At work, we are currently using Perl and IDL, alongside our (in C++ written) EGSE server software. For the controlling of electronics, we use Perl. For the visualization of the electronics readouts, we use IDL.
For different reasons, we are looking to replace both parts with Python equivalents. This involves both a port of the software as well as a migration path. It also offers the chance to do a clean, object-oriented rewrite which could mirror the C++ libraries.
Perl basically provides scripted control/readout of sensor equipment. These scripts can be edited and run from within the EGSE, but they can also be run from the commandline.
IDL, however is more tightly integrated with the EGSE. It is compiled along with the EGSE. It listens to data requests and these are analyzed and then plotted as well as transported back to the controlling Perl script.
Besides plots by IDL, it's also possible to create plots with the EGSE software itself. We have to look in what way we want to let these co-exist with the Python plotting facilities.
We will create a design document where we look at the following items: