Rescue corrupted IDL .sav files to NetCDF or HDF5

IDL has been buggy in the past for writing .sav files, the proprietary data format. One should instead save data to NetCDF or HDF5.

Read IDL .sav files from Python

from import readsav

data = readsav('mydata.sav')
dict() of IDL variables.

My Scipy contribution

IDL was able to read the .sav file, so I wrote a one-off IDL script to convert from IDL .sav to NetCDF4 .NC: format. I also have code there to convert from IDL .sav to HDF5. 

I also successfully submitted a patch to SciPy to fix some of these IDL .sav reading issues.