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Appendix D Windows and MacOS

IDLWAVE was developed on a UNIX system. However, thanks to the portability of Emacs, much of IDLWAVE does also work under different operating systems like Windows (with NTEmacs or NTXEmacs) or MacOS.

The only real problem is that there is no command-line version of IDL for Windows or MacOS(<=9) with which IDLWAVE can interact. As a result, the IDLWAVE Shell does not work and you have to rely on IDLDE to run and debug your programs. However, editing IDL source files with Emacs/IDLWAVE works with all bells and whistles, including routine info, completion and fast online help. Only a small amount of additional information must be specified in your .emacs file: the path names which, on a UNIX system, are automatically gathered by talking to the IDL program.

Here is an example of the additional configuration needed for a Windows system. I am assuming that IDLWAVE has been installed in ‘C:\Program Files\IDLWAVE and that IDL is installed in ‘C:\RSI\IDL63.

     ;; location of the lisp files (only needed if IDLWAVE is not part of
     ;; your default X/Emacs installation)
     (setq load-path (cons "c:/program files/IDLWAVE" load-path))
     
     ;; The location of the IDL library directories, both standard,  and your own.
     ;; note that the initial "+" expands the path recursively
     (setq idlwave-library-path
             '("+c:/RSI/IDL63/lib/" "+c:/path/to/my/idllibs" ))
     
     ;; location of the IDL system directory (try "print,!DIR")
     (setq idlwave-system-directory "c:/RSI/IDL63/")
     

Furthermore, Windows sometimes tries to outsmart you; make sure you check the following things:

Windows users who'd like to make use of IDLWAVE's context-aware HTML help can skip the browser and use the HTMLHelp functionality directly. See Help with HTML Documentation.