At present CVI is missing a serious report printing facility that permits to create flexible, professional and good looking reports.
A quick search in CVI forum shows that periodically somebody posts questions about reporting but available instruments at the moment are not satisfactory in my experience.
As far as I can tell, a good reporting instrument:
Starting from CVI2010, the User Interface Browser and the Attribute Browser are both located on the right of the UIR editor in the Workspace window.
I'd like to be able to hide these windows when required: when working on small screens like when you use a laptop these windows occupy a lot of space even if you reduce their size at the minimum.
In addition, the ability to choose which window to display on the bottom left could be a good option: up to version 2009 the bottom left side of the workspace window switched between the library tree (source editor) and the attribute browser (UIR editor).
Ideally, while in the UIR editor I would like to be able to:
I discovered through trial and error that the CNVCreateBufferedWriter function, while it does provide buffering when necessary to preserve data until it can be written within a process, it does not provide for arbitration between writes originating from multiple processes. Stated another way: As far as I am aware, a single Network Variable process is not designed be written to by more than one application.
The documentation was not clear on this point. It states “You can buffer data to be written to the network variable by calling CNVPutDataInBuffer. The system automatically writes the buffered data to the network variable.” This suggested to me that arbitration of some kind existed to handle asynchronous writes by multiple applications. I confess, my interpretation may have been driven by wishful thinking to support my application needs.
Nevertheless, my suggestion is that future versions of this library include a capability to arbitrate asynchronous writes from multiple applications to a single network variable. i.e., that two, or three, or more applications can successfully connect to and write to the same network variable.
Include a function to programmatically re-start the NI Variable Engine if it is found to be stopped.
Although the NV libraries include a function to detect whether the NI Varible Engine service is running, there is no function included in the library to facilitate re-starting the NI Variable Engine service.
For those The method that I am aware of to restart this service is to use the ANSI C system() function with an embedded command line:
Index = 0;
while((!running) && (index++ < 5))
System(“net start \"NI Variable Engine\"");
if(!running) return -1;
Learning this required some time spent on the web, looking through old posts on how to solve the same problem in LabView. Rather than spending that time, it would have been more productive to just pull it out of the library.
I tried to use a source code / version control for projects in which I use LabWindows and Visual Studio.
One possible solution would be to implement support for the team foundation server, which already has be added to LabView.
Another would to provide an independent solution.
It appears that when adding a font to the installation package by having the installer copy the font file to the [Fonts] installation directory, all the installer appears to do is copy the font to the C:\Windows\Fonts directory. This is good enough for Windows XP, but in later versions of Windows additional steps must be performed for the font to be recognized by Windows. It would be nice if the installation package could perform these steps when installing fonts on these versions of Windows.
building on this suggestion of Bertrand I'd like to extend it as follows:
Please provide an opacity/transparency attribute not only for xy plots, but also for graph annotations (texts, glyphs), PlotLine, PlotRectangle, PlotText etc.
I noticed that LabVIEW has two ways to download instrument drivers: direct downloads from IDNET and through the NI Instrument Driver Finder.
[NI Instrument Driver Finder Menu Option Image]
[Alternative NI Instrument Driver Finder Menu Option Image]
When downloading drivers directly from IDNET, the file must first be unzipped and then placed in the <National Instruments>/labview xxxx/instr.lib folder.
The easier option when working with LabVIEW, the NI Instrument Driver Finder, downloads the files, unzips them, and instantly gives you access to example code or palette of VIs for communicating with said instrument.
If possible, could we add a similar tool to LabWindows CVI? It would be nice to have a menu option which would open a CVI Instrument Driver Finder.
The interface could then allow users to easily find a driver, download it to their Instruments Folder, see example code and start work.
Since probably 30% of all LabVIEW adoption comes from driver downloads and driver development, maybe this is an investment of resources worth looking into?
[Image of NI Instrument Driver Finder]
[Image of Instrument Driver Finder example code, project access, and palette access]
I would like to suggest a function tree view in CVI. I feel this is sorely missing. Many times, I want to jump right to a function, but I don't remember where it is. In a single C file with 1,000+ lines, this can be very aggravating.
For this reason, I tend to use Notepad++ for the heavy lifting, along with the Source Cookifier plugin. See attached screenshot of that plugin.
There are options in the plugin to enable certain features, such as the global and local variables in addition to the function names. When you are inside a function in the souce editor, the tree updates with a selection to show that you are inside that function. This is very helpful with functions that have more lines than available veritcal screen space. This way, I don't have to scroll up to see what function I'm looking at. I simply look at the tree with a glance and I know.
building on this suggestion I'd like to see a more comfortable panel of the UI editor for editing label/value pairs, see below:
I have had severe problems in development, due to a high synergy between my lack of attention and CVI behavior in search/replace dialogs.
I am talking about the fact that Find/Replace parameters [namely search directories] are stored at REGISTRY level, so that they remain the same across different workspaces.
Having to work with different version of the same software product, I have found myself looking into the wrong sources, or even doing mass updates, due to the fact that different projects have identically named sources and includes, just in different directory trees, and rapidly switching from one workspace
to the next I didn't "mind the step"
My suggestion, thus, is to store find/replace parameters at workspace or project level, so as to avoid the aforementioned inconvenience
there has been the valuable suggestion of a "Picture and Text" button allowing more modern buttons.
For all those focusing on programming instead of UI design it would be also nice if CVI could provide more default buttons ready to use as some examples shown in the image below (taken from the NI community).
As they seem to be already available in LabVIEW it shouldn't be much effort for NI to adapt them to CVI... - hopefully
When operating graphs in Labview, it is easy to change the scale of an axis of a graph (at runtime): to change e.g. the maximum value, you select the current maximum value with your mouse, type in the maximum number you want and hit enter. To achieve the same in Labwindows, you have to use a numeric control and a button, which is a bit cumbersome. The same applies for zooming: In Labview, you can click a small button attached to the graph and select the way you want to zoom, and then just use the mouse. In Labwindows, you have to know that zooming is done using the ctrl button, ctrl+space restores the previous setting, etc. It would also be nice to be able to enable autoscale by right-clicking on an axis and having a popup menu which allows to do so (just like in Labview). And if the user changes e.g. the maximum value while autoscale is enabled, it would be nice to automatically disable autoscale (unlike in Labview).
So in general, it would be nice to have more comfort in operating graph controls.
Display more struct member information during source editing and during debug.
While editing source code, CVI only displays the struct members, but no information regarding the type of the member (or declaration information, line file and line).
Add a tooltip to the right of the pop-up displaying the struct members in the source editor to display this information. Similar to this picture:
Also add support for displaying nested structs and even display the member values while debugging, in form of a tree, when execution is suspended (CVI currently only displays the memory address of that struct variable).
Customer who has used CVI for years and likes it was looking a Mstudio for the reason that a lot of his new engineers can't or don't do the regular C programming. He likes Mstudio as an idea but, with the extra cost of adding MS Visual Studio and dealing with a they support/We support issues of having two SW pkg from 2 different companies gives him pause about purchasing. He stated he likes CVI because if there is an issue (even if rare) he know that NI will help to figure it out. I let him know I'd provide the feedback.
SetAnnotationAttribute permits you to pass -1 in AnnotationIndex parameter to apply the attribute to all annotations on the graph, while SetCursorAttribute does not. It would be good that this command too permits someway to operate on all cursors in a single pass.
As an example, when I want to print a graph on a black-and-white printer I prepare the control for this changing all elements to black.
I can use a single instruction for annotations:
SetAnnotationAttribute (panelHandle, PANEL_GRAPH, -1, ATTR_ANNOTATION_CAPTION_COLOR, VAL_BLACK);
On the other hand, I need to iterate on all elements for cursors
GetCtrlAttribute (panelHandle, PANEL_GRAPH, ATTR_NUM_CURSORS, &numCursors);
for (k = 1; k <= numCursors; k++) SetCursorAttribute (panelHandle, PANEL_GRAPH, k, ATTR_CURSOR_COLOR, VAL_BLACK);
because I had installed CVI2010 on a brand new Windows 7 machine, I was curios to find out about all the service processes running on the system.
It seems that there are quite a few NI services that start after log-on. Some of them seem superfluous, such as the Lookout Citadel service (no LabVIEW, no Lookout installed), but due to the lack of any information I did not bother trying to stop them
1) NI should critically review the services and only start the services that are absolutely needed.
2) Services that are optional might be selected by a checkbox during installation or from the Options / Environment setting
3) NI should provide some documentation / explanation of each service and why it is needed.
While developing code, having correct indentations is very helping in making sure you have all the right brackets and to see where your structures are nested easily. Sometimes, whether by copying and pasting or just rapidly getting out a section of code, a whole segment might have incorrect indentation, which is tedious to correct.
This is where an auto indent tool could be a big time saver. From somewhere like the Edit menu, where similar functionality is located in other development environments, you could select Format Selection to do a highlighted section or Format File to do the whole file. Then, CVI can format the tabs for you:
Although this is a simple example, auto indent becomes even more useful when you have multiple nested structures and decide, for instance, to add or remove another nested loop.
There is an option to display the default display format for integers and floating point, but no such option to set the default format for
"String Display" or "Array display". Strangely, "Array display" shows my arrays as decimal numbers even though I have the default display format for integers set to Hex.
Ideally, I would like to be able to set them separately for char and unsigned char strings. For example:
char strings I prefer to display as Ascii, null-terminated strings (the current default).
Unsigned char strings I prefer to display in Hexadecimal, with Options==Display Entire buffer. This is because my unsigned char strings are actually arrays of bytes.
I've been using CVI for a long time and it's frustrating to setup these options each and every time I look at one of my unsigned char strings. Even if it can't be setup separately for signed/unsigned chars, I would like the option to set some sort of default.
Another aside, would it be possible to display the array/string as hex characters with the Ascii equivalent just below it? A dual display would be even nicer!
Improve the Breakpoints Window, so that breakpoints can be more easily managed.
1. Change the Breakpoints Window, from a modal dialog to a dockable window (similar to the Watch Window). Debugging can be more easy this way.
2. Allow breakpoints to be grouped, disabled/enabled and edited in user defined categories. This allows users to easily collectively manage several breakpoints at a time. It also helps the user to logically group breakpoints, depending on various issues issues that he might be working on.
3. Breakpoints could also be sorted from a pop-up menu by filename, line, hit count, etc.
Note: the LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange is not the appropriate forum to submit technical support questions.
The LabWindows/CVI R&D team is committed to reviewing every idea submitted via the LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange. However, we cannot guarantee the implementation of any LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange submission.