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Do you have an idea for LabVIEW NXG?


Use the in-product feedback feature to tell us what we’re doing well and what we can improve. NI R&D monitors feedback submissions and evaluates them for upcoming LabVIEW NXG releases. Tell us what you think!

Post an idea

NXG needs an Idea Exchange.  The feedback button is a lame excuse for a replacement.  Why?

 

  • I can't tell if my idea has been suggested before.  (And maybe someone else's suggestion is BETTER and I want to sign onto it, instead.)
  • NI has to slog through bunches of similar feedback submissions to determine whether or not they are the same thing.
  • Many ideas start out as unfocused concepts that are honed razor sharp by the community.
  • This is an open loop feedback system.

Let's make an Idea Exchange for NXG!

If we can have instrument simulator VIs, we can test our codes prior to the actual hardware acquisition

 

The idea proposes device driver packages from IDNet to include a vendor instrument simulator VI that can be run prior to code testing. The VI can be configurable (VISA based on virtual ports created during runtime, file paths to read from to simulate measurements and responses to messages, etc) and started asynchronously (call & forget) at the start of the program and terminates when the caller terminates.

 

or as a template from the "New > Simulated Instrument" where user can modify according to the instrument that they are going to use.

 

...and that it covers NI and 3rd party instruments

The current implementation of flattening and unflattening from XML is quite noisy and includes information unnecessary for the users. Rewriting it or including Pretty Print functionality to LabVIEW would greatly simplify loading settings, exchange of data with other languages, dynamic configurations, visualizations of complex systems, network communication etc.

 

PrimaryKey_0-1573820513072.png

For community solution and examples of these features please go to -> https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW-APIs-Discussions/Tree-Map/td-p/3972244

 

This could include also Pretty JSON since XML and JSON are interchangeable -> http://www.utilities-online.info/xmltojson/#.Xc6XjVdKiUk

 

Additionally the XML parsing should be implemented without requiring Windows .NET platform components, so it can be done on a real-time system. Current XML parsing functions cannot be called on RT.

 

The Property class, which represents the property node, has a property called All Supported Properties which ideally would show all the properties supported by the class the property node is linked to.

 

The problem is that it doesn't. If you have nested properties which come from another class (for example, the properties for the caption which can be selected by opening the pull right menu, as seen in the top image), those properties aren't returned when you call the property, and instead you just get the property for the caption reference, as seen in the bottom image, where the ControlIndex property is shown immediately after the Caption property.

 

NestedProps.png

 

 

Instead, I want either this property or a new property to return all of the nested properties as well, just like you get in the UI.

This would be useful for setting properties using scripting and alternate UIs (like this one or this one, which can't work today, because they can't get the full list of properties).

 

 

 

I am happy that LabVIEW supports Python code with the Python Nodes. But it is difficult to debug errors. A console showing the output of the Python Scripts would be handy.

Enthought's Python Integration Toolkit had this function so I guess it shouldn't be a big thing to add?

 

In Enthought's python integration toolkit (PITL), the "Open python session" VI accepted as an input the path to the python.exe file to use for the python kernel. In LV2019  the "Open python session" accepts a string "2.7" or "3.6", and then labview searches the system path to find the python installation.  The LV2019 method is vastly inferior to the PITL method. Due to the way the LV python node requires one to manipulate the system path in order to find the desired python installation, I realized that this is a complete non-starter for sending compiled applications to end users, because the end user may have multiple python installations on their computer, and I can’t expect them to bend over backwards just to be able to use my compiled LV app.

 

I do not know how NXG currently handles this, but I hope that they emulate the PITL method. Furthermore, it would be great if NXG could handle arbitrary python distribution, such as Anaconda, rather than just the bare bones installation from python.org. It would also be great if there was more documentation about the python node in general--there is very little to be found currently. The Labview python node is shrouded in mystery (e.g. what the heck is NIPythonInterface.exe) whereas the PITL was very self-explanatory. It is a shame that NI displaced such a useful product and replaced it with an inferior one.

Hello all! 

The standard LabVIEW plugins are great but operate based on Ctrl + Key shortcut. This means that after a while almost all of your keybord keys can be occupied by a shortcut.

 

Please add an interface for defining commands in the QD ComboBox, which could be used as a more extensible option over single keys.

 

Example - a Dialog command could be invoked like this:

Ctrl+Space -> Dialog Text -> Ctrl + CCtrl+Space -> Dialog Text -> Ctrl + C

 

Example community package implementing this can be found here: https://forums.ni.com/t5/Quick-Drop-Enthusiasts/Class-QD-Plugin-Package/gpm-p/3992772

 

Thank you!

Perhaps a future LabVIEW version can include NI-defined common interfaces (with ~1 method each).

 

Examples might include "Initialize", or "Dispose" (to borrow from C#). "Shutdown" might be another option.

 

This could allow different developers to all base their code on a set of common shared interfaces, and then users receiving their code (via VIPM, GCentral, etc etc) could use it as a plugin more easily.

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!

 

Discussion here.

 

Image borowed from Ben

When creating an installer for a built LabVIEW application, it is very difficult (see here) to include an additional 3rd party installer (such as a device driver or application that your built application depends upon).  What I'd like to see is a solution that treats 3rd party installers as first class citizens.  I'm imagining a new "Additional 3rd Party Installers" page of the Installer build specification properties dialog.

 

2-3-2010 1-35-27 PM.png

 

This page might look something like the one in the screenshot below, allowing users to add a folder that contains the 3rd party installer files and define a command that is run inside that folder during the install process.

 

2-3-2010 1-41-08 PM.png

 

When LabVIEW builds the installer, it would suck the additional installer folders into the main installer and, after installing your app files and the additional NI installers, it would sequencially extract your additional 3rd party installers into a temp folder and then execute the command line to run.  This is a pretty simple scheme that would really simplify the process for end users.

 

I'm sure I didn't address every issue of this use case, so please, everyone, feel free to add your own ideas.  I'd love to hear your comments.

I think it would be nice if LabVIEW was smart enough to know that when I drop a For Loop around scalar inputs it doesn't auto-index output tunnels - but rather uses Shift Registers - for matching inputs and outputs.

The common use case for this is with the Error input/output - it annoys me how it becomes an Array output.

 

As it is already wired, inline and not broken, dropping a For Loop around it should not break my code! 

 

Reference or Class inputs are other use case too - I want to pass the same thing around not create an Array

Shift registers are better than non-auto-indexed tunnels (other option) as they protect the inputs on zero iterations.

 

21826iFF181EE2E7ECE408

 

This would remove one step required for most use cases, speeding up my development experience.

The concept of fluent interfaces using method chaining applied to a LabVIEW block diagram would be awesome!

 

When calling .NET libraries from LabVIEW, block diagrams explode horizontally - the aspect ratio of the diagram can easily push 5:1 or worse (it's 10:1 in the example below). Some Method Chaining syntactical sugar would yield a more space-efficient-and-readable 4:3 to 16:9 or so.

 

Property Chaining is already well-established in LabVIEW - let's get us some Method Chaining!

 

LabVIEW-Idex-Proposed-Fluent-Interface-with-Method-Chaining.png

 

See the first comment for footnotes...

If you have mulitple versions of LabVIEW installed, some of them show up in the "Open With" menu, but regardless of which item you select, the VI will always open in whichever version of LabVIEW was opened most recently.

 

Example: if I opened a legacy VI in LabVIEW 2009, closed that version of LabVIEW completely, and opened another VI using the "Open with" menu and selected LabVIEW 12..., LabVIEW 2009 is relaunched and is unable to open the VI because it should have launched in LabVIEW 2012.

 

 

OpenWith.png

The current workaround is to add all installed versions as options in the "Send to" menu, but this is not nearly as intuitive as using "Open with" would be.

 

DVRs are references, and are automatically released when the VI hierarchy that created and "owns" it goes idle (stops executing).  Commonly, the DVR just contains by-value objects, or LabVIEW references that are also automatically released, but an important use case of DVRs is wrapping a non-labview reference that must be properly cleaned-up.   An example is an SQLite Connection pointer that must have a dll method called on it in order to release the database file it is holding open.  Many dlls have similar pointers/handles that need to be properly closed.  This is a headache for Programmers, who cannot rely on a stopped VI releasing its resources, often requiring restarts of LabVIEW to unload the dll.

 

A clean and easy solution to this problem would be to allow a "DVR Cleanup Callback VI" to be registered with the system when the DVR is created.   That VI would be called if and only if the DVR is release because its calling VI hierarchy goes idle.   This VI would contain the code to cleanup/close the contained non-LabVIEW references.  Could have other uses, such as debugging. 

 

I have developed multiple APIs that wrap non-LabVIEW dlls, and this feature would be a very significant help.   Please consider it.

I really like using VIMs; however, I have been having a lot of issues when saving for previous versions / VIM based bugs.

 

What I would like is a right-click (under the advanced tag) to convert VIM to VI copy (which you could then save) and a 'tools>Advanced>replace all VIM instances in the project' tool.

 

I attempted to make this myself, but it turns out the 'Replace' scripting method doesn't work with VIMs and I don't really want to go down the route of deleting, placing, rewiring.

 

So either, could I suggest creating the tool, or providing the scripting functions for us to create the tool.

 

NB: This is the proof of concept I was trying out to change VIMs to VIs:

Order of operation:

  1. Get a reference to SubVIs and filter for VIMs
  2. Create a copy of the VIM and save as a VI
  3. Replace VIM with new VI

Converting VIM to VI.png

 

Is LabVIEW available for Android based systems and other touch interface systems.If not how about using LabVIEW for mobile measurements using these systems.

The LabVIEW Task Manager is an outstanding tool for debugging LabVIEW Applications. It should be included in LabVIEW in my opinion.

 

a345fe65cbe713b29f505a851e0fe597.PNG

The goal of this idea is to make it easy for the LabVIEW ecosystem to create reusable libraries for LabVIEW that would be type independent. Let's think for a second dictionaries, also called as key-value stores. Dictionaries are data structures that allow storing and retrieving values with a specific key. To create a generic reusable strongly typed dictionary is currently impossible with the LabVIEW type system. One can create a dictionary that is type specific but then it's not reusable. Or one can create a reusable dictionary but then it's not strongly typed. Type Parameters and Parametrized Generic Types as explained in this idea would allow creating strongly typed dictionaries that are widely reusable across applications. Specifically type parameters and parametrized generic types would allow LabVIEW ecosystem to develop highly reusable strongly typed components to solve various common programming problems. This would allow National Instruments to put more focus on the core of the language as the LabVIEW ecosystem could solve much wider range of problems that preivously have required National Instruments to contribute.

 

Add a new control type Type Parameter to LabVIEW that augments the current Control, Type Def and Strict Type Def control types. The Type Parameter type would act like a regular Type Def control with one special and important distinction. You could wire anything to an input terminal expecting a specific Type Parameter type and the downstream type would adapt at compile time to the type wired to the type parameter input.

Type Parameter Definition

 

In a single VI type parameter could be used in multiple places but all instances of the type parameter would adapt to the same type.

 

Type Parameters

 

When a VI that uses Type Parameters in the front panel is used on a block diagram, the template VI is replaced by the compiler by a type specific instance that has adapted the type parameters to the type wired to the Type Parameter input. Notice below how in our VI the control and the indicator were of type Type Parameter with a default type of DBL and the instance got adapted to type U32 that was wired to the input.

Calling a VI with Type Parameter Inputs

The same type parameter could be used on multiple inputs of a VI.

Multiple Inputs of The Same Type Parameter

And all of the type parameters would adapt to the same type when the VI is being used.

Calling a VI with Multiple Type Parameter Inputs of the Same Type

Note that in the above example we chose the element of the array to be a specific type specified by a type parameter. However the arrays themselves could as well have been specified by a type parameter.

 

So far we have focused on VI boundary where type parameters adapt the whole VI to specific type or types if multiple different type parameters are being used in the connector pane of the VI. Type parameters can also be used in composite types (e.g. arrays, clusters, classes) and the downstream composite types would adapt to what is wired to the type parameter input.

 

Type Parameters with a Cluster

Note that x and y as instances of the same type parameter have to be of the same or compatible type.

Type Error With Type Parameters

 

Type parameters can also be used in class private data to create parameterized custom types. This is where type parameters become extremely powerful. Let's assume that we have a class 3D Vector.lvclass that has three instances of a "Data Element.ctl" Type Parameters. The default type of the Data Element is set to be DBL. The cluster private data has three instances of the Data Element, one for each of X, Y and Z.

Type Parameters in Class Private DAta

 

Now we could create a Create 3D Vector method VI for this class that allows us to construct type parametrized instance of the class type.

Creating a Type Parametrized Object

Now calling this Create 3D Vector.vi with string as the inputs for type parametrized inputs X, Y and Z will create an instance of class 3D Vector with compile time type 3D Vector[String].

Calling a VI that Creates a Type Parametrized Object

 

And this is where we now start seeing the superpowers of type parameters and parametrized types as well as generic type parameterized VIs that go along with them. Now we have a capability of creating custom VIs and custom types that both can adapt to different parameter types at usage time.

 

Let's get back to the question of dictionaries. We could easily construct a dictionary that allows the key type to be parametrized with one parameter and the value type to be parametrized with another parameter. For example we could use the dictionary with I32s as keys and Strings as values. Or we could use it with Strings as keys and File Paths as values. Constructor for such custom type would be trivial to create.

Type Parametrized Create Method for a Dictionary

 

Once we have constructed the dictionary we would naturally like to use it. We could now use method VIs of the Dictionary class to add and fetch elements from the dictionary. As an example Get Element By Key would look something like this in it's simplest form.

 

Get Element From Dictionary

 

 

Note that Dictionary In is type parametrized with two different type parameters Key Type and Value Type. In the class library there is a Type Parameter control Key Type.ctl and Value Type.ctl. Now type parameter Key Type.ctl is used both inside the private data of the class and on the fron panel as the Key input, the type of these two must be the same. The same is true for the Value Type element of private data and the Value indicator that both derive from Value Type.ctl type parameter. The has function is any function that can convert any LabVIEW types to some strings that we can use as keys for the variant attribute node. We are using variant attributes as the store implementation is this basic example.

 

Calling the Dictionary with integer as the type parameter and string as the value would look something like this.

 

Calling a Type Parametrized Dictionary

 

As you can see the 0 and empty string will define propagate as type parameter types for Key Type and Value Type in the dictionary wire. Now Add Element.vi would have to adapt to these elections for Key Type and Value Type the moment the Dictionary wire is connected. The Key input immediately change to type INT32 and the Value input to type String. Similar would be true if the wires would be connected in reverse order. Connecting University of Texas string to the Value input of Add Element and connecting number 1 of type INT32 to the Key input of the Add Element would immediately adapt the Dictionary in and Dictionary out inputs to be of type Dictionary[Key Type = INT32, Value Type = String]. A type error would occur if Dictionary in would be of different type.

 

Type Parametrized Generic Types are an extremely powerful concept to incldue in a language and this idea describes a feasible way to implement them in a visual dataflow model of LabVIEW. This is and has been for maybe ten years my absolute #1 feature I have wanted to see in LabVIEW. I think the time is right for me to officially make this request. Ideally Type Parameters can be bounded but that's a topic for a whole other idea post.

For distribution, only package necessary libraries in installer packages built with the project. A lightweight UI, server, or client does not need a full 70MB+ installer that bloats out to a few hundred MB's once installed! A colleague has remarked that the total size of our LabVIEW application+RTE EXCEEDS the entire size of the XPe image running on the embedded computer! This becomes an issue when distributing software upgrades to places in the world without high-speed internet connectivity.

Having a continuous integration system is an essential component of software development:

Continuous Integration ProcessContinuous Integration Process

This system requires automating the building process.

The LabVIEW development environment unfortunately does not have built-in tools to achieve this easily.

But the community has supplied a few sollutions to achieve this: CLI Tool

 

On of the biggest hurdles that yet remain, is the fact that the application builder is inherently tied to the development environment.

This requires a valid license for the environment and all toolkits / technologies used in the source code of the product you intend to build.

 

My proposal would be to have a special "CI" license in which all required modules and toolkits are activated, and that would allow the development environment to launch in some sort of protected mode that prevents users from actively developping code (while still allowing scripting functions), for the sole purpose of building applications.