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Re: HDF export

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg18812] Re: HDF export
  • From: John Chapman <johncha at>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 08:19:29 -0400
  • Organization: Motorola
  • References: <7n12q3$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I can't help with your problem but I agree that the current HDF
implementation is not usable. In attempting to import HDF files I found
that Mathematica extracts the first, and only the first, occurrence of
numerical information in the file. In one case this was scale information
for one dimension of a 2D dataset. MathLink may prove more useful. The
Noesys Transform application provides a MathLink interface although I
haven't used it yet.

Roberto Abraham wrote:
> 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
> --
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Roberto Abraham            |  E-mail: abraham at
> Institute of Astronomy     |  Tel (direct)    +44-(0)-1223-766667
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> "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know.
>  It's what we know for sure that just ain't so."
>  - Yogi Berra
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------

John Chapman
johncha at

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