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Hello everyone, We are pleased to announce the release of a prototype of the netCDF interface to HDF. With this software, it is possible to use the netCDF calling interface to place data into an HDF file. The netCDF calling interface has not changed and netCDF files stored in XDR format are readable, so hopefully, all existing programs and data will still be useable (although programs will need to be relinked to the new library). There is currently no support for the mixing of HDF and netCDF structures. For example, a raster image can exist in the same file as a 'netCDF' object, but you have to use the Raster Image interface to read the image and the netCDF interface to read the 'netCDF' object. The other HDF interfaces are currently being modified to allow multi-file access, closer integration with the netCDF interface will probably be delayed until the end of that project. I have placed a compressed tar file on the NCSA ftp server (184.108.40.206) in ~ftp/outgoing/chouck/hdf-netcdf.tar.Z When untar'ed, the file README.FIRST will give directions on how to build the library. It has only been tested on a Sun4 and an IBM RS/6000. All of the new or modified code is at a fairly high level so I don't expect porting the new library will be too difficult. The basic philosophy for the prototype has been to re-use as much of the existing netCDF code as possible. All of the new code is in the files hdfcdf.c and hdfputget.c modifications to netCDF source have been enclosed within #ifdef HDF #endif blocks. As this is a prototype, we can not guarantee that future releases will be completely compatible with the data generated by this library. However, we will make every effort to make changes in the data representation transparent to the end user. Please let us know of any problems. We have been very impressed by Unidata's netCDF test suite. While the new library passes all of the tests, it is probably a safe bet that there are a few bugs left. Aside from unknown bugs, the biggest problem we currently see is that our handling of meta-data is still inefficient in both space and time [but its getting better]. -Chris Houck