Thursday, February 26, 2015

LabVIEW thoughts, part 3-a (addendum)

A few days ago I wrote a post about LabVIEW versioning problems (again).  Here's something that I forgot to include in that rant:

To be fair, NI did help me resolve the problem.  I had to talk with a half-dozen people before it was fixed, but still.  Of those numerous people I talked with, one confidentially shared with me an interesting observation.  He (or she) said that this was far from the first versioning issue he'd dealt with, and it all went back to an NI philosophy: they don't go out of their way to support older hardware/software.  They would much rather you just upgrade to the latest versions.

This is fine if you're a small company buying equipment for the first time.  But for a big corporation (like I work for now) that is trying to maintain older systems, it's is difficult.

I'm guessing that this is partly why LabVIEW sometimes has such a bad rep.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

LabVIEW thoughts, part 3 (the bitter edition)

I said back in December that I would write a series of posts about LabVIEW.  In this third post in the series, I want to talk a little about LabVIEW versioning hell.

This is not a new topic with me (look here or there).  LabVIEW version issues bit me again at work, only this time it was related to old hardware.  The problem stretched out for a month - from mid-December until I finally fixed it in January - but here's the crux of it:

  1. I had an older PXI chassis with a new RT computer.
  2. I couldn't get triggering to work on a couple of DAQ cards.
  3. The triggering didn't work because the newer version of the PXI software (on the new RT) didn't support the old PXI.
  4. The newer LV for RT code didn't support the older PXI software that I needed.

To resolve this, I had to completely wipe the RT computer (several times, but that's a different story), re-install an older LV version, and then downgrade my LV code (with all the headaches that entailed).  In other words, WEEKS of effort.


Not convinced that LabVIEW has a versioning problem?  Take a look at these convoluted eye charts, all directly from the NI website:

Sometimes I think NI expects customers to just sit and take it, like obedient pets...