Coyote’s Guide to Traditional IDL Graphics


This book describes Coyote Graphics System software kept up to date to IDL software version 8.3. It outlines of method of using basic IDL graphics commands in a way that mimics in many ways the functionality of the object graphics (new graphics) functionality of IDL, introduced in a useable way with IDL 8.0.

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This book describes the traditional graphics commands (e.g., Plot, Contour, Surface) of the IDL language. These are the old school commands that have been a part of IDL from the beginning. But just because they are old school doesn’t mean they aren’t used every day by IDL programmers. And they don’t seem to be going away, even in the face of yet another new graphics system in IDL 8.

The reason, of course, is that these venerable old commands are fast, flexible, and firmly established in the minds of IDL programmers the world over. All they really need is to be refurbished to work correctly with today’s modern computers. This book describes exactly how to do that, using programs from the powerful Coyote Library”>Coyote Library. The techniques described in this book work in any version of the IDL language, including the one you are currently using.

Whether you are a beginning IDL programmer, or a veteran of many years experience, you will find something new, interesting, and thought-provoking in the pages of this book. Among the topics you will learn about are these:

  • How to write IDL programs that work identically on every graphics device.
  • How to get your money’s worth from your 24-bit graphics card and write color independent programs.
  • How to produce high quality PostScript and raster files automatically from the same programs that display graphics on your computer.
  • How to display graphics in resizeable graphics windows.
  • How to save and restore graphic visualizations and/or pass them on to your colleagues.
  • How the Coyote Graphics System
    works and how your programs can take advantage its power.

Using techniques found in this book, you will not only write graphics programs that duplicate the functionality of the latest of the new graphics systems, but you will write programs that are faster (orders of magnitude faster, in some cases!) and simpler. Plus, you will be able to create new displays of graphical information that are simply not possible in the new graphics systems. This is a book that will change the way you write IDL programs forever!


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