Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming

Adding Language Plug-ins to the IDL Workbench

QUESTION: I often use Perl in my work and I am thinking about upgrading to the new IDL Workbench. Is it possible to include a Perl plug-in module in the IDL Workbench so that I can do development in both languages?

ANSWER: Apparently, this is possible, with some caveats. First, this is not officially supported by ITTVIS, so they request that you not contact them about it. They have done some limited testing in this area, but are not set up to handle whining. If you have questions, you are better off enduring the humor of the so-called experts on the IDL Newsgroup.

According to an ITTVIS representative, if you have a few, small languages, like Python, Perl, and others of that ilk, you can probably (emphasis in the original) drop these into your IDL70/idlde/plugins directory and be good to go. (If you want to install a larger feature like the Eclipse Java Development Tools, then it is probably better to drop IDL into your existing Eclipse installation.)

Nigel Wade has done a couple of experiments with Ruby and C++ on LINUX and has found this appears to work.

I downloaded the IDL 7 installer and performed a normal installation. I then ran the IDL Workbench so that it initialized the basic environment. After that I used the Eclipse platform manager within the Workbench to add additional plugins for C/C++ and Ruby. I've not looked for a Perl plugin as yet.

To add additional features to Eclipse you run the manager in Help->Software Updates->Find and install... and in the Feature Updates panel you select Search for new features to install and click on Next. This should then display the standard location for updates and additional features. C/C++ and Ruby/TCL are available here, plus a whole host of other plugins for things you are almost certain never to need.

I'll make every effort to keep this page updated as we gain more experience with this. Please contact us on the IDL Newsgroup.

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