Pivot to Python FAQ

What are the implications of NCL being put into "maintenance mode"?

NCAR will ensure that NCL builds on currently supported platforms, continue to fix critical bugs, and distribute bug releases on a best effort basis for the foreseeable future. NCAR does not currently have plans to add new features to NCL beyond the 6.6.0 release, but will welcome contributions from the user community.

Will I have to convert my existing NCL scripts to Python?

Probably not. The NCL source code will be publicly available under the Apache 2.0 License. Barring unforeseen changes to funding levels, or shifts in the technological landscape, NCAR plans to provide bug fix releases for currently supported platforms, in both source code and executable form, through the year 2021 and hopefully beyond.

When will the transition to Python be complete?

NCAR does not yet have a detailed roadmap for this migration, but it is expected to be a multi-year effort.

Which functions from NCL will be migrated to Python?

NCAR is currently working to identify which NCL functions will be migrated and triage these functions. Factors that will contribute to this decision process include: how much the function is used, whether suitable replacements already exist in the Python ecosystem, and how specialized the function is for the NCAR supported science communities.

What can I do to ensure that the functions most important to my work get migrated to Python?

Though still in the planning stages, NCAR will provide a mechanism for the community to provide feedback on capabilities that they deem high value. For example, making use of GitHub's ability to "upvote" planned features.

Will NCAR provide example Python scripts similar to those that currently exist for NCL?

Yes. It is our intent to provide example scripts and other training material to ease the transition.

Where can I find more information?

For a detailed report and roadmap please read the "NCL and the Pivot to Python: Discussion and Roadmap" report. Additional updates will be posted on the NCL website: www.ncl.ucar.edu.