>Please see the f16 comps file [1]
>for all the packages which are installed as mandatory in the
>@engineering-and-scientific group.

Ok, excellent I wondered where that full list was hiding.

>Thanks for your  suggestions. Funny, I think I missed 'spyder'

Definitely include spyder, think it is the best DE for scientific software I have used (miles above Eclipse in the form of the IDL DE)

I have thought of another couple of packages that I use, both of which are flagged as optional in the @engineering-and-scientific group, does this mean they get installed?

pybibliographer (a BibTeX editor)
Asymptote (a graphing language that integrates with LaTeX)

> Do you mean to say, that you would like to install just the packages which are needed for running IDL?

That is exactly what I meant, it took me about 1 hour to dig myself out of IDL 7 dependency hell when I needed to install it. I posted up the list of dependencies and how I worked them out on my blog. http://goo.gl/6a7jM

> its something which could be definitely looked into.

It's not a huge number of packages, although a lot of 32bit versions of already install 64bit packages were needed. Could some kind of "meta-package" be created to allow it to be easily installed if needed?

> Also, how do you find, GNU Data language [1]?

Ohhhhh, never seen that before!! That might be worth putting in?
Is there a GUI for it? (like the IDL DE)

> I will try and see if keeping GNOME3 based spin is possible or not.

What about an option on install? Or would that cause issues with the iso size?