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We are happy to announce the December versions of the standard ECMWF software packages. This month's release featured mostly incremental updates to our packages. As announced, this is the very last release of GRIB_API. We encourage users to migrate to ecCodes.

The default set of tests in ecCodes do not require downloading of data anymore. We are aware that many maintainers/packagers of ecCodes did not run tests to avoid these downloads. Please enable the tests again, they are vital to ensure ecCodes has been installed properly. Anyone developing/changing code in ecCodes should run the extended set of tests which requires the data download, but exercises the ecCodes functionality more thoroughly. This release contains the latest WMO BUFR tables (November update) with ecCodes and Emoslib/BUFRDC.

Metview offers a large selection of layers and automatic styles based on the ecCharts web map service via its new ecCharts icon.

  

Metview now offers the ecCharts layers and styles (left), which are searchable and previewed in the icon editor (right).

Python 3 interface for ecCodes

With ecCodes 2.10.0, we prepared a beta version of the long awaited Python 3 interface to the ecCodes API. While the migration to Python 3 of many other packages has been done, ecCodes had proved more challenging. The main challenge has been that the underlying file I/O has radically changed with Python 3, therefore we needed to rewrite some of the underlying code. This required careful testing to ensure no regression in functionality (including the Python 2 installations). We try to minimise the impact to users and their programs, but some minor changes required by Python 3 itself are needed. When opening any BUFR or GRIB files please ensure this happens in binary mode, like this:

= open("myfields.grib", "rb")

This change in your programs will also work in Python 2. We are also aware of issues if GRIB/BUFR files are reopened in the same programs and will investigate this issue. We would like to thank everyone who expressed an interest and support. Thank you for your patience. Anyone interested in a higher level Python 3 interface to read GRIB data into xarray, should have a look at cfgrib. Please test this Python3 interface carefully and provide us with feedback.


All these packages use the same build system based on CMake - simplifying and harmonising the installation experience. The versions are available on all ECMWF computer systems as "new" versions. If you encounter any issues please feel free to send feedback to Software.Support@ecmwf.int.