For links to What's New information for other IDL 8.x releases, go to See Also.

New Features

.PRO Files Ported to Native C/C++ Code

For improved performance, the following classes were ported from PRO code in the lib/datatypes folder to C/C++ code in idl.dll:


The SAVEFILE_CLEANUP procedure was created to inspect the given routine save files and removes any routines that could cause problems in modern IDL. It can be used on functions and classes that have been ported from PRO code in the lib folder to C/C++ code. See SAVEFILE_CLEANUP for details and usage.

Macintosh M1 Support

Support for Macintosh M1 platforms has been added.

MKL_FFT Routine

The MKL_FFT routine (Math Kernel Library Fast Fourier Transform) was added to upgrade FFT performance. MKL_FFT returns a result equal to the complex, discrete Fourier transform of Array. See MKL_FFT and FFT for details.



QUERY_PNG has been updated to return more metadata from a PNG file, including custom fields.


H5_PARSE has been updated to read in UTF8 encoded string data.


JSON_PARSE has been updated to improve parsing speed. In comparison tests between IDL 8.7.3 and 8.8.1, speed was 3 - 9 times faster, depending on the size of the JSON files being parsed.

Updated Windows File Selector

The Windows file selector user interface for the DIALOG_PICKFILE() function has been updated. For details, see DIALOG_PICKFILE.

OpenGL Hardware Rendering Support

OpenGL hardware rendering is not fully supported on Linux VMs with the VMWare SVGA device driver. For full OpenGL hardware support on a VM, switch to using an nVidia driver.

To identify which driver is being used, run this compound command:

w = IDLgrWindow(Renderer=0) & w.GetDeviceInfo, All=all & print, all, /Implied

If the driver is VMWare SVGA, you will see properties such as this:

"NAME" : "SVGA3D; build: RELEASE;  LLVM;"
"VENDOR" : "VMWare, Inc."
"VERSION" : "3.0 Mesa 17.2.3"

Library Updates

The 3rd party libraries listed below have been updated to new these versions:

  • AdoptOpenJDK JDK and JRE, 11.0.11
  • Chromium Embedded Framework, 91.1.22
  • cURL, 7.77.0
  • Eclipse CVS Client, 1.4.1700.v20210303-1800
  • Eclipse Git,
  • Eclipse Platform, 4.20.0.v20210612-2011
  • FreeType, 2.10.4
  • GDAL, 3.2.2
  • GEOS, 3.8.1
  • JasPer, 2.0.32
  • libHaru, 2.3.0
  • libjpeg-turbo, 2.1.0
  • libpng, 1.6.37
  • libxml2, 2.9.11
  • OpenSSL, 1.1.1k
  • python, 3.7.10, 3.8.10, 3.9.5
  • Spatialite, 5.0.0

The following 3rd party libraries have been added in this release:

  • POCO, 1.10.1

See Also

What's New in IDL 8.8

What's New in IDL 8.7.3

What's New in IDL 8.7.2

What's New in IDL 8.7.1

What's New in IDL 8.7

What's New in IDL 8.6.1

What's New in IDL 8.6

What's New in IDL 8.5.1

What's New in IDL 8.5

What's New in IDL 8.4.1

What's New in IDL 8.4

What's New in IDL 8.3

What's New in IDL 8.2.3

What's New in IDL 8.2.2

What's New in IDL 8.2.1

What's New in IDL 8.2

What's New in IDL 8.1

What's New in IDL 8.0