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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!

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Title says all. Can't believe it was never proposed; if it was, I couldn't find.

Missing that, I have to that programmatically, but it's always a detour:

2017-09-28_11-42-52.png

Should be quite easy to change the property page like e.g:

LabVIEW_2017-09-28_11-02-36.png

(6 colors for system booleans, 4 for all others, as known)

 

 

  • UI & Usability

As discussed here, please incorporate the System Controls 2.0 UI elements into core LabVIEW. This would eliminate the need to visit VIPM to obtain the full functionality of the System UI control palette. System Controls 2.0 is not an additional UI style, rather it is the partial completion of the original System controls palette.

 

Including these controls in the default installation would allow the merging of these two palette entries for those that use the System controls for UI development.

 

system.png

 

 

  • UI & Usability

Bookmarks should NOT be created unless the first character after # is an alphabetic character. http://zone.ni.com/reference/en-XX/help/371361N-01/lvhowto/manage_tasks_lv/ says "hashtag followed by text is called a bookmark." Although it says # followed by text, it is not only creating them from alphabet characters but also numbers and symbols, e.g. "ID #132", "(###-###-####)". The number of unintended entries in the Bookmark Manager can render the feature almost worthless, especially when upgrading from 2012 or earlier. There are so many non-bookmark values that the presence of any real bookmark (e.g. code to fix) is lost like a needle in a haystack. I know others (e.g. QFang) liberally use "#" in controls, indicators, descriptions, comments, etc. as shorthand for "number" or "number of". There should be few objections since digits and symbols can be in bookmarks after the first character following #.

  • UI & Usability

DO NOT treat references to controls and indicators as bookmarks because bookmarks cannot be used in control or indicator labels! http://zone.ni.com/reference/en-XX/help/371361N-01/lvhowto/manage_tasks_lv/ says "You cannot use bookmarks in control or indicator labels." However, LabVIEW DOES treat a hashtag (#) in the label of references corresponding to controls and indicators as bookmarks. The problem is that the reference to a control or indicator supports bookmarks but should not. Service Request #7710815 said according to R&D, “this does appear to be an intended function”; In other words, they expect for a hashtag bookmark to be created from the label of a reference to a control or indicator whose labels themselves cannot be bookmarks! Who expects the label of a reference to support a bookmark when what it refers to is an object that does not support bookmarks especially when their text values must be identical? I certainly do not. It seems to be an oversight by NI developers. Is an NI customer going to want to put a hashtag in a control or indicator knowing that bookmarks are not supported there but actually want it references to be bookmarks? Certainly not.

 

Steps to Reproduce:

1. Create new VI, create control, set label to “#1”, open block diagram, create reference; the label is a bold bookmark.

2. In LabVIEW 2012 or earlier, create new VI, create control, set label to “#1”, and create a reference on the block diagram. Open the VI in LabVIEW 2013 or later. The reference’s label shows bold “#” instead of plain text “#1”; note that it is cut off despite “size to text”. Our label names have been customer visible for over seven years; renaming them is unsatisfactory. See hashref.jpg.

 

  • UI & Usability

The Match Regular Expression is worth it's weight in gold, once you get used to it. There is some functionality missing though:

 

1) The begin\end positions of the capturing groups are not available. These positions can be more useful than the matching strings.

2) It's unnecessary slow when the string results are not needed.

3) The results are output terminals, making it hard to adapt to dynamic inputs. A results array is sometimes more convenient. For example a pattern is entered in a GUI.

 

I use the attached VI (based on the same API) a lot, to bypass these limitations. I think it would be useful in the LabVIEW palette, under String>Advanced String Functions.

Match Regular Expression (VI Version).png

  • UI & Usability

When a 1 Dimensional array of any type is showing only a single element, LabVIEW forces a horizontal scrollbar. I couldn't find any documentation or reasoning behind it. It's really annoying and ruins UI design that Vertical is the normal scrolling direction for just about everything else ever and LV messes that up for some seemingly arbitrary reason.

  • UI & Usability

Here's a dumb mistake I think many of us can relate to:

bundle_by_name.gif

It would be really nice if the VI were just broken in this situation. But I can understand why it's not necessarily simple to mark node *outputs* as required.

 

 

But maybe there could be a way for the editor to *hint* that there is a problem here. Maybe the bundle nodes could change color when the output terminal is wired, so you could get a little more obvious feedback if you screwed up like this.  The same could go for any other primitives that have a "for type" input (e.g. unflatten from string, variant to data, to more specific class, etc).

 

Granted, VI Analyzer could report bugs like this, but having a little more immediate feedback would probably be a big win.

 

(Let me know if this should be cross-posted to the NXG idea exchange, too).

  • UI & Usability

The "Read Key (Double).vi" is not giving out proper values when a SI notation number is present in the ini file. For e.g. if the number is 1m it returns as 1 while the actual value should be 0.001. It will be helpful if the format specifier is provided as another control.

  • UI & Usability

Take for example an enum that is saved as a type def. The enum has many items (let's say words) of varying length.

 

In order to see all of the elements, inclusive of the widest one, the array can be sized with the right-click option "Size to Widest Element".

 

If the type def'd enum is edited, and a longer element is added, the array of enum constants will not size to the widest element. This can be frustrating, as dozens (or more) of these arrays scattered about the program are rendered unreadable.

 

If the user has previously chosen to "Size to Widest Element", this setting should persist. If the user edits the enum, all of the array constants should size to the widest element.

 

-------------------------- Example ----------------------------------------------------------------------

 size to widest.pngsize to widest2.png

 

 

 

 

  • UI & Usability

I would like to have the possibility to "negate" some comparison functions such as "Empty String/Path?". This can avoid to add the "Not" operator.

The picture below is a possible implementation. The dot on the input (on the output ok also) is showing the negation.

Labview Idea.png

This might be good to be implemented for the following functions:

Labview Idea 2.png

  • UI & Usability

Please let me opt out from this new feature, introduced in LabVIEW 2017, permanently in the setup dialog.

Using LabVIEW for a very long time (since LabVIEW 2.0), I never wished such a feature (it got only 27 Kudoes) - and - I am even using it's "anti feature", implemented up to now, constructively to detach objects (Pull control into a structure, connect it to the new target - and "Ctrl B").

This new feature, forced onto everybody, would be less annoying, if pressing "W" would reliably disable the feature. However,  at least in vritual windows machines (Parallels) on a Mac, it does not work 50% of the time.

 

  • UI & Usability

This idea is to improve the QuickDrop search window, to return functions that might be betters suited, based on the datatype of the selected function or wire.  Lets say I have a 1D array of numerics selected and I want to reverse it.  I will select the wire, then invoke QD and type "reverse".  But the first item in the list is actually "Reverse String".  With a context aware QD hopefully the search window will see I have an array of numerics, and prioritize the Reverse 1D Array function, and still include the reverse string but maybe push it farther down the list.  

 

This idea can be applied to the basic data types pretty easily (numerics, boolean, array, string, cluster).  But we could also use this on class wires that are selected.  A class library can have an associated mnu file, which is why some functions you can right click and the corresponding subpalette menu comes up.  So this idea could also prioritize functions that are found in the mnu associated with the class.

  • UI & Usability

Once in a while I encounter a case or event list that forces me to grow the structure

- in order to keep the list readable:

Selector.png

It would be nice if the item-list would automatically "wrap" instead.  

Selector4.png

  • UI & Usability

Now that the SSP package is delivered on USB instead of DVDs (good stuff!), I have a minor request: Could you have the USB label include a release/version name on its label?

It might add too much of a cost depending on how you get them customized, but if that is not an issue it would be very practical to be able to see what the USB contains by its label (as we could with the DVDs).Smiley Happy

 

On a side note: Many companies have strict regulations on the use of USBs, and the need for such has increased with weaknesses like BadUSB. Perhaps NI could state something about how the USB sticks they send out are protected, either in the delivery package, or just as a statement on ni.com? That way people who need to convince their IT departments to allow them to use the NI USB sticks will have something to show (I'm sure you will have to add some legal disclaimers there as well , but that's OK).

  • UI & Usability

After reading Restore High Contrast Icons I procrastinated as long as possible before installing LV2016.  When I finally did, I was disappointed by the additional space required for the palettes; all of them!  I have been using LabVIEW since 5.0 and switched to an Icon view of the palettes shortly after getting comfortable with the graphics.  Now, I have to move my mouse further to get to each sub-menu and VI selection.  It's a waste of developer's time and apparently done for absolutely no good reason except to make a change; very similar to the washed out icons.

This extra space needs to be removed or at least an option provided to set the spacing back to the condensed spacing always available.

These images to show the relative size of the palettes LV2016 vs. 2015.

Controls Palette

ControlsPalette

BoolenPalette

Functions Palette

FunctionsPalette.png

ArrayPalette

 

Yes, this might seem trivial, until you think about traversing several palettes to get to your needed VI.

 

FTPPalette

*Random example, if one were doing FTP development they'd pin the menu.

** The original size of the above graphic is 1030 pixels wide; less than 800 for 2015.

 

Quit messing with what works and has become the standard with regards to options.  At least when that ridiculous "default" setting for icons instead of terminals was introduced we could undo the setting in Options

It seems that NI has hired some non-G experts to mess up the interface simply so they can enumerate all the "great" improvements they've made.  Or, was all the extra space to make sure newbies couldn't miss the folder tab, since connecting the "right arrow" on an icon to it being a sub-folder would be too difficult for children?

 

  • UI & Usability

This must be duplicate, but can't find it anywhere...

 

What I'm missing is a Static VI Reference, that instantiates a clone:

Static Clone Reference.png  

 

 

It might needs a new name, since it's not a static reference. But "Clone Reference" is ambiguous (a reference to a clone). Maybe "Clone Allocator"?

 

Obviously, making it a strict type is still possible:

Static Clone Reference (strict).png

  • UI & Usability

Currently, having one misconnected wire breaks the entire wire tree and pressing ctrl+b wipes out everything. Poof!

 

In the vast majority of (my) scenarios, a broken wire is due to a small problem isolated to one branch so it does not make sense to drag the entire wire from the source to all valid destinations down with it and break everything in the process.

 

Here is a simplified example to illustrate the problem (see picture).

 

 

In (A) we have mostly good code. If we add a wire as shown, that wire (and VI!) must break of course because such a wire would not make any sense.

 

However, it does not make sense to also break the good, existing branches of the wire (the cluster in this case), but that is exactly what we get today as shown in (B). If we press ctrl+b at this point, all broken wires will disappear and we would have to start wiring from scratch (or undo, of course Smiley Happy). Even the context help and tip strip is misleading, because it claims that the "source is a cluster ... the sink is long ...", while that is only true for 25% of the sinks in this case!

 

What we should get instead is shown in part (C). Only the tiny bad wire branch should break, leaving all the good connection untouched. Pressing ctrl+b at this point should only remove the short bad wire.

 

The entire wire should only be broken in cases where nothing is OK along its entire length, e.g. if there is no source or if it connects to two different data sources, for example.

 

Summary: Good parts of a wire should remain intact if only some of the branches are bad. Wires that go to a destination compatible with the wire source should not break.

 

(Similarly, for dangling wires, the red X should be on the broken branch, not on the good source wire as it is today)

 

Implementation of this idea would significantly help in isolating the location of the problem. Currently, one small mistake will potentially cover the entire diagram with broken wires going in all directions and finding the actual problem is much more difficult than it should be.

  • UI & Usability

Many controls allow you to make scrollbars visible. When a user clicks anywhere within the control, including on the scrollbar, this counts as a Mouse Down. It would be nice if the Mouse Down event would indicate whether the click was on the scrollbar or on the actual clickable area of the control, so you could do different actions based on which it was. Of course, you can usually do manually by checking boundaries of the control against the coordinates of the click, but it seems like a common thing so it would be easier if the check was built in.

Scrollbar Idea.png

  • UI & Usability

ThisVI.PNG

The label should be hidden as standard on This VI referrence as it gives no extra information, it only clutters the block diagram.

/Y

  • UI & Usability

The ctrl+drag and ctrl+alt+drag shortcuts for adding and removing space on the BD are super awesome. But I think they would be even *more* awesome with the following tweak:

Limit space addition/removal to the visible diagram; i.e. don't make any changes to other cases in a case structure.

 

I have had many situations where I was doing cosmetic tweaks in one case of a case structure, only to find I have overlapping items in another case that I wasn't looking at.

 

auto_size_issues.gif

 

Hopefully this simple animated gif demonstrates what I'm talking about.

 

(And yes, I know we could enable "auto-grow" on the case structure to eliminate the shrink-case-smaller-than-contents problem, but that still doesn't address all the potential issues here.)

  • UI & Usability