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Browse Products tab gone after update

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@Chris_Cilino wrote:

@Steen, to your point, GCentral is still hoping to solve the "putting our software on thousands of different websities" so we can easily find all software out there. We hope to start moving on a community NIPM GCentral feed in the near future that you'll be able to subscribe to as well as upload to.


And that is awesome.

 

But if I (and everybody else) were to follow NI's example it wouldn't be thousands of static-linkable NI packages, it would be behind thousands of different paywalls impossible to index from the outside. Forget about automating it at least. This is exactly why we long time ago abandoned putting anything up on NI Tools network, and why NITN never became what GCentral is aiming to be. NI really need a thriving community to make 2+2 equal 5. It feels like purposeful roadblocks one after the other.

 

NI never provided a clear answer to why this was done, other than a bit of hand waving "It's better that way" (understand, better exclusively for NI, they won't recommend we do the same). I totally don't get this on so many levels.

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Message 31 of 52
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Sam Taggart posted this idea to the NIPM Idea Exchange: Restore the browse functionality 


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Message 32 of 52
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Hi All,

 

I just wanted to quickly jump in here and reassure you that we are not ignoring the feedback you are sharing. We are actively discussing this internally about how to quickly and efficiently address the concerns you have brought forward.

 

We truly do welcome your feedback and appreciate your criticism when we have done something that negatively affects you. Please continue to pass that along. I will post more updates as we progress on what actions we intend to take as things become more solidified.

 

Also, I want to address/answer a few of the comments that have been brought up in this thread:

 

Hooovahh: "I think that the removal of core features from a software product, and an emphasis on doing that same work on the web, is good reason to ask if that software product is being taken seriously."

 

I completely agree. Questioning our focus on NIPM is totally valid. At this time, I can say we plan to continue moving forward with NIPM and packages as our distribution mechanism for NI software.

 

cbutcher: "Are the products still being hosted via NIPM feeds? As in, if I programmatically add a feed and use the CLI to install a package, will it work? Or is the web link now a download for a package that has to be downloaded separately but still installed using NIPM? Either case still leaves users with the question "but how do I find the feed without first installing the product""

 

Yes, NI products are still being hosted via feeds that can be added in NIPM. I see no reason why programmatically adding a feed and using the CLI to install a package wouldn't work. However, you are right that we currently don't have the full list of product feed URIs publicly available. This is something we are discussing.

 

Gregmoto: "I was generally satisfied with the NIPM automation of finding and installing drivers. Two thumbs down for de-automating the process and creating more work for your customers!"

 

Can you elaborate on what part(s) of your automation process were broken?

 

mwatkins: "Could you provide more explanation of that? Is transactional aspects codeword for something else?"

 

Sure. There are specific actions that need to be taken at the point of the transaction (the download, in this case) that ni.com is set up to perform, such as export compliance checks to ensure that our software is being used appropriately.

 

Taggart: "So we can't even use NIPM to update nipm anymore?"

You should be able to use NIPM to update NIPM. It appears that the screenshot and the comment being referenced are referring to a package requiring a newer version of NIPM in order to install it. This has been the case for most, if not all, of our packaged software thus far, primarily because we are making significant changes in each NIPM release that new packages take advantage of. There may (most likely, will) come a day when we can have "backwards compatibility", but we're not there yet.

 

Thanks.

- Aaron Pena

Message 33 of 52
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@APena wrote:

 

 

Taggart: "So we can't even use NIPM to update nipm anymore?"

You should be able to use NIPM to update NIPM. It appears that the screenshot and the comment being referenced are referring to a package requiring a newer version of NIPM in order to install it. This has been the case for most, if not all, of our packaged software thus far, primarily because we are making significant changes in each NIPM release that new packages take advantage of. There may (most likely, will) come a day when we can have "backwards compatibility", but we're not there yet.

 

Thanks.

- Aaron Pena


Aaron,

             thank you for clarifying. 

Saw

Sam Taggart
CLA, CPI, CTD, LabVIEW Champion
DQMH Trusted Advisor
Read about my thoughts on Software Development at sasworkshops.com/blog
GCentral
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Message 34 of 52
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Hi Aaron, thanks for responding.

 

@APena wrote:

mwatkins: "Could you provide more explanation of that? Is transactional aspects codeword for something else?"

 

Sure. There are specific actions that need to be taken at the point of the transaction (the download, in this case) that ni.com is set up to perform, such as export compliance checks to ensure that our software is being used appropriately.


First off, that would have been a good response the moment people asked.

 

Second, I don't buy export compliance as the reason. Not even a reason. Because of two things:

 

1) Export compliance would affect every piece of software, not just "products". That means also everybody's packages to extend "products". Yours, ours, everybody's. And you said that we needn't  do the same as NI. If export compliance was a real issue it would affect everything the same way.

 

2) We do get software delivered from a lot of companies through equivalent means as NIPM. Adobe, for instance, has their Creative Cloud which is an awesome way to get everything Adobe from for all platforms: Adobe products, updates, third party extensions, materials (icons, templates etc), access to support, forums, help etc. Adobe Creative Cloud can even be extended by third parties, and it has a difference of offerings depending on if you are browsing anonymous or have logged in (several levels of login is supported). I can even open it on my mobile phone and discover and push an update to my work computer. I assume Adobe is subject to the same trade restrictions as NI. Have a look at that, if you want some inspiration.

 

Adobe Creative Cloud.png

 

Taggart: "So we can't even use NIPM to update nipm anymore?"

You should be able to use NIPM to update NIPM. It appears that the screenshot and the comment being referenced are referring to a package requiring a newer version of NIPM in order to install it. This has been the case for most, if not all, of our packaged software thus far, primarily because we are making significant changes in each NIPM release that new packages take advantage of. There may (most likely, will) come a day when we can have "backwards compatibility", but we're not there yet.


I have multiple programs on my computer that can update themselves, and can offer a one-click action if you need to install a newer version. VIPM is one of them. So I would expect NIPM to be able to do that eventually. In the meantime NIPM could at least provide a functioning direct URL to the new version. That should be possible to package for it together with the knowledge that it needs to be updated at all.

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Message 35 of 52
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@SteenSchmidt wrote:

I assume Adobe is subject to the same trade restrictions as NI.


Since NI/LabVIEW is used to launch rockets (al a SpaceX), that can change the way US Export Control applies. Also NI could just be overly cautious.

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Bill Eisenhower
Certified LabVIEW & TestStand Developer
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Message 36 of 52
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Trade restrictions and export compliance only apply to business deals (i.e. selling a license to LabVIEW).

 

If I was from a non-compliant country and used a VPN to access ni.com what would stop me?

 

Using export compliance as a reason for this change is silly...


Larry Colvin
Associate Principal Engineer
Dyson Technology Ltd.

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@CL_eisenwr wrote:

@SteenSchmidt wrote:

I assume Adobe is subject to the same trade restrictions as NI.


Since NI/LabVIEW is used to launch rockets (al a SpaceX), that can change the way US Export Control applies. Also NI could just be overly cautious.


Adobe was just an example of a well done distribution system. I mentioned multiple supported login levels, the same in NIPM could be used to gate whom got hold of what software, instead of simply removing all products from NIPM.

 

But, as I said, just one example. Microsoft does the same with Windows Package Manager, through which you can install Visual Studio. Just as capable of "launching rockets" as LabVIEW. I find trade laws a non-argument for skipping on a solution...

 

Truth be told I, and probably everybody else, suspect NI wants to steer customers toward their website either to get a firmer control of customer data or because they expect the NIPM-features that gets them the same control inside NIPM to be too far in the future development wise. I don't know. But the delay in a thorough public response is strange. I mean, the products tab was removed. There must've been a solid description for why together with that ticket.

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
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Solution
Accepted by topic author PeterFoerster

Summary:

  • You spoke. We listened. We're bringing it back (ETA April 2021).
  • There may still be changes in the future to the mitigate the concerns that led to its removal, but those will be done more thoughtfully and less disruptively.

 

Hi All,

 

First, I want to genuinely say thank you for your feedback and I say that with honesty and humility. It truly is your feedback that helps us drive the directions of our products to better serve you. And that is never more true than in situations like this.

 

Thanks to your feedback on these forums and through other mediums, we learned a lot about how you are using NIPM and specifically the Browse Products tab in your day-to-day workflows. From utilizing it to facilitate IT regulations to discovering and finding NI software in general, we will use this information to make better product decisions in the future. 

 

After much consideration and deliberation based on your feedback, we have decided to bring the Browse Products tab back to NIPM. With all the usual disclaimers of unforeseen priority changes, etc., I will share that the current plan is to bring it back as part of the next release of NIPM (NIPM 20.7) currently scheduled to release in April 2021.

 

That being said, the concerns that led to the initial removal of the Browse Products tab do still exist and will still need to be addressed. However, we felt it was important to bring it back while we explored other options to mitigate these concerns in ways that are less disruptive and more thoughtful to your experiences.

 

Again, thank you genuinely for your feedback. Please keep it coming.

 
Aaron Peña
Product Owner, Package Management
National Instruments
Message 39 of 52
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Thank you Aaron!

Sam Taggart
CLA, CPI, CTD, LabVIEW Champion
DQMH Trusted Advisor
Read about my thoughts on Software Development at sasworkshops.com/blog
GCentral
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