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Hi, The niche (netCDF interface covering HDF encoding) library is much less space-inefficient than my last note would indicate. I had just looked at the files produced by nctest, which are unrealistically small, so the extra metadata overhead for HDF swamped the data sizes and made it appear that the HDF representation takes significantly more space than the XDR representation. In fact the differences are small for realistic files that are mostly data. For example, here's the sizes of one of our decoded NPS GRIB files of relative humidity data at 6 levels and 8 forecast times on a 33 by 36 lat-lon grid: 241327 r.hdf 230032 r.cdf Drawing conclusions from timing nctest was also unrealistic. I will post some more realistic timing benchmarks later. --Russ