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Michael Aivaliotis

Where do you discuss LabVIEW?

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I've been away from the LAVA forums for a couple years. Recently, due to some site maintenance. I decided to hang out and check out some of the cool discussions here on LAVA... I'm still trying to find them.

So is LabVIEW just fading in popularity? Being relegated to some obscure language nobody cares about? Or have the cool kids gone somewhere else? Where do you go to discuss exciting LabVIEW topics, or even boring ones? I really want to know because I want to hang out there too!

LAVA served a purpose to connect people in an independent forum where none existed before. Does LAVA still need to exist in this age of hundreds of ni.com communitiues? Has LAVA's glory passed? Or is it simply that we need some restructuring to get interest back again?

Honest feedback welcome.

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LAVA is still my number one place to go find answers. I am more of a lurker though... I would be very sad if LAVA were to disappear. 

LAVA needs to stay.

 

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I'm sorry you've been somewhat disconnected from the community. Obviously I'm a bit biased but LAVA and the NI communities serve very different groups. If I was forced to migrate to an NI community I think you'd be harder pressed to find a group like this with as good of code repository, discussion, and light heartedness.

LabVIEW in my career is hardly obscure. Job postings I applied for a year ago are still looking for experts. 

Restructure isn't a terrible idea and a LAVA face lift is a good start.

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Here are new topic stats for LAVA since 2009:

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.16.27 PM.png

New post stats of the same period.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.17.36 PM.png

The dips at the beginning of every year is the Christmas break and New Years.

11 minutes ago, hooovahh said:

LAVA and the NI communities serve very different groups.

Perhaps the groups served by LAVA are shrinking?

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So it looks like I'm getting biased answers. I get it. Nobody hangs out on ni.com.

I'll use the line I use on my kids. "Just tell me the truth, you won't get in trouble, I promise."

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I don't know where else to hang out at. The NI forms feel uninviting.

According to the April 2016 TIOBE index LabVIEW is in slot 37 just under RPG and up from 42 in July 2015.

 

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The truth is I call this place home more than any other, and I suspect I'm not alone. I still learn the most here, I still contribute the most here, and some of the best frank conversations take place here (as shown by this thread)

Based on your line of questioning I'd suspect you are having a change of career, or internal struggle. In either case these are going to be very personal feelings, and somewhat unique to your situation. I'm happy, others are happy, if you aren't happy I can see why you might want to change something.

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Ditto for me, I would be very sad if this place shut its doors.

I think the audience here is very different to ni.com forums, and personally I do not like the community aspect there, it feels too distributed.

If I have questions, which I still quite regularly do, this is where I am going to ask them.

Put another way, lavag.org is one of the few sites I would gladly pay towards the cost of running, so thanks for everything Michael :-)

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3 minutes ago, Neil Pate said:

Ditto for me, I would be very sad if this place shut its doors.

I think the audience here is very different to ni.com forums, and personally I do not like the community aspect there, it feels too distributed.

If I have questions, which I still quite regularly do, this is where I am going to ask them.

Put another way, lavag.org is one of the few sites I would gladly pay towards the cost of running, so thanks for everything Michael :-)

Amen. Thanks Neil I was attempting to write the exact thing right now (though I had trouble finding the right words) :D

One thing I want to mention related to the graphs from above: Maybe there are less topics started overall, however the existing ones are extemly helpful as is and being continued on a regular basis (even ones that are over 10 years old). This forum provides a tremendous amount of knowledge, ideas and funny things which lure me to come back every day (sometimes even on holidays :rolleyes:).

Also: Don't trust statistics you didn't forge yourself ;)

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On NI Forums I give help, on LAVA I seek help. I post a lot less than before but I still have a look at all the new topics and read those that relate to what I do.

Very often when I - or someone around me - has a LabVIEW related question, I remember of a topic I saw on LAVA and give the link, the amount of great advice/help available on LAVA is huge. Couldn't live without it!

Edited by Antoine Chalons
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I've been a LAVA member for quite some time.  I actually found my current job through this website back in 2004 (and I'm still employed at the same location).

I don't post much, but haven't done as much LabVIEW development in my career as I would like to.  So I've fallen behind the curve as far as latest tips, tricks, architectures and methods.  I haven't even used the Actor Framework yet, (we're still primarily using LV2010).  So I haven't been able to lend much on LAVA as far as advice and help for those using all of these newfangled toys and methods or haven't had the need to seek help.

This is possibly just a personal preference, but I prefer LAVA to the NI forums, and I rarely use the NI forums.  I like how the smaller community feel is so concentrated with LabVIEW expertise.  I wish I would be able to spend more time on here and be one of the regulars like I had been on previous forums in which I was a longtime member, but I just haven't had the need or knowledge to do so.

That all being said, I may be on here a little more in the coming months as I've been somewhat asked by one of our company locations to modify a neat LabVIEW application.  I've already seen the code and the previous developer was definitely someone I would consider to be a LabVIEW Architect.  For all I know, they may be a member on here.

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I visit LAVA everyday and either quickly check or thoroughly read all posts, depending of my interest/knowledge in the topic. This is my #1 source for keeping my skills up to date, LAVA must stay!

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Disclaimer: I don't mean to be negative in this post but I'm telling it as I see it.  I may be wrong (no surprises there) but if we value frank and open discussions, here we go.

I post a lot more on the NI forums than I do here.  I like helping out possible future LV gurus.  The word guru apparently means "He who dispels the darkness".  Many of you have much brighter torches than I do but we need to spread the light and spread it far and wide.  The more we withdraw into ourselves, the brighter the light may seem, but the fewer people benefit from it. 

To be honest I think LAVA has a bit of an elitist feel to it which does not help LAVA or its visitors (or potential visitors) in any way besides feeling smug about being good enough to be here (the people here are undoubtedy very knowledgable, this is undisputed).  This is why I try to bring also more advanced topics to the NI forum.  Chances are that it will reach more people.  If we decide to only hang around with people we think of as our peers (because the ego boost feels nice) we either create an unaccessible wealth of knowledge which benefits only a select few or we actually miss out on changes in the commujnity and end up getting left behind.  Neither outcome is particularly appealing to me personally.

I come to LAVA when I need something for me which I think is uninteresting for others.  I go to NI.com when I want my knowledge (or possible answers to my questions) to be as accessible as possible in order to benefit the LabVIEW ecosystem as a whole.  If we insist on creating an "us" v "them" atmosphere then the gulf will only keep increasing which will of course stroke our egos even more which will increase the gulf which will......oh dear.

I remember a story from way back when the computer game "Doom" was released.  One report was that the game was technically brilliant and fun but the reporter tired of it quickly.  It turns out he was playing the game in only the first room and never realised that what looked like a wall was a door to the rest of the first level (and to all other levels - he was playing like only the first 1% of the game).  I think it's fine showing off technical prowess to users but if we don't help newcomers find the door the appeal will be very limited.  Sure, not everything that comes through the door will be welcome but that's life (or Doom, I can't remember :P).

If all of this makes people wary of being overrun by the unwashed masses then I think a paid subscription model is the only way to go.  But I severely doubt if that will increase the number of posts.

For me personally the bottom line is that if I had to choose between the NI forum and LAVA, I would choose the NI forum because I think the effort spent there is maybe less valuable to me in the short term but is essential to the longer term health of the community.  Don't get me wrong, I value LAVA greatly and have learned a lot here.  I don't want to see it go.  I also don't want to see it get increasingly isolated.

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@Shoneill

I hear what you are saying but it is "LabVIEW Advanced Virtual Architects" so it is pretty much a given there is a certain level of discussion expected in here.just as there is an expectation with the CLA or CLD certification. I wouldn't call that elitism since non experienced programmers do get answers and are, I think, handled gently and patiently when they do appear. It's not like they are ignored because they are considered "newbies".

If there is a perceived elitism then can that not also be argued for the CLA seminars and events where you are not welcome unless you are one? I think it is the same premise but on LavaG.org we refuse noone..

2 hours ago, shoneill said:

I come to LAVA when I need something for me which I think is uninteresting for others.

That's just bizarre :D  I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.:wacko:

Edited by ShaunR

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Shaun, I'm referring to tone not content.  As I have mentioned in a few places in my post, the content here is great and I'm aware it's for more advanced users.

It's more a background noice of belittling NI.com that alienates some people because if creates an "us" v "them" mentality.

We had a discussion on the elitism approach to the CLA videos before and I outlined my position there very clearly.

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@shoneill

Ni.com has always been known as "The Dark Side" - a veiled reference to ni.com being a corporate support forum as opposed to an altruistic community run forum. You aren't talking about that, though. (Are you?) 

4 minutes ago, shoneill said:

We had a discussion on the elitism approach to the CLA videos before and I outlined my position there very clearly

You'd have to give me a link. I have a first in, first out memory so that info is long gone.

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1 hour ago, ShaunR said:

That's just bizarre :D  I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.:wacko:

Others = not LAVA

If I think a topic of of general interest- NI.

If I think a topic is only of interest to the LAVA crowd - LAVA.

It's not really very complicated.

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52 minutes ago, ShaunR said:

You'd have to give me a link. I have a first in, first out memory so that info is long gone.

Here you go:

I also don't know why linking to a post includes the majority of the first line....

For the record, I believe we were on the same page regarding that discussion IIRC. I find the fact that Mark publishes the videos an outstanding piece of work and he forever has my gratitude.

Regarding the "elitist" attitude it is in part what you describe wih the "dark side".  Your own post in this thread about not wanting to go to NI even if LAVA was closed is in a similar vein. I just find it could present an unneccessary barrier to newcomers.  If someone comes here after learning from the NI forum (it IS possible) and they sense this attitude, it can be intimidating.  It is also a shame you don't post over there.  While I agree that the signal to noise ratio here is hugely better than on the NI site I think the community at large would benefit greatly from you popping over to the dark side to answer a few questions instead of only posting here.

Is it a huge thing. No.  Can it be off-putting for newcomers who aren't as rambunctious as some of us? I think so, yes.

Ps I also think your insinuation that the work done in the NI forum is somehow not "altruistic" is quite off the mark.

Edited by shoneill

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44 minutes ago, shoneill said:

Your own post in this thread about not wanting to go to NI even if LAVA was closed is in a similar vein

Not really. It's a case I can't log into ni.com without jumping through obnoxious "fill all this info out" pages. Because I control what sites can and can't put on my computer, I always have to prove who I am with lots and lots of info which I can't usually remember (first in/out, don't forget :) ). You obviously missed the attempted humour about my colon that explained that :D. It's also one of the reasons I never sign up for the beta - unless I really, really have to because the sky will fall in. 

It's the same as with any cloudflare site. I always (and by that I mean every time, not sometimes) get a captcha -which I can't see because it gets blocked - so I don't go to any sites behind cloudflare. It has nothing to do with a closed attitude.

I'm also not sure that me posting over there would alleviate any inferiority complexes they have. It's a corporate support site and doesn't require our input to function. LavaG does so I'd rather post here where I can just log in unmolested!

So. Having outlined one  possible reason, what are your proposals?

 

Edited by ShaunR

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Hey, Michael, I think that LAVA is great and I prefer it to the noise and style of the NI forums. Thanks for keeping it running. I appreciate the expertise, brightness, and time-generosity of the frequent posters here! I'm a very infrequent poster because my job takes all my time. I liked the Info-Labview email list, too, before I moved over to LAVA, but that list lingered way past its expiration, ha ha. I don't think LAVA is at that point, I think it's still great. 10 new topics per week rates as an active forum, and it looks like everyone gets replies to their questions.

ShaunR hit the nail on the head about Labview stagnating for the last 5 years. You can see the slowdown in innovation, energy, and buzz. Probably this is natural given what's happening in high tech and computing. Labview is such a unique beast - beautifully engineered, hugely powerful, alone at the top as the best solution for test & automation. Engineers will continue to choose it as their platform, although it looks like zero growth in the new-adopters-per-year figure.

It's weird for me to have spent half my life immersed in a single vendor's toolset. My livelihood is maybe too dependent on a thriving NI. But I still really enjoy the work, and there are not enough Labview experts to fill the demand.

-Joe

Edited by AutoMeasure
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I have been waiting for this "fundamental redesign" and it doesn't look like it's coming out this year. 

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