McIDAS Programmer's Manual
Version 2003

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McIDAS-X programming philosophy

The McIDAS-X software package includes source code that allows users to tailor applications to fit their needs and to develop new applications. Normally, the SSEC staff undertakes development efforts that impact the basic system, such as file structure changes, new data sources, and new communications methods. New software capabilities developed at SSEC as a result of SSEC's or another McIDAS-X site's efforts, are made available to the entire user community.

This section dicusses the following topics:

Your responsibilities

McIDAS-X continually evolves, due to the needs of scientists, researchers, forecasters, and programmers. Most new applications programs and functions are built on existing programs and functions. As a McIDAS-X programmer, you must maintain system integrity by developing programs and functions that not only satisfy an immediate need, but also promote long-term software development for future programmers and users.

It is also your responsibility to create applications and utility functions that can be used on all McIDAS-supported platforms. This requires attention to language standards and avoiding hardware and operating system specific interfaces. It is also important that you program in abstract ways, eliminating references to specific hardware characteristics whenever possible.


Chapter 2, Learning the Basics contains the standards that SSEC programmers use when writing code.

Planning for McIDAS-X upgrades

System enhancements made by SSEC or external users are distributed to all McIDAS-X users via upgrades. Below are some helpful hints for maintaining your locally developed code after a McIDAS-X upgrade.

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