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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!
The recently introduced Raspberry Pi is a 32 bit ARM based microcontroller board that is very popular. It would be great if we could programme it in LabVIEW. This product could leverage off the already available LabVIEW Embedded for ARM and the LabVIEW Microcontroller SDK (or other methods of getting LabVIEW to run on it).
The Raspberry Pi is a $35 (with Ethernet) credit card sized computer that is open hardware. The ARM chip is an Atmel ARM11 running at 700 MHz resulting in 875 MIPS of performance. By way of comparison, the current LabVIEW Embedded for ARM Tier 1 (out-of-the-box experience) boards have only 60 MIPS of processing power. So, about 15 times the processing power!
Wouldn’t it be great to programme the Raspberry Pi in LabVIEW?
What I propose is to have functionality built into the XNet API that is similar to the DAQmx API. I'd want a separate subpalette where functions like Start, and Stop logging can be invoked which will log the raw data from an XNet interface into a TDMS file. Maybe even some other functions like forcing a new file, or forcing a new file after the current file is so old, or of a certain file size. On buses that are heavily loaded, reading every frame, and then logging it can be use a non-trivial amount of resources, and having this built into the API would likely be more efficient.
XNet already has a standard for how to read and write raw frames into a TDMS file that is compatible with DIAdem, and has several shipping examples with LabVIEW to log into this format.
I have used labview for a long time and avid user. One issue I have been hitting lately is the "LabVIEW everywhere" slogan never really panned out, it has become LabVIEW everywhere NI allows it to be. I am getting jealous of the Arduino and Rasberry Pi and hundreds of PICS and ARMs not avaliable to me (Yes I have the pro liscence but not embedded). I wish Labview pro opened up the toolchain and started porting to many other platforms by default. I am seeing jobs that labview is loosing ot to where it should be much more competetive like the embedded market.
Essentially I am looking to see the Labview development environment easily work with toolchains for the most popular processors and also open up a simple standard to add targets to projects.
Wouldnt it be nice to program a $25 ardunio dirrectly from labview (NO THIS IS NOT WHAT THE TOOLKIT IS DOING). Add a Ardunio target file (maps the io memory to variables and throw down a loop, boolean shift register, a wait and a digital line variable, download to the micro and the blink led example is done. Really open up the doors for LabVIEW everywhere.
When performing a single point read on an XNet session, you will receive the value of the signal that was last read, or the Default value as defined by the database if it has never been read.
This type of functionality is sometimes useful, but more often I'm interesting in knowing what the last reading was, if the reading is relatively recent. The problem with the NI implementation is that you have no way of knowing (with this one session type) if the device is still broadcasting data or not. I think a useful property might be to have a way of specifying an amount of time, that a signal's value is still valid. If I haven't seen an update to a signal in 2 seconds for example, I can likely assume my device is no longer communicating and the reading I get back from the XNet read should return NaN.
I had a small discussion on this topic and posted a solution using an XY session type here, which demonstrates the functionality I am talking about. I'd like this to be built into the API.
The Arduino Due is a 32 bit ARM based microcontroller board that is destined to be very popular. It would be great if we could programme it in LabVIEW. This product could leverage off the already available LabVIEW Embedded for ARM and the LabVIEW Microcontroller SDK.
The Arduino Due is currently in developer trials and is due out later this year. It is expected to be about $50 and is open hardware. The ARM chip is an Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex M3 running at 84 MHz resulting in 100 MIPS of performance. By way of comparison, the current LabVIEW Embedded for ARM Tier 1 (out-of-the-box experience) boards have only 60 MIPS of processing power.
The Arduino brand has an enormous following and Google has selected the Arduino Due for their recently introduced (28 June 2012) Accessory Development Kit for Android mobile phones and tablets (the ADK2012).
(By the way, the currently-available LabVIEW Arduino toolkit does not target the Arduino (and couldn’t since the Arduino Uno uses only an 8 bit microcontroller). Instead there is fixed C code running on the Arduino to transfer peripheral information to the serial port and back. That is, none of the LabVIEW target code executes on the Arduino. This idea is for LabVIEW code developed on a desktop to be transferred and execute on the target Arduino Due.)
Wouldn’t it be great to programme the Arduino Due in LabVIEW?
I distribuute a lot of code, and sometimes it's difficult to tell my users what they need to install in order to run that code. It would be nice if I (or a user) could run a built in LabVIEW utility that tells me what a given VI needs to run.
For example, do I need DAQmx, Mathscript, Robotics?
The BeagleBoard xM is a 32 bit ARM based microcontroller board that is very popular. It would be great if we could programme it in LabVIEW. This product could leverage off the already available LabVIEW Embedded for ARM and the LabVIEW Microcontroller SDK (or other methods of getting LabVIEW to run on it).
The BeagleBoard xM is $149 and is open hardware. The BeagleBoard xM uses an ARM Cortex A8 running at 1,000 MHz resulting in 2,000 MIPS of performance. By way of comparison, the current LabVIEW Embedded for ARM Tier 1 (out-of-the-box experience) boards have only 60 MIPS of processing power. So, about 33 times the processing power!
Wouldn’t it be great to programme the BeagleBoard xM in LabVIEW?
There are a plethora of timestamp formats used by various operating systems and applications. The 1588 internet time protocol itself lists several. Windows is different from various flavors of Linux, and Excel is very different from about all of them. Then there are the details of daylight savings time, leap years, etc. LabVIEW contains all the tools to convert from one of these formats to another, but getting it right can be difficult. I propose a simple primitive to do this conversion. It would need to be polymorphic to handle the different data types that timestamps can take. This should only handle numeric data types, such as the numeric Excel timestamp (a double) or a Linux timestamp (an integer). Text-based timestamps are already handled fairly well. Inputs would be timestamp, input format type, output format type, and error. Outputs would be resultant format and error.
Recently, user cprince inquired why all of the possible Mouse Button presses were not available in LabVIEW. In the original post, it was not clear whether this referred to "normal" mouse functions (as captured, say, by the Event structure) or whether this referred to the Mouse functions on the Input Device Control Palette. The latter has a Query Device, which shows (for my mouse on my PC) that the Mouse has 8 buttons, but the Acquire Input Data polymorphic function for Mouse input returns a "cluster button info" with only four buttons.
The "magic" seems to happen inside lvinput.dll. If, as seems to be the case, the DLL can "see" and recognize 8 Mouse Buttons, it would be nice if all 8 could be returned to the user as a Cluster of 8 (instead of 4) Booleans.
There are currently two NI toolkits which add a software layer on top of the automotive CAN bus.
The Automotive Diagnostic Command Set (ADCS) adds a couple of protocol standards like KWP2000 (ISO 14230), Diagnostics on CAN (ISO 15765, OBD-II), and Diagnostics over IP (ISO 13400). This is a pretty handy API when all you need is one of these protocols. But often when you need to communicate to an ECU, you also want have a normal Frame or Signal/Channel API where you get raw frame data, or engineering units on signals.
The ECU Measurement and Calibration (ECU M&C) adds XCP, and CCP capabilities on top of CAN allowing to read and write parameters based on predefined A2L files. This again is super handy, if the A2L you provide can be parsed, and if all you need to do is talk XCP or CCP to some hardware. But often times you also need to talk over a Frame or Signal/Channel API. And what if you need to also talk over some other protocol.
Every time I've had to use one of these toolkits, it has failed me in real world uses, because you generally don't want just one API you want severaal. And to get that kind of capabilities you often are going to close one API sessions type, and reopen another, then close that and reopen the first. This gets even more difficult when different hardware types either NI-CAN or NI-XNET are used. The application ends up being a tightly coupled mess.
This idea is to rewrite these two toolkits, to be as pure G implementation as possible. The reason I think this would be a good idea, is because with it you could debug issues with file parsing, which at the moment is a DLL call and hope it works, and it would allow for this toolkit to be used, independently of the hardware. Just give it some raw frames, and read data back. NI-XNET already has some of this type of functionality in the form of their Frame / Signal Conversion type, where it can convert from frames to signals without needing hardware. If these toolkits could support this similar raw type of mode then it would allow for more flexible and robust applications, and potentially being able to use these toolkits on other hardware types, or simulated hardware.
Connecting to remote panels using LabVIEW is difficult if private networks, local private and external public IPs (under NAT), and firewalls, etc. are involved. It requires significant knowledge as well as external networking configurations (port forwarding, etc.), and possibly admin privileges to modify those.
There are plenty of companies that have found a way around all this. The prime example is chrome remote desktop, which seamlessly works even if target computers are in hidden locations on private networks, as long as each machine can access the internet with an outgoing UDP connection. The way I understand it, each computer registers with the Google server, which in turn patches the two outgoing connections together in a way that both will communicate directly afterwards. All traffic tunnels inside the plain Google chat protocol (udp based). Similar mechanisms have been developed for security systems (example) and many more.
Since the bulk of the traffic is directly between the endpoints, the traffic load on the external connection management server is very minimal. It simply keeps an updated list of active nodes and handles the patching if requested.
I envision a very similar mechanism where LabVIEW users can associate all their applications and distributed computers with a given user ID (e.g. ni profile), and, at all times be able to get a list of all currently running remote systems published under that user ID. If we want to connect to one of them, the connection server would patch things together without the need of any networking configuration. Optionally, users could publish any given panel under a public key, that can be distributed to allow public connections by any other LabVIEW user.
This is a very general idea. Details of the best implementation would need to be worked out. Thanks for voting!
I think it is very difficult to make a UI that runs on Windows and interacts with targets. Here are two suggestions to improve this:
1. We currently can't have \c\ format style in a file path control on windows. It would be nice to allow user to specify the OS syntax to use instead of assuming it should always be the local sytax.
2. The icing on the cake would be to have the File Path Control support a property node for an IP Address so when the user clicks on the browse button, it automatically browses the target (this is already an idea mentioned in the link below) and uses the syntax of the target. This becomes especially useful as we start to have targets that may have an alternative way of browsing files besides FTP. It would be a pain to figure out which SW is installed on the target and use the correct method to enumerate files/folders.
These two features could be implemented by having an enum property node for the File Path Control called Syntax which include options like: Local, Various OSes (Windows, Linux, Mac, etc), or IP Address. If IP Address is specified, another property Node called IP Address will be used to determine what target's OS to use (if it's not specified or invalid, we default to Local).
Since National Instruments offers support for programming ARM microcontrollers, I think it would be great to start supporting programming very popular recently BeagleBone development board made by Texas Instruments. You can find more information about this device there: http://beagleboard.org/bone . Please kudo it
Currently LabVIEW only has support for Mandriva, RedHat and SUSE Linux. What's even worse, only 32-bit versions of those are supported. Today, 64-bit linux installations are on huge raise, and Ubuntu is getting more and more popular. LabVIEW Linux support should be expanded to include Ubuntu, and 64-bit versions are needed.
If I "create constant" from a path input, and start typing into the path, the control grows to the left, away from the function that accepts it as an input.
But for VISA and IVI, the name controls grow to the right as you type into them, covering up the icon of the function that accepts the input, along with the wire connecting them. Let's make VISA and IVI behave better.