I've finally made the transition from IDL 6.4 to IDL 7. Here are my handy hints...

  • IDL Workbench rocks! (This is because it is basically Eclipse, which is a proper development environment, unlike that hideous old IDLDE.)
  • Another reason for using IDL Workbench (for me at least, and for now) is that IDL help doesn't seem to work if Java 6 is the default (as it is on my Mac), but the help does work if launched through the IDL Workbench.

To transition to IDL Workbench:

  1. Import your code as described on David Fanning's page - fret not, it's easy and harmless
  2. Preferences -> IDL -> Startup file, if you have one, and
  3. Preferences -> IDL -> Paths -> Insert... for me it was just my idl folder, including all sub-folders, to mimic my $IDL_PATH environment variable.