Open Source LabVIEW

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Getting Started

Hey Guys,

So let me be a little more specific about this project.

Open source is growing at a crazy rate. The number of projects on sites like github and bitbucket now double around every 13 months. I've recently been seeing more of this as I've been doing a lot more javascript work as well and it has dispelled a view different myths for me:

  1. Open source can be well supported, and if you can't find an answer, or wait for an answer, you can just open the source to understand it better.
  2. Open source can be high quality. I think I have come across one bug in 5 months of heavy use.
  3. Open source is truely collaborative. I've been using Angular.js which is open source but also as a dev team in google so I was skeptical about how much the community contributes but looking in github there are  over 1,000 individuals that have contributed changes (34 of which have made 10 or more commits). This is consistent across many of the larger projects.

Without the availability of these projects I could not have achieved so much in so little time and it has convinced me that if we can foster a stronger open source approach in the LabVIEW community we can achieve better things and faster than we already do. This might be through additional libraries like openg or the JSON project on the LAVA code repository or additional tools like the LabVIEW Task Manager or VI package manager (I realise this isn't open source but it demonstrates that we don't have to depend on NI for tools if we take the initiative).

Out of this I want to start this project (tentatively "Open Source LabVIEW" but we will probably need to come up with a name that doesn't have a trademark!) to raise awareness of these projects and educate the LabVIEW community on the best approaches to collaborative development. This is where I need your help as I'm by no means an expert myself!

My initial ideas center around building a community of enthusiasts such as yourselves to help produce a web site and raise awareness of projects. I have a couple of key ideas of what I think will set off on a good start.

Educate: Practical tips on using sites like github effectively. Issue tracking, forking and pull requests. Github apparently have a good community team that we can try and reach out to and understand if they have materials we can use.

Raising Awareness: Having a directory of existing projects and highlighting them so people are aware of the libraries that already exist rather than reinventing the wheel.

So first questions for those of you that are keen enough to join already:

  1. I initially put this up here to give a nice low barrier to entry but longer term I was thinking that using github to run the project sends a nice clear message and makes sure we all get a good exposure to how it works. If anyone thinks this is a bad idea let me know!
  2. We need a name without LabVIEW in it. It is a trademark and we are banned from using it in things like domain names so it makes sense to start off on the right foot so any ideas you have would be great.
James Mc
========
CLA and cRIO Fanatic
My writings on LabVIEW Development are at devs.wiresmithtech.com
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Re: Getting Started

On the naming front one idea I had is that rather than LabVIEW we should use G.

Obviously Open G is taken though and Open Source G is too similar.

"FreeG" - I think this sounds too much like it is currently shackled though which isn't the point.

"CommunityG"

James Mc
========
CLA and cRIO Fanatic
My writings on LabVIEW Development are at devs.wiresmithtech.com
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Re: Getting Started

Hi James

So I  joined as I am interested in see where you are going with this.  In truth at this stage I am not clear in the distinctive difference you are aiming for here against the already existing code repository of LAVA or the NI Tools network. Or even the new NI-DEV GitHub

Regarding your question 1) I suspect the start point needs to be pushing a GitHub or similar system (Mecurial).

How about OpenWires 

Danny Thomson
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Re: Getting Started

Hi Danny,

In essence I want to help those networks grow. The LAVA CR is a great example, there is some great code on there but a) I think the awareness outsite of LAVA is low that it even exists and b) Too few projects on there are backed by an open repo which the community can contribute back to. It is still very much single developers sharing a build. I think by opening these to the community the library can be improved in ways that the original developer didn't invision or broaden beyond their use case to be useful to a much wider audience.

NI-DEV is a step in the right direction but I think that more is better! And I don't think it has to be driven by NI, I think the community is capable of helping push LabVIEW forward as well as NI.

Does that make more sense? Thanks for your comments though, I really want to get a feel for what the community opinion is on this subject as my goal isn't to force a split or a new community as much as enhance what is already there and I definately think part of the process is going to be working with LAVA, Tools Network, OpenG to understand how we can help.

I like OpenWires

James Mc
========
CLA and cRIO Fanatic
My writings on LabVIEW Development are at devs.wiresmithtech.com
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Re: Getting Started

I'm still fairly new to the whole open source concept so I'm going to be more of an observer than an actor for the beginning. But this does sound promising to me.

I am a daily user of LAVA, but I must admit that I'm still confused about what else is out there...

+1 for OpenWires

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Re: Getting Started

OpenWires sounds nice .

I wanted to quickly step in and mention my group's (ni systems engineering) efforts to move our work in this open-source direction. We've recently put up a few different sets of tools on a github organization (https://github.com/NISystemsEngineering). And I created this project (https://decibel.ni.com/content/projects/open-source-community-collaboration) on the reference design portal to help people get started with git. Admittedly neither effort has a ton of contributions yet, but I've gotten generally positive feedback internally and I am (slowly) trying to drive people towards posting the things they work on externally when its possible to do so.

tl;dr, I think this is a cool idea, but I'm having trouble gathering steam. Its nice to see someone else coming at this same issue.

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Re: Getting Started

Count me in for participation and raising awarness!

Just googled "OpenWire" and found this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenWire_(library)

_______________________________________________________________________
CLD and son of CLD - Simplexity Expert
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Re: Getting Started

Hmm that could be too similar. We could be the open wires project instead?

James Mc
========
CLA and cRIO Fanatic
My writings on LabVIEW Development are at devs.wiresmithtech.com
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