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The best thing about Pharlap is that it will run dll's like Windows.
Making shared libraries for VxWorks (*.out files) is quite an arduous process if you don't have Wind River software. The GNU toolchain, that used to be the free alternative, does not work on Windows Vista or 7, leaving those of use who have chosen to upgrade out of luck.
It would be great is LabVIEW could provide a way to compile *.out files from the Application Builder and thereby provide more complete support for development on the CompactRIO platform.
It would be very useful that RT FIFOs could be of type lvclass as long as the class' private members are of static types (perform the same check that is done for clusters when you try to use them as the type for RT FIFOs).
The SVE on a windows based platform acts as a OPC-DA server. Due to the requirements for DCOM, this is not possible on real-time target. However, as OPC-UA is gaining traction, I would find it very useful to have the SVE act as an OPC-UA server for integration with 3rd party systems (SCADA, IIoT).
I know that there is the OPC-UA API palette, however, this takes more time to setup than creating a shared variable (i.e. a tag) and moving on with the application development. If update rates are slow enough (500-1000ms), I have found the shared variable to be more than adequate for my applications (500-800 NSVs), so I'm not looking for granular control over how I send data out of the cRIO system. Ease of use is my primary concern.
I know there has been some discussion in other areas about an "Android build" of LabVIEW, but I am thinking specifically about the Touch Panel Module. An option to target and deploy an HMI onto a low-cost, readily available Android tablet would be tremendous for RT projects, in my opinion. I've got 2 different projects right now that require expensive Win7 tablet PCs, but all they are doing is running a custom LV application to be used as a basic HMI, which is complete overkill. I know the webserver is an option, but it has some limits, and I'd like to have multiple varieties of HMIs available to show varying degrees of system data and performance, which gets dicey with a webserver situation (at least, in my experiences so far).
It just seems like expanding the TPM so that it's keeping up with the times (Android and iOS dominance) seems like a win/win for NI and developers.
Currently many controllers from NI only have one way to deal with a failure to contact a DHCP server - they will try to use a link local address (APIPA). If this too fails (due to Proxy ARP e.g.) the controller will not even start the RT Application (which might have other tasks to do regardless of the lack of netorking and/or might run code that will remedy the IP problem), but go into Safe Mode. This in itself is bad enough and should be changed to allow the application to be run, however the main request / idea I have will fix this indirectly:
- It should be an option to not fall back to APIPA, but to use the last known configuration (as long as the lease time is still valid). If the DHCP server is down the controller will have the IP-configuration it received the last time the server was up, and will use that configuration.
Currently a VI running in a Real Time environment does not support run time menus. I understand the restriction, but what I find odd is VIs that have the menu reference wire cannot compile for RT targets. This may seem like no big deal, because why would you have a menu reference wire, but not use it? But I have come to find two examples that make RT code a bit more difficult due to this issue.
If I have a polymorphic VI, and one of the polymorphic types has a menu reference terminal, then I can't use that polymorphic VI in an RT VI, even if the instance that is being used doesn't use the menu reference. One work around for this is to wrap the entire VI that does use the menu reference (terminals and all) in a conditional disable structure so that it does nothing on RT.
Another issue comes in the form of templates. I have various temples to get code started, and most of it can run on RT or other targets without any need to change the code, just place conditional disable structures where needed. But I found one issue where I can't have an event structure on RT, that has the Shortcut Menu Activation? event, because it generates a menu reference wire. Ideally this event just can't be generated on RT, so the compiler would know to not include it, and it would allow the VI to run on RT. Same for polymorphic VIs that have a menu reference in one of its instances.
A better solution might be to lift all restrictions of using the menu reference wire on RT, and just assume that using the menu reference on RT does nothing, like a No-Op. Optionally an error could be generated if one of the menu reference functions are used, but for the sake of simplicity I'm not sure that is needed. What I'm really looking for, is a way to allow VIs to run on RT, that have menu reference wires types, but aren't used. Note the VI below which can't run on RT and the reason given is that the menu reference can't be used on RT, but it isn't being used, it is just wired to a disabled case.
We have some software which runs in different versions on the same hardware and in testing, we often need to have the software running for benchmarking or debugging from the development environment.
A major pain is the inability for devices within a single project to share an IP address (when not connected). I would suggest that multiple targets within a single project should be allowed to have the same IP address set (although of course only one can be connected at a time).
I frequently use the RT Debug String VI to add useful comments about the health of my application. Sometimes, I believe it would be nice to indicator error/danger conditions with a different color of text.
Do you feel it would be useful to have the ability to change the color of the string? If so, vote me up.
We could solve a lot of our designs with sbRIO and LabVIEW RT if the sbRIOs' CAN interface was designed to be a slave, and there was a DS301 compliant CANOpen slave API available for LabVIEW RT.
I'm a bit surprised that only the master side is covered today, as I'm sure a lot of people will utilize sbRIOs in devices that are more natural to define as slaves, not masters.
Throw in a dual set of equivalent network interfaces and the sbRIO platform and RT is an ideal platform for subsea instrumentation, with SIIS Level 2 (CANOpen) and SIIS Level 3 (Ethernet) communication capabilities, at least as long as the power requirements are kept low.
The only functionality of RT USB is mass storage. It would be helpful to add at least RAW Data USB support to use USB port for connecting i.e. USB / RS232 adapter. Many analyzers use integrated serial/USB converter chips to transfer data to PC, because no need of specialized driver (you get the driver with the chip). The ability of RAW USB support allows to connect these analyzers to cRIOs and RT PC Targets.
This would be implemented on RT Targets such as cRIO or WSN controllers. The purpose would be to significantly decrease the amount of power used by a controller when it is idling. A typical application would be remote field deployements of controllers programmed as either data loggers or WSN controller node. Competing products offer much lower power consumption than a cRIO or WSN controller. If the RT controller could be put to sleep, with a watchdog timer for instance to set the awake timing power could be conserved.
At the moment the only way around this is to have a third party device applying power to the controller...
At the moment, there is a small development problem with dynamically launched VIs (via the Asynchronous Call method). They are not recognised as dependencies during the deployment process, so the code can't be run effectively in development mode via the run arrow (those VI's will return File Not Found errors).
A simple fix for this would be to be able to mark VI's as "always deploy" in the project window.
Similar to NI's Visual Studio 2008 support, it would be great if NI installed the Visual Studio 2010 run time to the Real-Time target and supported it officially with tools such as the DLL checker.
I know that currently, I can statically link in the 2010 run time to my built libraries if I want to run them on RT... but it would be nice to not have to. This would also enable products like LabVIEW Simulation Interface Toolkit and NI VeriStand to officially claim 2010 support on their readme's... as by default the make files used by these NI products do not statitcally link in the run time and I have to hack the make file to enable support.
I am using the AF-1501 Frame Grabber Module from MoviMED. Right now I am able to capture and store images in BMP and TIFF formats at the RT level but I would like to be able to create AVI videos at the RT level.
The idea is to be able to record videos and then store them (either in the internal memory of the RIO or in an SD card using the NI-9802).
The problem is that the RT processor does not run windows and has no cocdecs. Therefore the AVI generation VI's from the vision palet do not work. Even if it is tight to a particular codec, it would be great to be able to create AVI's on the RT target.
The development environment for RT is really a great, integrated system. It's so convenient to develp on a regular PC and deploy the VIs for testing. The real-time UI feedback during development is a boon to productivity. It's difficult to imagine a useful RT workflow that doesn't include a live panel in the development mode -- it's an idea that is both powerful and intuitive.
What I would really like to see next is similar RT panel interactivity in a deployed run-time system.
At the moment, I am using a 'remote panels' implementation to stream an interactive panel view back to the PC. (I assume that this is similar to how things are managed by the development environment itself.) The problem with this approach is that the Remote Panels API seems a bit flakey at times. I don't always seem to get a reliable connection. What's worse is the programming overhead associated with setting up the remote panels connection, and the sometimes fickle behavior of Windows in allowing a remote PC to connect.
Since the RT development environment already has the capability of seamlessly displaying an interactive UI on the Windows client, would it be that difficult to add UI panel feedback into the run-time executable environment?
I realize that, at first glance, this may seem to defeat the whole purpose of an RT system. However, I have built a few different Vision RT systems over the last few years, and the same challenge always seems to come up in every project. When I need to implement a calibration, focus and/or alignment mode on the RT target, I find myself performing all kinds of contortions to retrofit a simple interactive RT utility for use in the deployable application.
If I could simply implement an RT VI that presents an interactive UI on the Windows client (just like when you are in the LV Development mode), perhaps I could eliminate the complexity of my current strategies: Either 1) developing an elaborate case structure and messaging system on both sides of the network connection to pass images and parameters across the network in real-time, or 2) implementing a (hit-or-miss) remote panel linkage to a self-contained RT configuration VI over a remote panel connection that isn't always as robust as I wish it would be.
If the heavy liting has already been done for the Development system, surely it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to enable similar functionality in the run-time environment..?