Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (December 28, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 10.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #523 in Books > Computers & Technology > Databases & Big Data > Data Modeling & Design #1413 in Books > Textbooks > Science & Mathematics > Environmental Studies #1954 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Introductory & Beginning
Nothing is more intimidating to a new user of IDL than to sit down at a computer with an empty command line prompt and a stack of manuals on their desk and be told to write an IDL program. Where to begin!? And the experience is especially frightening to a new user with little or no programming experience in any language, let alone IDL.Ken Bowman has written an IDL book specifically for this user. It is intended as an introductory computer programming course for the research user with little or no training in any computer language, and it evolved from notes Ken uses in his own undergraduate IDL programming courses. It is meant to get the new IDL user analyzing and plotting data as soon as possible.It is a narrow path he treads, because it is just as easy to offer too much detail as it is to offer too little information to the beginning user. Ken, for the most part, gets it exactly right in covering a broad selection of topics. I quibble with just two chapters. He sweeps aside the complexity of PostScript output by offering the new user two utility programs he fails to explain in the text, and his theoretical explanation of the FFT function left me gasping for breath and lamenting I hadn't paid closer attention in those long-ago math classes.This is a book that will get you started, but probably won't answer all your questions when you turn your attention to more difficult research problems. Ken doesn't pretend it is anything other than what it is, however, and provides generous and helpful suggestions for where you can find additional information as you become ready for it.