[AstroPy] IDL to Python Switchers Guide

Anthony Smith anthonysmith80@gmail....
Thu Jul 1 04:29:10 CDT 2010

Hi Kelle,

This looks great - very useful page.

I don't know whether it's worth adding to that particular page, but  
it's worth pointing out to would-be IDL-to-Python switchers that is it  
possible to make the transition gradually, as there are ways of  
linking Python to IDL.  I don't think these are perfect, but they  
avoid things like "I would use Python but I absolutely must use  
someObscureFunction.pro so I'll stick with IDL".  Here are a couple:

= pyIDL - haven't been able to install it myself, but looks great

= pIDLy - my own routine, perhaps easier to set up than pyIDL, but can  
be slow/inefficient when processing a lot of data.

... and there are others out there.

All the best,


On 1 Jul 2010, at 01:18, Kelle Cruz wrote:

> Hi All,
> I've sketched out a table on the AstroBetter wiki to use a  
> "Switchers Guide" from IDL. But it will also for developers so that  
> they can see what's already been migrated.
> http://www.astrobetter.com/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Python+Switchers+Guide
> My idea is to list the IDL Astrolib routines, their equivalent/ 
> similar functionality python module, followed by a brief  
> description.  The table currently includes the sum total of my  
> Python knowledge so it's up to the community to fill it in.  I also  
> included in the table a couple IDL routines that probably have  
> Python equivalents but that I just haven't figured out yet.  (i  
> couldn't quite figure out what to make of the Starlink package.)   
> Also, feel free to add modules that are useful but that don't have  
> an IDL equivalent. It's a wiki, so edit away.  You'll just have to  
> register....
> I spent some time writing out the syntax for the pyfits header  
> manipulation stuff, but if you just want to include the package and  
> module, that'll be better than nothing.  I also based the sections  
> and their order on the Astrolib page: http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/contents.html
> btw, it is not my intention to duplicate the content that's already  
> on the NumPy for IDL users site: http://mathesaurus.sourceforge.net/idl-numpy.html
> Anyway, for you python gurus out there...next time you're  
> procrastinating but still want to do something productive, fill in  
> some of the table!
> kelle
> --
> Kelle Cruz, PhD
> Assistant Professor, Hunter College
> Research Associate, AMNH
> Visiting Associate, Caltech
> http://kellecruz.com/
> http://astrobetter.com/
> 424.645.1334
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