RE: Positiong of netCDF vis-a-vis HDF ...


What is your point of positioning netCDF versus HDF?  There is much
information available on the netCDF/HDF interface.  I discourage anyone
from describing them in your newsletter as "competing products", but rather
discuss them as to how they complement each other.  I encourage you to take
the time to understand each of them, because there is a LOT of rich
functionality in each one.  They each have their place too.  They are
complementary toolkits - witness the inclusion of the "standard", simple
API of netCDF into HDF. 

There is still much more work that needs to be done to take the best of
these two approaches and merge them, but each one has its strengths for
different data types and for different reasons.  We are very supportive of 
the netCDF and HDF approaches.  Personally I'd like to see the inclusion 
of more of IBM's Explorer concepts, and U.Ill. Urbana's "Envision" concepts 
in both public-domain toolkits (netCDF and HDF). 

If you want to speak over the phone, I'd think we'll get better bandwidth 
than through a keyboard.

I'd like to get some more answers to your questions about NCSA and their 
support.  If possible, I'd like to get a copy of your newsletter(s) too. 
What is it called?  What is your time frame?


Rich Lysakowski
Analytical Data Standards Program
Digital Equipment Corporation


From:   US3RMC::"kac@xxxxxxxxxxx" "Kevin Campbell" 22-Sep-93 15:32
To:     netcdfgroup@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subj:   FAQ: netCDF vs. HDF

  I know that this is a FAQ, but the FAQ list's answer didn't help me
very much.  What I got from the FAQ was that NCSA has written an interface
to netCDF in the HDF package.  How does this affect a programmer?  Does
it mean that he can access all of the functionality of netCDF while only
linking with the hdf library?  Or does it mean that he can read from and
write to either kind of file (hdf or netCDF) with one function call?
  I'm going to be writing a newsletter article on this software soon, and
need to be able to describe the difference between these two packages
and how they interact so that the users will be as non-confused as
  Also, does anyone know if NCSA has some kind of support line?  The
documentation that came with their package is rather sparse, and I'd
like to ask them if they've got anything better.  Of course, if anyone
on this list knows of any good documentation I'd be happy to hear from
them as well.

Thanks a lot,

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