New Enum Class Primitive: "The Defined Enum" (with pictures)
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Similar to the discussions on command and data cluster primitives, it seems many programmers would like the ability to have a primitive to move a message and some additional data easily. The current methods involve casting specific data types to generic types (i.e. Variants) which are then passed to sub-processes. Once in the sub-process, the process reverses and the data is cast back to the specific type. Many times this casting to and from generic data types not only takes time and resources but also requires managing many type def'ed controls for each specific data type used.
Here is a traditional method for passing data between processes:
Alternately, if the message (such as an enum) included the specific data type definition then no casting is required. This idea involves embedding inherancy of private class data into a defined LabVIEW primitive where each command/item is its own class of private data. It's like having your cake and eating it too! Or, it's like having your message and the data too! (cheesy, i know). Below is an idea for the configuration of the "Defined Enum":
Like a tab control, each tab is an Enum Item and the controls within the tab are specific controls associated with the item. The Defined Enum loads a drop-down selection list of the private data associated with the current item.
In the block diagram, like property nodes, the accessors would be used to get or set the values of the enum items.
The sales pitch: When developing large applications where there are multiple services running in parallel it is often difficult to develop completely modular processes because the casting to and from specific data types require a control dependancy between the caller and the callee. Eliminating generic data casting would help develop a more robust hierarchy. I applogize if this idea is a repeat. Let me know what you think.