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1. Introduction

IDLWAVE is a package which supports editing source files written in the Interactive Data Language (IDL(1)), and running IDL as an inferior shell(2)(3). It is a feature-rich replacement for the IDLDE development environment bundled with IDL, and uses the full power of Emacs to make editing and running IDL programs easier, quicker, and more structured.

IDLWAVE consists of two main parts: a major mode for editing IDL source files (idlwave-mode) and a mode for running the IDL program as an inferior shell (idlwave-shell-mode). Although one mode can be used without the other, both work together closely to form a complete development environment. Here is a brief summary of what IDLWAVE does:

Here are a number of screenshots showing IDLWAVE in action:

IDLWAVE is the distant successor to the `idl.el' and `idl-shell.el' files written by Chris Chase. The modes and files had to be renamed because of a name space conflict with CORBA's idl-mode, defined in Emacs in the file `cc-mode.el'.

In this manual, each section ends with a list of related user options. Don't be confused by the sheer number of options available -- in most cases the default settings are just fine. The variables are listed here to make sure you know where to look if you want to change anything. For a full description of what a particular variable does and how to configure it, see the documentation string of that variable (available with C-h v). Some configuration examples are also given in the appendix.

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