Re: status of IDL (David Lamb)
26 Jul 91 15:25:01 GMT

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status of IDL (1991-07-23)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (David Lamb)
Keywords: IDL
Organization: UMIACS, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
References: 91-07-052
Date: 26 Jul 91 15:25:01 GMT

In article 91-07-052 (Bill Homer) writes:
>I recently came upon the SIGPLAN Notices Special Issue on the
>Interface Description Language IDL (1987), and I'm curious about
>its current status. In particular:
>1. Is IDL still in active development?

Yes. Snodgrass (now has developed a public-domain
variant of his IDL toolkit, now called Scorpion. John Nestor of
Persistent Data Systems has two IDL variants: Mini IDL (described in [1])
and Professional IDL. Both are relatively inexpensive (about $50 for
Mini IDL) and are probably much more thoroughly tested than even a
quite competent academic like Rick would have done. Persistent Data
Systems also has an IDL-based persistent data store called IDB; it's
fairly expensive by my standards, but quite impressive.

I continue to work on my own variant, but am unlikely to make it
publicly available for at least another year [unless a Fairy Godmother
shows up to buy me a good systems programmer or two].

There was once an IDL newsgroup, comp.lang.idl, but lack of interest
and the arrival of a completely different language called IDL
(Interactive Data Language, I think) killed it off.

>2. Can one still obtain a toolset from the University of North
> Carolina at Chapel Hill, or elsewhere?

The original UNC toolkit (described in [2]) is available through
UniPress for mucho bucks. Ask Snodgrass for Scorpion instead.

[1] John R. Nestor, Joseph M. Newcomer, Paola Giannini, Donald Stone
        IDL: The Language and its Implementation, Prentice-Hall, 1990.

[2] Richard Snodgrass
        The Interface Description Language: Definition and Use
        Computer Science Press, 1989

Nestor's address:

Persistent Data Systems, Inc
P.O. Box 38415
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
(412) 963-1843

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