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Diagram Size


Barrie

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Hello All:

I guess this is somewhat of a curiosity, kind of a poll.

I have always tried to keep my diagrams to one screen, so I can view and debug without scrolling. As screens get bigger, with higher resolution, this of course has led to "diagram creep". Often this is a good thing, as method and property nodes tend to be hungry for real estate.

The down side is that not everyone has a large screen, particulary on laptops, so even if it is hi res, it can be hard to read.

Small diagrams promote more modular code, which I think is a good thing. Does anyone have any rules or guidelines, particularly in a multi-developer environment? Few companies can justify upgrading everyone to the latest and greatest.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Cheers!

Barrie

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In general, I try to keep to 1024x768 size per diagram. If I have to go larger I try to scroll only horizontally and then limit it to about 2 screens in width, so 2048x768.

These are not hard and fast, but when I have to go outside this range, my "make some subVIs" nerve starts to twitch a lot.

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Hello All:

I guess this is somewhat of a curiosity, kind of a poll.

I have always tried to keep my diagrams to one screen, so I can view and debug without scrolling. As screens get bigger, with higher resolution, this of course has led to "diagram creep". Often this is a good thing, as method and property nodes tend to be hungry for real estate.

The down side is that not everyone has a large screen, particulary on laptops, so even if it is hi res, it can be hard to read.

Small diagrams promote more modular code, which I think is a good thing. Does anyone have any rules or guidelines, particularly in a multi-developer environment? Few companies can justify upgrading everyone to the latest and greatest.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Cheers!

Barrie

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1280x1024: my rationalization to buy big monitors :D

(the only reason I don't use 1600x1200 is because that resloution in flat panel displays is still very expensive)

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1280x1024: my rationalization to buy big monitors  :D

(the only reason I don't use 1600x1200 is because that resloution in flat panel displays is still very expensive)

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I normally use two monitors, both at 1280x1024 so I get 2560x1024. I used to use 2x1600x1200 but after 40+ the eyes just are not what they used to be.

Still, I don't use that much monitor realestate to have big diagrams, rather I use it to have more VIs and diagrams open at the same time, while still trying to stick to my 1024x768 guideline. This keeps my code editable on a laptop with 1024x768.

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I normally use two monitors, both at 1280x1024 so I get 2560x1024. I used to use 2x1600x1200 but after 40+ the eyes just are not what they used to be.

Still, I don't use that much monitor realestate to have big diagrams, rather I use it to have more VIs and diagrams open at the same time, while still trying to stick to my 1024x768 guideline. This keeps my code editable on a laptop with 1024x768.

3819[/snapback]

Good point! It sure is frusterating the few times I do actually need to view diagrams at 1024x768.

I am also using a dual monitor setup, and don't know how I'd ever go back. The 2nd monitor is just a 17" set to 1024x768, which I use to create front panels. This forces me to keep the front panel the correct size, and gives an accurate representation of what things will look like on the target.

At least that was the plan, but I find that I rarely dedicate myself to programming, and ussually want to share that 2nd monitor with something else. (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, etc.)

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I use the dual monitors, both the same size, 20.5 inches. The are HP A4033's which are actually made by Sony for HP. Trinitron tubes, multisync. I bought a pallete of them a few years back on ebaY. Yes, they are bulky, but the price was right and they have been extremely reliable. You can pick them up on ebaY now for $50.00 - $100.00

I use a Matrox G450 or 550 card (depends on which machine, I have two set up like this :-) ) 32 meg dual head. To get the screen resolutions right I made up a flat black background with rectangles marked off in white from the upper left for all the regular screen sizes, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024. That was when I was using 1600x1200. Now I've chopped off the high and low ends and just eyeball it.

I have been thinking of checking out the Matrox card that does three monitors, you can never have enough real estate ...

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I have been thinking of checking out the Matrox card that does three monitors, you can never have enough real estate ...

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You don't need a 3 port graphics card to get more than 2 monitors to work together all you need is a open PCI slot and a dual head PCI

graphics board.

At home I have a 4 monitor system 2 19" and 2 17" using an ATI 9600 AGP and an ATI 7500 PCI. Windows XP finds the second card and adds

it to the display properties.

post-584-1107923301.png?width=400

I usually program with the bottom 2 and run the media player, internet, TV and konfabulator widgets on the top two.

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I'm realizing that I still have a lot of bad habits as far as program layout goes.

"Learning" this style of programing using Visual Designer had me used to zooming in and zooming out and as a result I used a large "map" to keep things easier to follow.

The program I'm currently working on I developed in 1280x1024 and still went way beyond the desktop limits with my .vi. This means that editing on my laptop (locked at 1024x768) is pretty painful.

The nice thing is I can always go back and improve my layout once I figure out how to get something working. :thumbup:

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I run my monitor at 1600X1200, but I try to keep my diagrams to 1024X768. Sometimes I let things slip, but rarely beyond 1280x1024, in case I have to do troubleshooting on site with my laptop.

I used to let myself scroll to the left and right for initialization, error handling, cleanup and some constants (like format strings, etc.) --enforcing the "no scrolling" rule only for the main running part of the program. Recently however, I've been tending to do things as state machines, so initialization, error handling, and cleanup end up as states on a case selector diagram rather than requiring room on the screen right or left.

It took a long while for folks to convince me that sub-vi calls are very efficient, but now I believe, and I really use sub-vi's whenever the diagram begins to get cluttered. (It got a lot easier to keep tidy when the "create sub-vi" feature came along-- Even if I didn't anticipate that something was going to get complicated enough to rate its own sub-vi, its easy to fix.)

A C++ buddy never lets his routines go beyond 80 lines of code-- If a routine doesn't fit on a single sheet of printout, its too big & needs to be divided into subroutines. As my short term memory gets shorter, seems like a good plan-- In my LabView routines, if something is out of sight, it is in a sub-vi, with a labelled icon & with labelled controls-- I may not remember exactly how it works, but I know what it takes as input, what it gives as outputs, and the icon gives a clue as to what its supposed to do. Compare this to a bunch of wires running off the left edge of a window, which likely as not have some cryptic hot tip label like "x*y".

Best, Louis

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We have found 1024 x 768 is usually a good size, because that is what most older computers will handle, even if my laptop can do much better. It helps to keep in mind what computer your product will run on, if it is an old computer, expect a smaller resolution.

One other thing to keep in mind is the consistency of writing code, if you get into the habit of always doing good diagrams it really takes care of itself. I have also found it is a good thing to go back occasionally over my code, I am always finding a place I can clean up that will take out extra space in my diagram.

I have worked on programs in the past that had strict coding standard requirements that dictated this also. It had strict rules like requiring ALL connector panes to be 4x2x2x4 (bottom row, third one from left) regardless of number of terminals, and a specific maximum number of VI's allowed on the block diagram. It really depends on what your reqirements are.

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I try to stick to a max of 1024x768 mostly because that's the highest resolution that most of my targets can handle. I have strayed beyond that a few times but revised my code later and made it smaller.

I haven't used a dual monitor setup but after reading some of what you guys do with it I may have to try it. Is it possible to have the front panel and the diagram visible on the two monitors? That sure would be nice instead of flipping back and forth.

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Is it possible to have the front panel and the diagram visible on the two monitors?

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Yes. However, it is rare for me to have a BD much bigger than half of one screen. I usually keep the BD behind or near the FP and use one monitor for the main UI - the other for development of dynamic callees.

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Yes. However, it is rare for me to have a BD much bigger than half of one screen.

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:oops: Then I usually must do something wrong. My diagrams tend to go to (rarely over) the limits of 1280x1024, usually only on one dimension (e.g. when I read from an ini-file or doing instrument reading/writing).

In production we also have older computers with 17" tube monitors. But all can in any way (worst 60Hz) display 1280x1024. Older computer have only DOS.

The FP I keep to less than 1024x768.

Didier

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  • 7 months later...
You don't need a 3 port graphics card to get more than 2 monitors to work together all you need is a open PCI slot and a dual head PCI

graphics board....

Yeah, several years ago, back when Win98 (or was it 98SE?, memorys getting foggy...) first allowed multiple PCI video cards I did a project demo with 4 cards and 4 monitors. That got me hooked on >1 monitor.

The real reason I want a 3 head is not so much Windows or LabVIEW, but video editing. :camera: I want to edit video on 2 monitors and show the output on a TV monitor during rendering, etc. Just a new hobby.

Cheers,

Mike

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Since were talking about multiple monitor.

Does any on know of a way to add a second graphics card to a laptop?

I'm am soon to receive a new laptop from IT but I will have to give-up my dual monitor desktop.

I'm looking for a way to get the best of both worlds, portability and bigger desktop.

I saw that APPIAN use to make a PCMCIA graphics card but it is no longer available.

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On another note here...

How many of you are really finding the Navigation window to be a help in your own work? I'm not talking about refactoring someone else's work, but in initial development or maintenance of your own (or your team's) code?

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On another note here...

How many of you are really finding the Navigation window to be a help in your own work? I'm not talking about refactoring someone else's work, but in initial development or maintenance of your own (or your team's) code?

If you start from scratch then it's totally unnecesary. You must have standards to confine your diagram size. If you don't then you're asking for diagram chaos. The standards should evolve based on screen hardware developments but they still should be in place.
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On another note here...

How many of you are really finding the Navigation window to be a help in your own work? I'm not talking about refactoring someone else's work, but in initial development or maintenance of your own (or your team's) code?

I've used it once to see what it was, and that's it!

I have a pretty strict rule regarding diagram size. Going outside the screen size is a pretty solid indication that I'm either taking the wrong approach or I'm being lazy.

Thankfully, I have never encountered nightmares like Jack Hamilton has.

( I still think he's making them up ) :laugh:

Cheers!

Barrie

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I Moved up to 1280x1024 with my new job.

The Dell I received has a nice monitor and graphics card, and the legacy code I work with was done on a dual screen 1280x1024 setup (lots of scrolling made me give in). I had created a two tone background image that gave me a 1024x768 rectangle in the upper left of my screen so I could check my front panel size for use on the ATE computer. After attending the LabVIEW Intermediate I&II classes, I found a couple of similar backgrounds on the CD that also left room for the menu bar (assumed bottom) so I use this instead. (See attached)

I don't maximize the diagram, I use the extra real estate for the control and tool palettes. The only time I find myself scrolling :unsure: is when I start getting into ActiveX calls and control references; the size of the property and method nodes don't make things easy.

post-949-1129203583.jpg?width=400

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Dual monitors work best for me, 1 set to 1280x1024 for the block diagram (which generally is big enough, I can only fit so much logic in my head). The user interface is on the other screen and usually set to 1024x768.

Most customers/industrial PC's can now handle this.

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Yeah, several years ago, back when Win98 (or was it 98SE?, memorys getting foggy...) first allowed multiple PCI video cards I did a project demo with 4 cards and 4 monitors. That got me hooked on >1 monitor.

The real reason I want a 3 head is not so much Windows or LabVIEW, but video editing. :camera: I want to edit video on 2 monitors and show the output on a TV monitor during rendering, etc. Just a new hobby.

Cheers,

Mike

I've had problems using multiple monitors with the VI being offscreen when I don't have the extra monitor. When I've done this, I'm using a laptop hooked to an external monitor. If I save a VI in the expanded desktop area and then go down to just one monitor, the VI ends up being way off to the side. I've found it very inconvenient to have to make sure I move the front panel to the main screen when I save it to make the VIs portable.

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I Moved up to 1280x1024 with my new job.

The Dell I received has a nice monitor and graphics card, and the legacy code I work with was done on a dual screen 1280x1024 setup (lots of scrolling made me give in). I had created a two tone background image that gave me a 1024x768 rectangle in the upper left of my screen so I could check my front panel size for use on the ATE computer. After attending the LabVIEW Intermediate I&II classes, I found a couple of similar backgrounds on the CD that also left room for the menu bar (assumed bottom) so I use this instead. (See attached)

Same here. Dell monitors seem to like 1280X1024. Although, I do use the space.

Every computer in or lab is a Dell (they were bought before I arrived) so I don't see a need to reduce the space to 1024X768 for anything but posting. (Sorry for the earlier post at 1280X1024. I will reduce the size in the future).

BTW best computer supplier I found for test equipment is Axiom. Industrial Single Board Computer (SBC) with up to 14 PCI slots and resonable price. Never used more than 6 PCI slots but its nice to know its there is I need it. Its really nice when you have one at your desk. You just load it up with NI cards and debug at your desk.

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  • 2 weeks later...

NI style guidelines recommend the diagram fits on one screen. Mine usually drift off to the left and right a bit so mine are ~ 1.5 screens wide, but only one high. lately I'm on 1400X 1050 and 1280X1024 monitors. I personally loath large diagrams (2-4 screens wide and > 2 tall). For me it is significantly harder to understand someone else's code when it is a large diagram.

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  • 1 month later...

I use a single, 20" Silicon Graphics CRT (Trinitron) monitor set at 1280x1024.

I try to maintain those limits but you know.... :rolleyes:

I guess my true goal is to get a boxlight projector, hook it up to my laptop, and find an old closed drive-in movie theater and use that for my screen... :P

Chuck

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