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What’s New in IDL 8.5.1

IDL 8.5.1 includes new features/functionality including a New FILE_MODTIME function, HDF4 VGroup attributes read/write, New IDLnetURL encode/decode methods, HASH/ORDEREDHASH/DICTIONARY ::IsFoldCase method, WRITE_PNG to a buffer, Fixed issues with IDL-Python bridge, HDF4 library update, and HDF-EOS library update.

New Features


You can retrieve the modification time for a file or files using the new FILE_MODTIME function. This is significantly faster than calling FILE_INFO if you only need the modification time.


The new IsFoldCase method can be used to check whether a hash, orderedhash, or dictionary is using case-insensitive keys (i.e. whether FOLD_CASE was specified when the object was created). For more details see HASH, DICTIONARY, or ORDEREDHASH.

HDF4 VGroup Attribute Routines

For HDF4 files, you can now read and write the attributes for VGroups. For more details see HDF_VG_ATTRFIND, HDF_VG_ATTRINFO, HDF_VG_ATTRGET, and HDF_VG_ATTRSET.

IDLnetURL::URLEncode and URLDecode Methods

You can use the new IDLnetURL::URLEncode and URLDecode static methods to convert strings to and from "percent encoding":

IDL> value = IDLnetURL.URLEncode('My JSON string is: {"key":"value"}')

IDL> PRINT, value



IDL> newvalue = IDLnetURL.URLDecode(value)

IDL> PRINT, newvalue

My JSON string is: {"key":"value"}

See IDLnetURL::URLEncode and IDLnetURL::URLDecode for details.

Write PNG to a Buffer

The WRITE_PNG routine can now write its PNG output to a buffer variable instead of a file. This is useful when you want to convert the image to a Base-64 encoded image and embed it in a web page.


Library updates

The HDF4 library has been updated to version 4.2.11, while HDF-EOS has been updated to version 2.19.

© 2015 Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Harris Corporation. All Rights Reserved. This information is not subject to the controls of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). However, this information may be restricted from transfer to various embargoed countries under U.S. laws and regulations.

6 comments on article "What's New in IDL 8.5.1"

amrutha mm

i want download IDL previous version, how can i do so???

gonzalo forero

how can i download it?

Kate Kear

contact Tech Support at support@harris.com for previous versions. Please see think link for supported versions http://www.harrisgeospatial.com/Support/HelpArticlesDetail/TabId/219/ArtMID/900/ArticleID/14106/14106.aspx

Kate Kear

For current version downloads, please go to http://www.harrisgeospatial.com/MyAccount/Downloads.aspx. You will need to login to access this page.

marco cardinale

i have a registered version of envi 5.1 with idl 8.3...may upload only idl to 8.4 or 8.5?

manoj kumar


I want to download IDL 8.5, but I am not able to download.

Error message:

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In order to access product downloads you must be logged in and a Verified user of ExelisVis.com.

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