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QFang

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QFang last won the day on April 19 2015

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About QFang

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    LAVA groupie

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    LabVIEW 2015
  • Since
    2005
  1. QFang

    Drop into a tree from other program

    Is this still the 'best' way to do this? NI claims that the functionality of the "Windows Message Queue library" has been superseded by VI Server, but if it has, I'm blind as to how exactly it has? I'm a bit perplexed as I figured adding support for drag-dropping files from explorer into e.g. a graph indicator was as simple as handling the drag-drop event for a given control element, yet, when I created such an event, I found that dragging (a file) from explorer to the graph or chart indicator resulted in the mouse-cursor changing to the 'not allowed' traffic sign, and the drop event never fired..? What I expected to be a few minutes of adding an event handler to look at 'what' was dropped on the graph indicator/control has turned into a wild goose chase online. This cannot still be this hard to do in LabVIEW (2015 SP1)... Or can it?
  2. QFang

    [CR] Variant Probe

    I install version 2.4.1 using VIPM, it shows up in LabVIEW under right-click custom probes, but when I try to place the probe it will say "cannot load the custom probe".. I've tried un-installing and re-installing the package. It worked once upon a time, and it would be really super useful right now. :/ Any ideas what I could try? Win7 pro (64bit) LabVIEW 2013 SP1 (32 bit) no other versions installed currently.
  3. QFang

    Strategy Pattern Example

    Thank you for making and sharing this. I found the explanations very helpful. My big complaint right now is that I'm incredibly hungry and its only 11am... Thanks!! Q
  4. QFang

    Where are the lines?

    Thanks Tim, I will try the log file class: Just one question there: it needs information from the (not yet developed) configuration class/cluster. Should this data be passed as an argument into the method(s) along with data to update the log file with, or should this information be retrieved by calling a method of the not yet developed configuration class internally? It seems it would be cleaner to obtain this inside of the object. Is that the correct way to think of it?
  5. QFang

    Where are the lines?

    This sounds like a great idea. Currently there is an array of "super-cluster" that contains all the information needed for each "channel" by the "engine" in the current software. The engine (in current software) is a queued state machine that is passed an array of all configured/active channels for one instrument. The QSM iterates over the super-clusters passed to it when idle and handles top-level requests for data etc. in between. The super-cluster however, currently contains about 44 various data elements grouped in sub-clusters. Some elements are arrays themselves. In its current form, since the engine a) configures, b) acquires c) logs data for every configured channel on a single physical instrument d) updates a modbus memory map etc.; the data in the cluster today consists of non-related and loosely coupled elements. I.e. the super secret algorithm for data reduction parameters is used on the data retrieved from the instrument, the data in the "log" cluster is used to create and store the log files (meta data, tags, folders etc.), the instrument sub cluster contains most of what the instrument needs to know etc. So to "decouple" this super cluster, I could create classes for each logical group of data (say, algorithm, instrument, log, sensor, Modbus). Now, I need all of this data to be conveniently stored to file. Currently, all configuration data for all channels on all instruments are stored in a single binary file. On startup, a parser reads the binary file and sorts out one array for each defined instrument. These sub-arrays are then passed to dynamically spawned "engines", one for each instrument. Where my thinking breaks down on making this an LVOOP implementation is this: How can I group and organize all these things as different classes such that all the parts of the engine can get to the information it needs (i.e. log info cluster for instrument 1, channel 2)? As stated above, it currently does so by reading a FG by passing in what instrument number it is and the config/channel index it wants. Hummm. I could have a class "configuration", with methods "read file", "write file", "set" and "get"? Then I could make children of that class, one for each logical group? Each child would build and maintain arrays (or some such) in private data space of all "configuration elements", then the engine would access the data by calling override versions of the parent get's for each child type as required and an init routine (prior to the launch of the engine(s)) could call the parent "read file"? or something to that effect. I'm already seeing a couple of issues with this, since doing this, the parent won't know the data structure of the children so it can't read/write a single file, but if I do this at the child level, then I end up with one file per child, right? Wait, don't tell me, I need to start with something simpler.. -I don't have anything against simple per se, its just all my readily to mind examples belong to this project which has a lot of complexity to it.
  6. QFang

    Where are the lines?

    Sounds like a good suggestion. I've noticed in tutorials and examples for LVOOP that multiple projects are common.. They still sort of blow my mind. I'm re-working through some NI "draw-along" exercises to pick up a better understanding of this. And yes, the Whiteboard is a great idea. As far as the 10k overview, I'm almost done creating pseudo flow charts of the various components and functions that exist in the current code base. I've already spotted several places were things are more complect (intertwined) than they need to be. I'll keep learning and trying out things on a smaller scale and I'll update this as I go along. (Is there a "work-blog" type section of the forum, or can I use this thread as such?) To all of you, thanks for your comments and for even reading my post. I tend to be long winded because I want to give as much information as I can.. not always a good thing though.
  7. QFang

    Where are the lines?

    Yes, I do feel a little overwhelmed. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my I think perhaps what has been causing some of the confusion on my end has been my brains desire to think of the classes and objects as complete programs unto themselves, instead of as "sub-vi" building blocks that together make up a complex program. My opening heading still applies though: where to draw the line (in the sand so to speak)? Using an arbitrary instrument as an example and from your statement, the instrument would be a class, but it would also have other (unrelated) classes "inside" of it, right? So inside some of the methods for the instrument class, I would need to call methods of another class for communication (with children for tcp/ip, modbus, serial or whatever is appropriate for the instrument)? right? Maybe my mind is just buckling from trying to take it all in at once, but this doesn't seem like something I can/should do in the project view? yeah, I could see that. I might just pick my poison and start traveling down a path and see where it leads. The masochist in me wants to pick the ACTOR framework just because it seems very complicated and feature rich. Thanks, I will try to make small proof of concept machines to run on the RT target and see if they behave as expected. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of work to set up simple proof of concepts in LVOOP.. or rather, it seems that way now since everything is new to me still. I'll report back on progress.. Maybe this thread can evolve into a "one mans journey into the maws of OOP" or something like that! Thanks again!
  8. Hi Background: I'm diving into this "OOP" stuff right now. My background is NOT CS (Computer Science) but instead electronics and aerospace design. Diving into the deep end of the pool, I'm still in that happy ignorant state of "this is fun" right before I'm realizing I can't swim and that I might drown, or that I can probably stay afloat, but I'm not at all sure what direction I need to swim in to get to shore, or to get to friendly shores... you get the picture I'm sure. (That said, I'm very familiar with "standard" LabVIEW, including RT and FPGA, and have worked full time with LabVIEW for over 2.5 years, I have the CLD and CPI certification for LabVIEW. I currently use LabVIEW 2011.) Anyway. I've read white papers and articles (How to Mitigate Hardware Obsolescence in Next-Generation Test Systems, LabVIEW Object-Oriented Programming: The Decisions Behind the Design, LabVIEW Object-Oriented Programming FAQ), watched presentations and seminars (Data Communication in LabVIEW Technical Seminar), read forum posts(Techniques for componentizing code), looked at exercises and examples (Object Oriented Design Patterns Technical Manual and Exercises, Software Engineering with LabVIEW, ) and poured over blogs (Worker pool – a design pattern for parallel task execution in LabVIEW, Unlimited parallelism & concurrency with recursive dataflow, Eyes on VI's) and I still find myself still confused on a lot of "core" things (that may only come with experience?). I certainly don't claim to understand all of the linked material; I'm still toweling off from drinking from that fire-hydrant, but I wanted to show that I have done some studying of the topic and figured that if I put at least some of the links up here, it may even help others like me find good links on this OOP beast. While a lot of this went over my head, I find myself applying and using the term "complecting" and "complect" a lot when thinking about what I want to do and what I don't want to do and for those with time to kill, its a very interesting talk that points out some things regarding "easy" and "simple" that I think is all too commonly forgotten in todays work.. go on.. I'll wait while you watch/listen to it.. you know you want to click it .. go on, its Simple Made Easy its good for you. I'm still in the planning phase, having been blessed with the time to take it slow and do it right (while maintaining some legacy code on the side while I'm incubating this next generation version), so I'm not committed to any particular architecture or method (including OOP). Key is that I (or <we>) will need to support this platform for years while adding new features etc. along the way. So I'm pretty sure that OOP is the right choice.. but how to organize and implement it. Since I can't hope to learn everything in one post here is: MY QUESTION FOR THIS POST: How do you know what to put in a class and where to draw the line, both in terms of having too many things in one class, and having to granular (huge amount of classes for the littlest things)?? Example: I have an instrument. Its a peculiar type of instrument with a little bit of a personality (that changes with firmware). Do I create a giant class called myInstrument and create methods for everything I need to do (and get) from the instrument? Or do I make smaller classes for "configure" and "acquire" and gather them all up in another class? -The instrument communicates over USB or TCP/IP, surely that should be a layer/class of themselves? (class within class). But then we get to things like the "personality" of the instrument: depending on configuration of the instrument, from when I "start" an acquisition to when I can request the data, it could be anywhere from 10 seconds to HOURS. Do I poll the instrument ready flag in a method or outside of the class/object? (inside, yes, right? to protect access to it, or poll it outside, but by using calls to class method?) Do I have methods that other parts of my software can call to "get status" of the instrument? (wouldn't that complect my software un-necessarily since all sorts of places in the code could be structured to depend on the status of the instrument, when in reality all they probably care about is getting updated data at the end with no regards to the status of the instrument at any given time?) So, then, when the instrument does return data, the data needs to go to all these things, like the file logger (plug-in class?) and the graph history display (another class) only on windows systems, but not cRIO/RT systems, update modbus memory maps (plug-in, some systems, not always) and UPC (plug-in, some systems not always) etc. How should this sharing of data be done? Other parts polling methods of the instrument class? instrument private method publishing data to named queues? (this last seems like the right choice to me but is it in the spirit of OOP??) Then (finally), I need to be able to spawn an unknown (at edit time) number of these instruments and I need to be able to run this code on cRIO OR Windows. If I write the instrument class, I think I can spawn copies of it dynamically... should I put the instrument inside of actors (or is the class itself the actor) in the actor framework? Should I use dynamic events to broadcast stops? What about error handling? A class of itself? An actor? what about the complecting that occurs if you do that? (everyone will be calling the error handler from within itself, causing complecting to happen.. what about just having loops push errors and warnings onto a named queue and have a daemon handle it? Can I do that while using OOP? Is the dameon then a class, or is the daemon the architecture and it uses classes inside of it? As evident by my "question" I am a little overwhelmed when it comes to thinking about what a class/object is and what should live "inside" of it, and what should go around it on the outside. Old habit also keeps screaming QSM QSM QSM and "Action Engines" (aka functional globals) over and over since my brain already knows those tools... I THINK maybe the point is that you define classes and make objects but you tie them all together in "normal" structures like QSM's and possibly even "Action Engines"? Thank you for your time, and I hope for some encouragement, clarifying questions, guiding hints and tips or just about any response you care to share with me!
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