Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The "R" in "R&D"

I'm so excited to be able to share with you the project that I've been working on recently! As far as I know, this is the first time LabVIEW R&D has been able to run a Pioneer program to get customer feedback on a research project.

I'd like to emphasize that this is Research. This version of LabVIEW is a Pioneer. That could mean many things, but in this case it means that this version is not approved for production work and the features in it are not guaranteed to be in any future version of LabVIEW.

If you see something you like or dislike in this Pioneer, please let us know! This is an opportunity for you to directly affect the future design of LabVIEW.

I encourage you to watch these two short videos on the LabVIEW Notebook:
If you have time to "get behind the wheel," please join the LabVIEW Notebook Pioneer program and try it out. Although it's not actually a Beta, we're running the Pioneer through the Beta Program Resource Center, so to sign up go to ni.com/beta and select the product LabVIEW Notebook.

Once approved to the program, you'll receive an e-mail invitation to join a private group on ni.com/Community. That's where you can download the Pioneer and discuss it on our private forum.

Note that the LabVIEW Notebook is intended to complement the LabVIEW Project, not replace it. However, if you have ideas for how concepts in the Notebook could be applied to Projects as well, we'd love to discuss them with you!


Anonymous Dave said...

This concept looks very interesting! I know NI abandoned the MDI experiments from a couple years ago, but it looks like some aspects of it have remained.

I've signed up for the beta and am excited to try it out. Does the Notebook generate normal .vi files, or is everything contained in a single .notebook file? If the Notebook is a compliment to the Project, what are the use cases where you see the Notebook being used?

8:06 AM, October 30, 2009  
Anonymous Jim said...

I cannot imagine trying to develop either code or UIs on a fractional screen. The added functionality is great, but I have to think it is better achieved with multiple monitors. Thanks for the opportunity to see inside the LV development world!

7:09 PM, November 02, 2009  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks for the comments, Dave and Jim!

I look forward to discussing these concepts and more with you in the Pioneer discussion forum. (Jim, I encourage you to sign up!) I'd like to keep the discussions consolidated there, but the ideas we have for the editor extend beyond what you see in this Pioneer. (For example, to address the limited space of the main pane, maybe you could "maximize" the pane, or pull it out to a second window, or zoom out?).

In answer to your file format question, Dave, the VIs in the Notebook are normal .vi files. (We put all the Notebook files in a managed folder on disk). And I see the Notebook as being a subset of the Project's features, targeting new or infrequent LabVIEW users who have relatively small applications (less than a hundred VIs) and only a few measurement devices. On the other hand, I think some of the features of the Notebook should be added to the Project as well. Again, I'd love to discuss more on the Pioneer forum!

11:32 AM, November 03, 2009  
Blogger Yair said...

I'm trying to understand the scope of the pioneer program. Are you trying to collect data for an easier way to manage VIs in data in a new product or is this testing alternate GUI concepts for LV?

I'm asking because the first option is not something that I really feel I need, but the second option could have some interesting results. Personally, I don't really like the IDE GUI as shown in this demo and the only element I think I would want to see is the properties pane, possibly as a floating window which would be similar to what ActiveX controls already have.

8:44 AM, November 10, 2009  
Blogger Christina said...

Hi Yair,

We're seeking feedback on these ideas for possible future use in LabVIEW. That includes the user interface elements (like the single window editor and web-browser-like navigation) as well as general concepts (like adding data items to the project and data viewers to the IDE).

The best way to give feedback on what you like or dislike is to join the Pioneer program and discuss it on the forums with me and other members of R&D. This is a chance for you to help direct the future of LabVIEW!

5:39 PM, November 10, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Christina,
looks great, I think going that direction would be a big improvement for the LabVIEW UI.
An disadvantage could be that you need more space on screen, but with the resolutions and screen sizes nowadays that should be no real issue.

It reminds me somehow of the Lego Mindstorms editior ;-)

Personally, I would like to see also some improvements to the block diagram editor, especially in wiring the data flows. I'll check out the pioneer version later on.


12:29 AM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Christina said...

Hi Markus,

Thanks for the feedback! It's certainly not accidental that the Notebook editor reminds you of the LEGO Mindstorms NXT editor. :-)

We don't have anything in this Pioneer focusing on block diagram wiring improvements, but I would love to hear your ideas! It would be best to hold the discussion where we could get others involved, e.g. the Pioneer Community forum.

9:25 AM, February 24, 2010  

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