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How can I sway NI to fix a bugs?


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None of what follows is true, this is just a rhetorical question.


Suppose I find a big horrible bug in LabVIEW, the kind of bug that only happens at runtime and that only happens when my LV build EXE runs on Windows 7 64bit, never happens when my EXE is ran on Windows 7 32bit. So I would contact NI Support, give them the source code (~2k VIs) and the details to reproduce, try to narrow down the issue by eliminating parts of the code, etc... and then after a couple of months no solution has been found so I'm left with my wounds to lick, being told I should try and convince those who use my product that they should only use a 32 bit OS.


And let's also suppose that my company is a gold member of the NI alliance program, and that I've already sold 50+ licences of my product, each of which also includes about $10k of NI products.


If anyone was ever in a similar situation, what could they do to sway NI to put real effort into solving the issue?


But again this is just a rhetorical question!

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I know you meant for this to be rhetorical, but about all you really can do is send in the crash reports and do what you have done.  Finding the exact cause of the bugs is sometimes really hard to do. But R&D is doing a lot of work.  Maybe your bug was fixed in the 2013 beta.  Maybe they are still trying to figure out where the exact problem is.  I understand your frustrations, but after attending the CLA summit this year I realized just how much work the R&D folks are doing between bug fixes and making the language better.

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I don't think expecting a quick turnaround is the right way to frame the issue. Quite simply, there is rarely only one way to do something and if you find a bug, chances are you can work around it by tackling the problem with an alternate strategy.

But to answer your question, yes, I've found bugs which have been reported, some where platform specific. In the end I can't say how long it took to fix any of them if they ever were fixed at all-- I just took a step back and did things a different way. Maybe not the way I wanted to do it but in the end all that matters is getting the task done, not how it's done.

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Do you know if NI support ever run the app with win debugging tools AND the LabVIEW symbol files (which they hold very closely)?  Did you get to NI tech support directly (ie. 800 number or email) or through your local sales staff?  I had a nasty bug (random labview crashes, random blue screens, random black reboots) that I spent weeks debugging.  I finally escalated it through my local sales staff indicating how much money they would lose from my customer (hardware wise) if I couldn't get the problem fixed.  They were very helpful and knew the right people in Austin to contact for help.  Long story, but it took another week of debugging the code with an NI programmer using Win debug and the LabVIEW symbol files to find out it was a hardware problem (memory chips).  Our customer purchased the 4GB memory chips for the PXI racks from a reputable manufacturer, but they were not the 400$ a pop NI certified 4GB RAM memory chips that are coupled with PXI hardware.


It sounds like your app is running on a desktop or laptop but does this crash always happen on all Windows 7 64 bit machines you've tested it on?  If it doesn't always happen on all machines it could be hardware related (other than the 64 bit processor).  Have you tried running Prime95 on the 64bit  machines that crash?



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  • 2 months later...

@mje: This is really one of the lessons of my LV developer time (which is to end soon :) :) ): Don't insist on doing it the way you planned to do it if you run into a LV bug, work around. E.g. using a typedef if there is a bug that breaks typedefs in this very situation (I stressed your nerves here enough with my FPGA problems) just doesn't get the job done. I insist on my point that LV is quite a buggy dev environment and the lesson is: the developer has to adapt to it.


Or find himself a different job ;) .

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