The idea of a simple scripting language has been
part of VisAD even from versions 1.0 and 1.1
written in C. You can read about the C version at:
Note that section 5 of that system's README file
describes a scripting language that was designed
specifically for the C version of VisAD (and
sample programs in that language are included in
the free source download).
However, users didn't like that language much.
So in the Java version 2.0 of VisAD I wanted
to use some standard language for scripting. At
first I thought Java itself would suffice, but
the scientists we worked with made it clear they
didn't want to learn Java. Then Ray Garcia of SSEC
told me about the Jython implementation of Python,
so I decided to go with that.
Jython is very elegant. It made it very easy to link
infix Python notation (e.g., "image1 + image2",
"image[index]" and even "image[lat_lon]") to the
Java methods of VisAD Data objects.
Tom's Jython functions have gone a long way to
simplifying VisAD. A lot of this work is guided by
discussions with SSEC's numerous Matlab and IDL
We are very open to anyone who wants to contribute
more Jython library functions or documents. We can
either include your work in our download, or link
to your own web pages from the VisAD web page.