09-14-2007 09:21 AM
09-14-2007 11:35 AM
09-14-2007 02:25 PM
1) I think a lot of experience LV users get frustrated finding things in the palettes because they seem to change with every release. I would suggest shipping future version of LV with pre-configured pallete settings that mimic the last few releases.
2) I'd like to see Context Help add links to a wiki. Imagine I'm having problems with some LV function that I haven't used before. My first stop is the Context Help window. I can click on Detailed Help to get more info in the LV Help window, but sometimes that isn't enough. I would also like to see a wiki link (in both the Context Help window and in the LV Help window) that takes me to the official NI LabVIEW Wiki (maybe LabVIEWiki ?) where developers and NI engineers can build up a knowledge base about that particular function (when to use it, common problems, known bugs, better alternatives, "is this supported on MacOS?", etc.). Every once in a while someone would have to go through and clear out junk comments, etc. (It would also be cool if the wiki supported hidden comments so that NI Developers could make comments like "staring in LV9.0 this functions is approx. 30% faster" while they are updating LV and then have those comments unhidden when that version is released.)
3) I'd like to see NI put out a series of whitepapers that walk through developing an application. Imagine a paper that starts with an actual requirement and walks through the steps to develop that application. This first one would actually start from scratch and go through things like getting some requirements (with examples of how to use Requirements Gateway), defining a project, linking to source control, determining which LV features to use (event structures, shared variables, objects, etc.). Basically, it should be the entire development process through the eyes of an expert LV programmer. Additional whitepapers would be shorter, showing new applications that require different approaches but without rehashing what has already been taught (one for a distributed application, a real-time app, an FGPA app, DSC app, cFP system, Statechart Module, etc.). These papers shouldn't be at a beginner level. Assume that the reader is already proficient in LabVIEW (don't explain what a Queue is, explain why a Queue is better than a Notifier in this particular app). Basically, there are a lot of features in LabVIEW that are either never explained well or have only trivial "Hello World"-level examples.
09-17-2007 02:08 PM
For me, the need to find something usually means that I will not know how to use it. My first stop will usually be to the example finder search (for instance, just a couple of weeks ago I searched for some curve fitting examples because I didn't know anything about it and needed to do some).
If the issue is more complex (e.g. events, LV classes) I would need to proceed to online tutorials. In this case, the online linking from inside the help suggested by pat would probably also be helpful.
I must also say that I noticed on occasion that some people are not even aware of the example finder. It's possible that the access to all these features needs to be consolidated into a single location. Another possibility is that searching will provide results from all places in a single interface (a section of examples, a section of VIs, a section of tutorials, etc.).
09-18-2007 02:07 PM
Another place where this would be helpful is the help.
For instance, the other day I tried rounding 4.5 and to my surprise it was rounded to 4 instead of 5. Instead of screaming "bug", I went to read the help for the round primitive which explained that this was by design, but it would have been helpful if something like this (which is unexpected) would have been emphasized in a FAQ or a caveats section. It would also have been helpful if it would point to online sources explaining the reasoning and ways to do related operations (e.g. do the common rounding algorithm).
10-10-2007 03:38 PM
10-12-2007 12:23 PM
Generally, when I'm searching specific functionality, and I have some idea what to use, the first place is checking the context help, going on to the detailed help. From there to other related subjects or examples. That generally works really well. Really no complaints there.
For a complete new subject, for example how to use DAQmx, or LVOOP, you need a more general approach. Something like a white paper/tutorial etc. Those are much more difficult to find. For example, I noticed today that there is a "Getting started with DAQmx" series.... but I have no clue how to reach it from the front page, except by searching the site for 'DAQmx'... I've been trying to couple of different ways browsing through the site, and I simpy can't find it!
One thing I think works very well, is the webcasts. Before using LVOOP I looked at those, and it was very helpful. I allready knew about OOP from Borland Pascal, and after watching the webcast, the Labview OOP was allready very familiar to me, although I hadn't touched it yet.
I found out about that webcast from the weekly NI info mail... But if I would want to find it back now.... Well... I can find the webcast on demand page... and then select Labview.... And then need to scroll through about 100 titles... Eh....
Some extra sort options might help?
You have the problem of having an enormous amount of information on the website. It's often very difficult to find things, even if you know it's there somewhere. I generally try the search option, because I almost never get far by trying to browse to it...
11-02-2007 11:03 AM
The problem with finding "things", is not knowing that it even exists.. in some dark / hidden library somewhere...
"Things" being defined as examples, code bits, etc. The actual problem is that there are so many "things" available and so many places to look for them, that I tend to look in my common places and seldom visit those other (dark / hidden => to me <=) places. My typical search places are the discussion forum, example finder, and occasionally the knowledge base. For instance, although I know there's a code sharing area in the forum somewhere (which I've subscribed but never visit), it is not a place where I think of looking for examples..
Does that place still exist??