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Coyote IDL Program Libraries

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***Programs by Function

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***Programs by Name

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Overview of Libraries

My original goal for writing the programs in the Coyote Library was to have a library of well-written and well-documented example programs for the students attending my IDL programming courses. But, of course, over time the library evolved into programs that became indispensible in my own IDL programming work. There are still a number of example programs in the library, but for the most part these programs are the bread and butter of my own daily IDL programming practice. Indispensible to me, if not to you.

In addition to the Coyote Library, as of October 2008, I have also made the Catalyst Library available. This is an IDL object library that David Burridge and I originally wrote in 2003 for a large satellite image application. It has evolved over time into something that I use in nearly all of my IDL consulting projects. The name “Catalyst ”comes from the notion that we have been able to build fairly sophisiticated applications with the library in a fraction of the time it used to take us. The Catalyst Library is a framework for building IDL applications. This is similar to the iTools framework, with the very important difference that the Catalyst Library can be programmed by mere mortals. In other words, if you can write an IDL widget program, you know everything you need to write a Catalyst Library application. For the most part, Catalyst Library applications use direct graphics methods, even though everything in the library is an object. You do not need to know any object graphics, or any iTools functionality to use and build programs with the library.

I hope you find these programs useful to you and instructive as well. If you ever have a problem with one of the programs, please contact me. Your satisfaction, while not strictly guaranteed, is always carefully considered. And if one of these programs is just what you have been looking for, consider making a contribution to the work.


Downloading and Installing the Libraries

Coyote Library

Many of the Coyote Library programs require others in the library to work properly. It is best to download all the Coyote Library programs at once as a zip file. Extracting the zip file will install a directory named coyote on your machine. Add the coyote directory to your IDL path. There are many ways to add the coyote directory to your path, but something like this, typed at the IDL command line, or executed in an IDL start-up file, always works:

Windows -- Assuming the files were extracted to the "C:\idlfiles\coyote\" directory:

   IDL> !PATH = Expand_Path('+C:\idlfiles\coyote\') + ';' + !PATH

UNIX -- Assuming the files were extracted to the "~/idlfiles/coyote/" directory:

   IDL> !PATH = Expand_Path('+~/idlfiles/coyote/') + ':' + !PATH

If you are looking for retired or obsolete Coyote Library routines (e.g., TVImage or FSC_Surface) you can find them in this zip file. If you are looking for example code using the Coyote Library, visit the Coyote Plot Gallery.

Catalyst Library

The Catalyst Library is also available as a zip file. The Catalyst Library requires the Coyote Library, so it is necessary to install both libraries to use the Catalyst Library. (Please use the most recent version of the Coyote Library. If you haven't updated your Coyote Library in a while, this is an extremely propitious time to do so!) Create a catalyst directory somewhere on your machine (inside the coyote directory you created above is a good choice) and extract the files to this directory. Be sure both the coyote and catalyst directories are on your IDL path. There are many ways to add these directories to your path, but something like this, typed at the IDL command line, or executed in an IDL start-up file, always works:

Windows -- Assuming the files were extracted to the "C:\idlfiles\coyote\" and "C:\idlfiles\catalyst\" directories:

   IDL> !PATH = Expand_Path('+C:\idlfiles\coyote\;+C:\idlfiles\catalyst\') + ';' + !PATH

UNIX -- Assuming the files were extracted to the "~/idlfiles/coyote/" and "~/idlfiles/catalyst/" directories:

   IDL> !PATH = Expand_Path('+~/idlfiles/coyote/:+~/idlfiles/catalyst/) + ':' + !PATH

Github Repositories for the Coyote and Catalyst Libraries

The Coyote and Catalyst Libraries can also be obtained in the Open Source project idl-coyote. This is a collection of Github repositories where you can obtain officially released copies of the Libraries as well as up-to-date versions of the programs contained in the Libraries.

Motley Library

Note that I am also proud to host Mark Hadfield's Motley Library of IDL programs, too. Mark is an excellent IDL programmer and you will find excellent object graphics programs, elegant object classes, and means for acessing netCDF files, among lots of other programs in this excellent collection.


Retired Coyote Programs

From time to time, Coyote programs are retired. Sometimes this is because the program is no longer useful, but more often it is because a name change is required to avoid stepping on other programs with similar functionality. Sometimes it is because I want to include new functionality and a name change is appropriate. Retired Coyote programs do not disappear. They are just located in a different place. If you need them you can always find them. You can download a zip file containing all of them. Be advised, however, that no updates are ever made on retired Coyote programs. All updates to Coyote programs occur on the most recent incarnation of the program. To see which new file has replaced a retired program, you can consult this retired program list.


Last Updated: 5 November 2013