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MathGroup Archive 1999

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HDF export

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg18771] HDF export
  • From: "Roberto Abraham" <abraham at ast.cam.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 01:33:29 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Hi --

I'm using v.4's Export[] command to export arrays to Hierarchical Data
Format (HDF)  files. Three cheers to WRI for including in V.4.0 the
capability to import and export this important data format.

However, the existing implementation of HDF import/export seems a tad
rudimentary... or perhaps I'm missing something and am not understanding
some features of the Export[] function (which I hope is the case, and hence
that's why I'm posting this).

A central idea behind the HDF format is that the file should be somewhat
"self documenting" in the sense of possibility including an internal
description of the nature of the data, or at least through the use of
sensible keyword names in the data hierarchy to indicate what sort of data
is being stored.  However, I can't seem to figure out a way to achieve this
in Mathematica.  Is there a way to export arrays and store them with
specified names? At the moment all I seem to be able to do is create and
append HDF files with numeric arrays stored with the pre-defined names
"Data-Set1", "Data-Set2", etc., which is a little limiting.  Also, the
on-line help for the Export[] function says that HDF format is "supported
for numerical and textual data" but I can't figure out how to export a text
string.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can name HDF objects or store
textual information in the HDF files written by Mathematica?

Best regards,

Bob Abraham

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