This book arose from a desire to share the lessons I have learned from my work with IDL. Naturally, I did not learn about IDL all on my own. Instead, I am fortunate to work in a research environment with experienced and knowledgeable colleagues whose advice helped me to develop the ideas presented in this book. The genesis of this book was the morning discussions over coffee with my good friend Paul van Delst, who challenged and tested my ideas about IDL and programming in general. Paul Menzel provided me with enough data analysis and visualization challenges that I had little choice but to hone my skills as an IDL programmer. And for everyone who stopped by my office to ask a “quick question” about IDL, this book is for you. ...

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