 years teaching physics and math so I have been around the block a number of times with how-to-manuals. You've a great product here; in just this short time I have been sprouting all sorts of new ideas for our local applications based on examples in your book. Thanks! The best chapter to me is "Writing an IDL Program" - very good stuff and a very good read."

Ben Tupper, Portland, ME

I learned a lot from studying the examples provided on your web page and in your book, which I purchased immediately after publication. This helped me a lot writing my own IDL code. On the other hand, your explanations showed me how awful some of my IDL programs were written, which meant I had to revise hundreds of lines of code (grin).

Karl Krieger, Garching, Germany

"This book is an excellent reference for beginner to experienced IDL users. David Fanning is the foremost authority on the teaching of IDL. His vast experience both programming and training others to program in IDL has been brought to bear on this thorough and hands-on reference. The style of programming he encourages has been formulated through the continuous and welcome input of the entire IDL community, and the techniques he covers describe practical solutions to many real-world problems IDL users encounter. A must-have for those who want to get the most out of IDL."

J.D. Smith, Ithaca, NY

"This book is a well organized coverage of essential IDL topics. David Fanning has reduced the 2000 or so pages of the standard IDL manuals to 300 pages of very useful techniques, tricks and examples. Data and programs used throughout the book are available from his continuously updated web site. The programs are appropriately aimed at engineers and scientists, and can be easily reused or extended during daily development and testing. David displays good programming style while explaining IDL's powerful capabilities in plotting, image processing, data handling and GUI design."

Mike Schienle, Lompac, CA

"Thank you for the help, my program works perfectly now. I would like to say thank you again for your brilliant training course in England last October. None of my IDL programs would have been possible without your inspired teaching and great book!"

Robert King, Sussex, England

"I just wanted to give you some feedback on your book. We needed to read some data placed in an Excel file, then exported as a file. With your book we were able to read their constructed header and .csv file. The key was your clear "output" examples, which demonstrated the read results (couldn't find this in the IDL books). The more detailed step by step process of the ReadF command really helped.

"Also I have been lazy using screen dumps (HyperSnap) for hardcopy output, thus avoiding the PostScript file. Well, your book saved me again with its much more detailed approach when we needed some better prints for a talk. Thanks very much!"

Gary Sullivan, Los Alamos, NM

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