Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming

Known Problems with the IDL 7.0.1 Workbench

QUESTION: Are there additional problems with the IDL 7.0.1 Workbench you haven't mentioned yet and that I should know about?

ANSWER: Sigh... I guess so. They problems are getting hard to characterize, so I thought I would just start a list of the ones I hear about here and add to it as time goes on.

There have been reports on the IDL newsgroup of problems creating a save file from a project. The major complaint seems to be that not all of the project programs get included in the save file. This note from Robert Moss may address this problem, as well as another problem he has noticed with IDL paths.

There are two confirmed bugs with in IDL 7.0.1 that as far as I know have not been mentioned here in the newsgroup. I know they are bugs because I was working with ITTVIS [the week of May 26th, 2008] to try and identify them and possibly resolve them.

Bug 1: Checking the box to build your project in another IDL session can cause only some of your files to be compiled. I have not narrowed this down to the exact circumstances where this happens, but it definately does happen. In my case it is easily solved by not electing to compile in a separate project. I suspect this may be the problem you are seeing. You can try using the .RESET_SESSION option instead, or perhaps better yet just start a clean session of IDL if you want to build a clean save file.

Bug 2: When you import a project from an existing directory in the file system, and you select the check box that says to update your IDL path when opening and closing the project, the directory that was imported is added to your !PATH, but it is not removed automatically as it should be. I suspect this may be one of the causes for much complaining I have seen on this group.

Allow me to clarify: I imported a directory into my project, which means I am using an existing directory to hold my project files. I did NOT copy the files into my workspace. There is a directory created in my workspace which holds a couple of things (like the save file I create when I build it, and a .profile), but the source code remains in the filesystem at its original locations. I personally like this option for reasons I will not bore you with. I selected the "update my !path..." bit so that the workbench would automatically see when things in my source code tree changed. It dutifully adds two things to my !PATH: the directory it created in my workspace, and the directory which I imported (out in the file system). When I close the project, it removes the directory in the workspace (as it should), but it does not remove the directory from out in the file system. This is a bug, and it seems to me could cause much hair pulling and gnashing of teeth.

ITTVIS is aware of both of these problems and is working to address them.

QUESTION: I just installed IDL 7.0 on another Windows PC. The installation went fine, but when I enter any commands at the prompt and hit enter, the commands just disappear. They do not show up in the console log and variables set do not show up in the variable view. "?" does not open help either. It seems that there is no connectivity between the DE and the opserver process. I tried restarting a few times making sure that no orphaned idlde.exe or idl_opserver.exe were still running. The problem remained. I also reinstalled twice and the problem is reproducible. I have IDL 7 installed on several systems in the past and never seen this problem. Does anyone have any idea about how to approach this problem?

ANSWER: Here is a tip from ITTVIS technical support. If this ever happens to you, try deleting the directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\your_user_name\.idl\itt\idlworkbench-config-idl70.

This solved the problem for the user asking this question.

Version of IDL used to prepare this article: IDL 7.0.1.

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