GNU ELPA - idlwave

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IDL editing mode for GNU Emacs
idlwave-6.5.1.tar (.sig), 2024-May-23, 1.21 MiB
J.D. Smith <>
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To install this package from Emacs, use package-install or list-packages.

Full description

[!NOTE] IDLWAVE is currently maintained in limited fashion on ELPA. In its current form it supports IDL v9.0, and is still in daily use by some users. If you are interested in contributing to IDLWAVE's maintenance, please send a note to emacs-devel. See the DEVELOP file for information on the file structure layout.

IDLWAVE is an add-on mode built into GNU Emacs which enables feature-rich development and interaction with IDL, the Interactive Data Language. It provides a compelling, full-featured alternative to the IDLDE development environment bundled with IDL.

In addition to the Emacs package and its documentation, this repository also includes:

  • idlwave_catalog: A Perl program to produce your own library catalog ".idlwave_catalog" files.

  • Intentionally buggy practice source code for the tutorial. See the Getting Started section in the manual.

  • CHANGES: The package history


This is the CHANGES file of the IDLWAVE distribution, version 6.2pre2 

The file covers only the changes for Revision 3.0 and later.  Earlier
changes are documented in the (obsolete) files idl.el and
idl-shell.el, available at

Revision 6.2 
   - Support for the Windows command-line IDL tool (as of version 7.1)
   - Support for the new Eclipse-based help system, including direct
     keyword linking.
   - A new "help with topic" (C-M-?) command to lookup inidividual
     help topics in the IDL help system, with completion.
   - Fails gracefully if no help is installed (e.g. for IDL <6.1
     without any HTML help module).
   - Structure tag completion now enabled by default (e.g. for state
   - Improved fontification handling of keywords, especially in
     continued statements and routine definitions (routine keywords
     stay fontified as you edit!).
   - Better handling of spaces in filepaths for syncing the current
     working directory.
   - HideShow support.  Just add `hs-minor-mode' to the mode hook (or
     type M-x hs-minor-mode), and you can quickly hide and show
     logical blocks, entire routines, etc.  Very useful for working
     with long files filled with many routines.
   - Trim out spurious "None" superclasses in routine information of
     classes without inheritance.  You may need to rebuild your XML
     Help catalog to accomplish this (IDLWAVE->Routine Info->Rescan
     XML Help Catalog).
   - Automatically list the enclosing routine name in ChangeLog 
     ('C-x 4 a' appends a new ChangeLog entry).
   - Changing the break condition or repeat count on a disabled
     breakpoint now works correctly.
   - Improved handling of windows and frames when use-dedicated-frame
     is on, avoiding duplicate windows for an already showing buffer
     (e.g. the *idl* buffer).
   - Indenting now works as expected for $MAIN$ level routines (those
     without a pro/function declaration).
   - When retall is called (e.g. by hitting 'q' in debug mode),
     IDLWAVE now escapes from stopped $MAIN$ level routines, skipping
     any remaining commands.
   - The fractional height of the shell buffer when it is displayed in
     a non-dedicated frame is customizable (see
   - Default command (C-c C-d C-y) prompts for the default command to
     execute, if it hasn't yet been set.  It also no longer resets IDL.
   - Direct support in the shell for multi-line commands ending in '&'
     executed as a single statement (e.g. FOR loops).  Use C-c SPACE
     to add a new command line at the IDL> prompt (and M-Ret to
     continue the current line, just as in a buffer).
   - When using up/down arrows to cycle through history in the Shell,
     first move through multi-line commands line by line.  Only when
     at the beginning or end is the next history item recalled.  This
     makes editing and re-executing multi-line commands much easier.
     Hold shift when hitting up/down arrow to skip through the full
     multi-line command with one keypress (the old behavior).

Revision 6.0
   - Use the new HTML help and XML routine info catalog distributed
     with IDL starting with version 6.2.  Help is now available
     without a separate download, and is always in sync with IDLWAVE's
     routine information.
   - Use the new IDL Assistant directly by default to display bundled
     HTML help.
   - Fall back on class help for methods without any help entry.
   - Allow keyword inheritence on system classes, in addition to user
     classes with *_EXTRA keywords.
   - Much better handling of >, <, >=, <=, ->, &, and && for space
     padding with optional idlwave-surround-by-blank and
   - Limit the total length printed when examining long arrays, using
     'idlwave_print_safe'.  Default limit 200.
   - Read-only prompt in the shell with Emacs 22.
   - No more complaints when compiling filenames with space.