Friday, August 10, 2007

New toy: LabVIEW 8.5

So I downloaded a new toy a couple of days ago - I just couldn't wait for my CDs to come through the mail in a couple of weeks - but with all the things going on at work, I haven't had a lot of time to play with it. Hopefully that will come this weekend. But there are a few things that I noted about it so far:

  • NI finally added conditional for-loop exiting. They've needed this for a while. After all, an endless loop is one of the classic software bugs, and in LV the while loop is the prime contributer to this problem.
  • They've changed shared re-entrant VIs some. I haven't looked at this in much detail yet, but I've always been a little ambivalent about the re-entrant status of VIs in general. I know there are developers who rely on that feature all the time to use a subVI as a sort of variable for holding data. To me that seems like a bit of a crutch and asking for complicated bugs. I'll play with the new changes to see if it has changed my mind any.
  • NI is anal enough to change the names of VIs because they mispelled "zeros" - previous versions of LV include a VI called Find All Zeroes of f(x). I got a real chuckle out of that.

Of course, NI almost always releases a new version of LV right around the beginning of August to coincide with NI Week down in Austin, TX. I went last year but was on vacation this year. So I wasn't really surprised the new version came out. But it's fun to have a new toy nevertheless.

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