Friday, September 10, 2010

Visual Programming and LabVIEW, part 1

This is a long post, since I'm covering several different ideas I've had the last few weeks.  I'll break it up into two separate posts this weekend.

LabVIEW 2010 is out, I've installed it, and I've played around with it for a month.  Frankly, it leaves me a little blah.  Yes, it has some speed improvements (but they improve the speed some every year) and some nifty new features (listed here) I can use.  But there is no real wow factor for me.  Maybe I'm jaded, but the last few LV releases have been solid stolid improvements on an existing edifice.  I really liked the project concept in LV8, I applauded the object oriented programming support in LV8.2, and I thought the new icon editor in LV2009 was long overdue. NI has been releasing a lot of useful, individual features each year, but there has been no overarching theme.  I'd just like to see something more from a graphical language.

I'd felt this way for the past year or so.  Then I read an article last month in Dr. Dobb's Journal about Google's App Inventor.  I followed this link to a 15 year old article about the cube language, written by a guy who now works at Microsoft.  These two items sparked some ideas.

That's enough for tonight.  Tomorrow I'll write what I think NI should do with a future version of LabVIEW.

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