Update on PyNGL and PyNIO

From: Mary Haley <haley_at_nyahnyahspammersnyahnyah>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 11:36:59 -0600 (MDT)

Hi all,

This list has been very quiet lately, and I wanted to let everybody
know that we are working actively behind the scenes to update PyNGL
and PyNIO in anticipation for our official first release (hopefully
this month or next). Though we have not advertised PyNGL or PyNIO
much beyond the few conferences we've attended, we see a steady stream
of people downloading the PyNGL binaries from the ESG website. This
is encouraging, and we plan to do more "marketing" once we release an
official version.

Some of the things we've been working on include:

   1. Creating a new PyNGL/PyNIO website - http://test.tpyngl.ucar.edu

      The idea behind this website is to provide a suite of examples
      that you can search for usage of specific functions and
      resources. The step-by-step tutorial is still there (which is
      pretty much the heart of the current PyNGL website). We've
      also included information for new users, some useful links,
      information on color tables, etc. We now have documentation
      for *all* PyNGL functions, and we tried to provide examples of
      every single one.

      Part of this website, just like the current one, still point
      into the NCL website. This is mostly for documentation on the
      graphical resources.

   2. Switching over to NumPy - we plan to release both Numeric and
      NumPy friendly versions as long as we can. We didn't get much
      feedback from this group about whether people were moving over
      to NumPy, so if you feel like feedbacking now, go ahead. :-)

   3. Updating the default PyNGL graphics environment - we've learned
      the hard way with NCL that there are some default behaviors of
      the graphical environment that are not popular with users. Some
      of these, like the default black/white background/foreground,
      times-roman font, weird default color table, and the default
      function code (a colon) have been changed to reflect what's
      popular with NCL users (white background, helvetica font, default
      rainbow color table, and a tilde for the function code).

      Those of you that are currently using PyNGL may notice a change
      in your graphics when/if you upgrade to this new version. The
      major change will be helvetica fonts, and a white background.
      Also, if you are currently using the default color table, the
      new default color table may cause your graphics to look
      different. (If you are setting your own color table, you shouldn't
      see a change here.)

      Let me know if you think any of these changes will be a problem for
      you. Most of them can be changed for your site by setting new
      defaults in a system file that we provide.

   4. Overhauling the skew-T code - the skew-T resources were renamed
      to make them more consistent and hopefully understandable. The
      old resource names will continue to work.

   5. Updates to PyNIO - some new functionality that will give you more
      control over the reading of GRIB and netCDF files has been added.
      This will help in the area of creating "large" netCDF files,
      speeding up the reading of netCDF files, and giving more control
      over the reading of GRIB files.

   6. New functions and more examples have been added - we will put
      these all in the "what's new" list as soon as we can.

   7. Plans for workshops - we currently teach an NCL workshop that is
      quite popular. We'd like to offer something similar for PyNGL
      and PyNIO. We need to get a better feel for our audience first,
      as some of them may be completely new to Python. In this case,
      we'll consider offering a basic Python training first. (We are
      looking into the current courses out there to see if any of them
      can be tailored to scientific users.)

I'm sure there are more things that I'm forgetting to list here. As
always, comments and concerns are welcome.



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Received on Mon Apr 10 2006 - 11:36:59 MDT

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