IDL Programming Techniques Training Course
IDL Programming Techniques is a four-day course for those who want a comprehensive overview of IDL functionality, programming, and application development. The course concentrates on programming and graphical display techniques that are required to build both static and interactive IDL programs. Highly interactive, widget and object programs are emphasized. The course is suitable for those who have been working with IDL for some time and who want to move their IDL programming skills to the next level.
Each course is tailored specifically to the interests and abilities of the course participants. Feel free to bring your own data to use in the various examples and programming exercises. It is expected that each participant will leave the course with an IDL application program that he or she can use in their own IDL work. Each course participant receives a PDF copy of my IDL programming manual, IDL Programming Techniques.
Depending upon the level of the students, it is almost always required that we spend a day or two covering the basic material in the IDL Essentials course, so I have included that information here. We do this as quickly as we can, and in much less depth, so we can move onto the programming aspects of the course. If students are proficient in this aspect of their IDL knowledge, then this overview is done very quickly and the majority of the time is spent writing IDL programs of greater complexity.
IDL Programming Techniques Overview
- Setting up the IDL Environment
- Configuring the IDL Workbench
- Setting up IDL projects
- Understanding Color in IDL
- Indexed verses decomposed color
- How to write machine and device independent color programs
- Graphical Display of Data
- Brief review of line, surface, contour, and image graphical output
- Emphasis on writing machine and device independent graphical programs
- Output to PostScript, PDF, and raster file formats
- Reading and Writing Data
- General file input and output in IDL, both ASCII and binary
- Reading and writing standard image formats (PNG, TIFF, JPEG, etc.)
- Working with scientific data formats (netCDF, HDF, etc.)
- Much more emphasis placed on working with large data sets
- Review of Basic IDL Programming
- Defining and using positional and keyword parameters
- Handling program errors
- Techniques of program debugging
- Program documentation using IDLDOC
- Introduction to Widget Programming
- Writing the widget definition module
- Writing widget event handlers
- Communicating and passing data between widget program modules
- Getting widget programs to work together
- When and how to write a compound widget
- Introduction to Object Programming
- What are objects good for and when should they be used?
- Writing objects and their essential methods
- Object inheritance and how it can and can't work for you
- The myriad advantages of writing object widgets
- The advantages of writing and using an object library
- 1-2 years experience as an IDL programmer required.
- Familiarity with a high level programming language assumed.