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OlivierL

Should BD be allowed without FP?

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Moving the discussion about the pertinence of always having a front panel for every VI to its own thread.  The discussion was started here by Jordan.

 

Nothing new of course as GregS suggested it years ago.

 

In short, the idea popped after talking about a FP automatic clean up feature!  it takes time to align the elements on the FP to make it look good and it is not useful on most sub VIs other than sometimes when troubleshooting.  When delving into the code, it would be much faster to just open block diagrams as you double click on VIs (and have half the windows opened.)  Icons/terminals on the Block Diagram could display the controls/indicators if need be.

 

There is also others who think that instead of having none. having multiple FPs could be useful at times to display the information differently.  I guess that if we discuss about 0 or 1, we might as well think of 0, 1, ...n ;)

 

So, the Front Panel, do we really always need it?  Could it be removed altogether from some VIs or just hidden and put on the back seat behind the block diagram?  Do we need many flavors of them in a single VI?

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When delving into the code, it would be much faster to just open block diagrams as you double click on VIs (and have half the windows opened.) 

For those that don't know if you double click a subVI while holding the CTRL key it will open the front panel and block diagram but bring up the block diagram.  This also works when the VI is running (quite handy) but it only works if Auto-Tool is off when the VI is running.

 

As for the topic I basically said my concern in the other thread that it may affect my skill as a programmer if I have less visual ques, between the software function and a visual representation of the software function.  If this is compensated or improved with some other feature I'm all for it.

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The discussion of n FPs seems a bit of a stretch into designing different Views and I would argue does not belong in a discussion like this.  Of course, I'd like to listen to people tell me I'm wrong.

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Hoovah, thanks for making my day brighter.  After all these years, I still did not know about holding the Ctrl key when opening subVIs. 

 

Is there also a hot key that I am unaware of that allows one to close the FP automatically when the BD is closed? 

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Is there also a hot key that I am unaware of that allows one to close the FP automatically when the BD is closed? 

Negatory, but it's possible some utility could be made that does that.  I think some other rules would need to be applied for VIs that are running.

 

EDIT: okay so I think it can be done.  Start by running a VI that has the VI Activation event to detect when a VI is activated.  When a VI is activated open a reference to it then get the Block Diagram Window >> Native Window (private method) to get the HWND of the block diagram.  Then use the Windows Message Queue library to wait for keydown in HWND of the block diagram, when you see it look for CTLR + W and if you see it then close the front panel of the VI using the reference you got earlier.  Kinda ugly but there is no event on block diagram closing, and you can't register for a KeyDown event on a VI that isn't running.

Edited by hooovahh

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Is there also a hot key that I am unaware of that allows one to close the FP automatically when the BD is closed? 

Not quite what you are asking, but when I close a block diagram my habit is to use Ctrl + (EW) to close the VI completely ([save], Switch to front panel window, Close).  Nothing special, but very useful for the purpose.

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Not quite what you are asking, but when I close a block diagram my habit is to use Ctrl + (EW) to close the VI completely ([save], Switch to front panel window, Close).  Nothing special, but very useful for the purpose.

If I close a Front Panel, and my Block Diagram is open, it will close both of them.  I think Oliver was asking if there was a feature that was not known, which when a Block Diagram closes, will also close the Front Panel.  I am a compulsive CTRL+S and CTRL+E, CTRL+W, are not too far away.

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Indeed, those shortcuts are very useful.  As Hoovah suggested, I was thinking of more obscure existing features that would get us one step closer from having to go through the FP of Sub VIs.

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I am a compulsive CTRL+S and CTRL+E, CTRL+W.

 

Which is all well and good - as long as I wasn't actually on the FP, or worse still, in the Project window (which can take a long time to show the Files view (Ctrl-E)).

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Which is all well and good - as long as I wasn't actually on the FP, or worse still, in the Project window (which can take a long time to show the Files view (Ctrl-E)).

If you are on the front panel and CTRL+E CTRL+W then I just perform another CTRL+W.  Like I said I think there could be a way to make CTRL+W close both front panel and block diagram when you are on the block diagram but the only method I know that would work would be hacky.

 

Multimonitor setup here, so some times I don't even have a LabVIEW window active and press CTRL+E on accident, and you find what that key combination does in other programs (calculator brings up the date calculator, Explorer window brings up search, Chrome enters a ? in the URL).  I also discovered the Project window behavior you this way.

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So, the Front Panel, do we really always need it?

 

No. The issue is that the connector pane's terminals have to be connected to controls/indicators on the front panel, so if you want to get data in/out through the connector pane, you need a front panel. If the connector pane and front panel could be decoupled, then most VIs wouldn't even need a front panel. But they aren't, so we're stuck with them. Maybe post on the LabVIEW Idea Exchange.

Do we need many flavors of them in a single VI?

 

Yes! I think VIs should have n front panels (where n could be 0). Think of a lot of websites: they have different "views" based on the client that's connected to them (desktop, mobile, etc). I think being able to define something similar in a VI could be helpful. Imagine a VI running on an RT system - you could have different front panels for different user security levels, client types, and more.

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...  If the connector pane and front panel could be decoupled, then most VIs wouldn't even need a front panel ...  Maybe post on the LabVIEW Idea Exchange ... I think VIs should have n front panels (where n could be 0) ...

 

It's already on the Idea Exchange - in fact, these two points are exactly what my idea suggested a couple of years ago.

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