The State Diagram Editor was a very cool tool and lots of LabVIEW users (not only beginners, far from!) are missing it!
And no, the state chart module is not a replacement for the State Diagram Editor!
Image borowed from Ben
This is what I had to say about it on the LV forum.
It did not require a degree in CS to use it.
How it worked:
YOu would right-click and drop the SDe from the palette. After doing so it would create the while loop shift register enum etc to implment the State Diagram.
Right-click the while loop to show the diagram.
In the diagram you could create new states.
Right-clicking on a state let you create a new transition.
Each of the transisions could be dragged to point at any other state to let you determine the flow.
Clicking on one of the state in the diagram would result in the associated state being seelcted in the BD.
YOu could rename states.
If you had more than one posible transition out of a state, you could assign the priority in the event the condition for more than one transition was met.
YOu could put the SDE in "execution highlighting" mode and watch the state transitions while the code ran.
Any time you needed to remind yourself how the code was structured you could just right-click the WHile loop ans choose "Show State Diagram" giving you built-in documentation.
Using the SDE at development time assisted by some booleans for the conditions, you could watch your design move through all of the transitions before ever writting the code for the states themselves.
I loved it!
And develop it in LV so that it will run on all LV development platforms.
Thousand kudos !
And please made some improvements :
- add history (next state depending on previous states). Currently an additional shift register is needed.
- add error handling (like the JKI state machine)
- make the editing of the diagram faster. Currently the modification of a diagram with many states/transitions is very very very slow.
- show the priority of the transitions of a state in the window showing the diagram
- make the while loops smaller by default when creating a new state
- add a clean up tool for the window showing the diagram
Thank to all for adding your Kuods to the total!
WIth your help we may be able to bring it back!
I didn't know such a thing ever existed. Please bring it back! I do use the Symbio state editor but having a state diagram that can actually write part of my code would really help productivity. I want to focus on the design and not the tedious clerical aspects. Without the Message Maker I would not use the Actor Framework. But it is not really practical to avoid state machines so I must do all of the low level plumbing myself. This tool could do for state machine design what the Message Maker does for the Actor Framework.
The autodocumentation aspect of this tool was very interesting!
We have developed many SW with this tool, and it is very annoying to maintain these codes today without it!!
Please bring it back!
Getting this back is going to be an uphill battle. I loved it but I don't think enough of us used it to justify NI adding it back to stuff they have to support. I don't have real numbers but if I had to guess I would say 75% or better of us use some form of text-based state machine, i.e. queued message handler, JKI state machine, etc. I've known more than one LV programmer who thought enum-based state machines were "evil". I don't think writing a state machine got any simpler than with this editor. I still long-hand the enum state machine as architecture of choice for the vast majority of my apps.
So a little more about why I want the SDe back in the game.
The SDE extended the amount of time I work in the LV environment.
Without the SDE;
I work with sketches of the SDs using Powerpoint or Paint (which is not that bad once you have all of the sort-cuts for paint memorized besides paint is ubiquitous).
With the SDE I can do the same work but in a LV environment.
I document the details of what is required in each state in Word after copying the images into my doc. If durring the documenting it becomes clear I have to adjust the implementation, I am back to Pait to update the image, paste it into Word and pic-up were I left off.
With the SDE;
My documentation goes right into the diagram! if i am just doing the design and passing it to other in my team, they have all of the thoughts in front of them telling them what I had in mind so they can code away. Mods are easy and I can move my documentation as the design shifts.
WIthout the SDE;
After delivering a project and lerning that the top technical lead wants the au-scaling implemented in a different fashion, I have take the notes back to a machine with Word (what you never work on a machine without MS stuff installed? count your blessing!) mode the documentation then integrate that back into the code.
I open the SDE, drag one transition line from here to there and then the same on yey another line... I am done.
Now there are many things I would like added to make the SDE even more useful but I will share those ideas in another post.
Thanks for the support all!
If nothing else, NI needs to implement this so Ben can stop making shameless posts about how people should kudo this idea.
I still nag my son to do the "right thing" to this day.
Restoring this tool would open up yet another method for developers to "see" their code.
I still intend to post some enhancemt idea that would make the SDE even better than it was but I am pressed for time today.
I do want to stop and point out that TiTou has tied his previously highest rated post with this suggestion. If YOU have not Kudoed this idea yet, you still have a chance to bump his record.
Hoping to be re-enabled again,
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