During NIWeek 2018, we gave a demo of LabVIEW NXG to a LabVIEW user on the expo floor. After a few minutes, she commented, “This is very familiar. It looks and feels just like the LabVIEW I know today. So, why is LabVIEW NXG a separate editor?”
Over the next few weeks, we will explore the answer to that question with members of the LabVIEW Product Design team in a blog series called Designing LabVIEW NXG.
This user’s reaction of familiarity is exactly what we’re aiming for with the design of LabVIEW NXG. Being “Authentically LabVIEW” has been one of our design tenets from the early days. We value the years of experience and expertise our users have in using G, and we’ve worked hard to ensure this knowledge is easily leveraged in LabVIEW NXG.
Based on user feedback and insight, we also know that we have an opportunity to streamline some key workflows. It’s in these key areas where we deliberately chose to evolve and improve the behavior. Some of these conceptual changes are foundational enough that making the change in-place in LabVIEW would have been too disruptive for our user’s applications. Creating a separate editor helped us introduce these benefits while also allowing each user to make these changes at their own pace.
For example, the way LabVIEW finds subVI files is simple and easy to understand (that is, a name in memory or a path on disk). However, this approach begins to break down when independent top-level VIs inadvertently use subVIs of the same name, causing a state of cross-linking. In LabVIEW NXG, we addressed this by fundamentally changing the way subVIs are looked up. While we’re confident in the benefits, we also understand that making this change in-place in an existing project would be disruptive for existing applications.
The topics we chose for this blog series are a combination of fundamental concepts and brand-new concepts. Subjects represent some of the core philosophies that have shaped the LabVIEW NXG experience today. We look forward to sharing these insights with you and hearing your thoughts about the direction.