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Paper: Space Missions: Long Term Preservation of IDL-based Software using GDL
Volume: 461, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXI
Page: 615
Authors: Coulais, A.; Schellens, M.; Arabas, S.; Lenoir, M.; Noreskal, L.; Erard, S.
Abstract: GNU Data Language (GDL) is a free software clone of IDL, an interactive language widely used in Astronomy and space missions since decades. Proprietary status, license restrictions, price, sustainability and continuity of support for particular platforms are recurrent concerns in the Astronomy community, especially concerning space missions, which require long-term support. In this paper, we describe the key features of GDL and the main achievements from recent development work. We illustrate the maturity of GDL by presenting two examples of application: reading spectral cubes in PDS format and use of the HEALPix library. These examples support the main argument of the paper: that GDL has reached a level of maturity and usability ensuring long term preservation of analysis capabilities for numerous ground experiments and spaces missions based on IDL.
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