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IDL programming: How to design a simple program

For scientists and engineers, our scripts/programs are usually very straightforward and simple. Even some of us are modelers, our models should be complex but the source code are still manageable.
However, the re-usability of these simple programs are still necessary because a lot of our work must be done over and over again. For example, we need to plot/map some data in various scenarios. And we wants the plot/map program can be used for various types of inputs.

Specially, for IDL programming, there are a few common blocks that should be considered in a program.

  1. Compiler option; this step is usually just for compiling setup, you can also specify it the start-up file.
  2. Error control; some of the most important error information;
  3. Global variable; this step should be used to define the global variable, such as the extension of a file.
  4. Keyword check;
  5. Local variable; this step should be project variable, such as data range.
  6. Workspace; workspace usually refer to the directory all operations will be performance on.
  7. Main: do the actual job.
  8. Post; this is used to finish the program; 
  9. Cleanup; mainly for memory cleanup, (optional)
Another important tip is that do NOT try to finish everything within one program, especially for computationally intensive jobs.

I will provide an example soon.


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