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It's a general tendency I have noticed on LabVIEW forums, although maybe less so on the NI forums. I also signed up at the German LabVIEW forum and while 5 or 6 years ago you had every day several new

on that note, stumbled upon this last night...

https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/ LabVIEW dropped below 50... Might it be that its rank follows its average user age?

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1 hour ago, CopperD said:

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

If you follow and read this Blog. You will see NI discussing all the areas they are investing in for the future of LabVIEW. Interspersed with marketing BS. But the info is there.

https://decibel.ni.com/content/blogs/labview-news-english/

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13 hours ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

The stats on this can't be relied upon because there is an issue with fake accounts. So this may be showing the latest wave of spammers rather than real user interest.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 12.50.24 PM.png

Wow that graph certainly looks not very logical. There is absolutely nothing in the LabVIEW world which would explain the huge activity increase in 2011 and 2013. And your suspicion of spam activity probably is founded. Seems like somewhere in 2012 someone started to do some tests to launch a huge spam attack (most likely to many other foras too) in 2013 and then towards the end of the year ramped up in one last huge effort to try to make it a success and killing the "business model" definitely with that. :P

The interesting data is likely more in the baseline where you can see that a somewhat steady number dropped to virtually 0 after the first spam attack and is nowadays just barely above 0 which would be indeed significantly lower than at the start of the graph in 2010.

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21 hours ago, Michael Aivaliotis said:

If you follow and read this Blog. You will see NI discussing all the areas they are investing in for the future of LabVIEW. Interspersed with marketing BS. But the info is there.

https://decibel.ni.com/content/blogs/labview-news-english/

Thank you for this it looks like some good tidbits are in there. I would say it is slathered in marketing BS. Sadly marketing has stuck its fat ugly hand into LabVIEW very deeply and we'll need some sort of proctologist to remove it. 

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For me personally, I started doing a lot more development with TestStand when I started my new job 2 years ago.   Since I had zero TestStand experience most of my time/energy has been spent coming up to speed on TestStand so I was over at the NI forums for that.   My need for advanced LabVIEW topics has been very small and my need to pose a question that has yet to be asked is even smaller.   I have found that my questions have already been asked by someone else in the past so the need to create a new topic is far less than before.

That does bring to mind a thought...search engines have become much more better over the last few years and on top of that people have become better at forming queries for search engines too.   Perhaps we see less new topics been created because the existing one's answer the questions sufficiently and the users can use that to answer the question.   Can you get a plot of # of views of a topic? Or maybe updates to old topics?

I also love LAVAG for my LabVIEW questions.   I want it to stay.

Answering the specific question posed, the only other space (other than NI.com) for LabVIEW content is the LabVIEW Maker Hub (https://www.labviewmakerhub.com/).  Its less Q&A for issues and more neat projects type of stuff. 

In my personal time I find myself spending more time  with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino related forums because it's relevant to the toys I am using.

Edited by Wire Warrior
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In my point of view, The fact that Ni sell a home version might help a little bit. But this version will bring a lot's of new questions. If Lavag.org can reach this market, We might have a lot more people visit this website. Personally, i love it and the answer given by people here is more relevant than what is found on NI.com. 3 hours of reasearch on Ni.com to find a simple answer is not a good solution for me. Here the question are quickly answered and no insult are sent to no one. Lavag.org is a family... if we found the family to small, we just need to reach a new market and do some advertisement for it.

 

Benoit

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NI has been stabilizing LabVIEW for many releases now, and has been mainly focused on performance and reliability. Speaking for myself, the absence of cool new language features or redefinition of the IDE and work flows are the main reasons I've been mostly inactive from LAVAG over the past few years. Once I've gone around the garden and experienced most of the things I am personally atuned to, I find it harder to keep an interest in the daily chatter that happens. I hope I'd get a renewed interest if I found a new topic that piqued my interest, but it might be wishful thinking.

When on LAVAG, I kind of feel like I'm sitting in my favorite café: the discussions are background noise and I can't possibly follow them all, but they contribute to me feeling that I belong. It's comfortable. It's cozy. I like to sit next to familiar faces. If the ambiant noise is lower than before, it might simply be a realization that we've grown up as a community to the point where not everything needs to be said. Hey, LAVAG might be like an old couple that just takes comfort in the presence of the other, who knows. ;)

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On 5/7/2016 at 3:16 AM, ShaunR said:

roflmao.gif 

Have you used a version of LabVIEW from the past 6 years?  It seems your preferred version is 2009.  I've used every major version of LabVIEW between 2009 and 2015 on at least one real project, and stability has been the focus more or less for the last few years.  It is far from perfect but I think the statement about stability and performance being a focus is true.  I think we can agree that the focus certainly hasn't been groundbreaking new features.

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For me, less of my time is spent hardcore coding or engineering these days. More of my time is spent doing sales, marketing and business building activities. That's just been the trajectory of my career/business recently. So now I consume a lot more sales & marketing blogs. I have seen the same sort of dynamic at work over at www.Slashdot.org. We're all a bunch of old guys having conversations about management.

Finally, it seems like everyone who used to hang out over at info-labview moved over to this website when e-mail lists became passé. Thus, LavaG didn't need to "advertise" to get new users. People just migrated over to LavaG organically because the word-on-the-street was that this is where the cool people are hanging out now. I mean...just putting on my marketing hat for a second....how exactly *are* the new kids supposed to find this site anyway??

In short: We are all getting older, our jobs are changing, and there is no organic way for this site to attract new users. I never really considered the possibility that this has anything to do with the popularity of LabVIEW generally.

Edited by Reds
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On 4/26/2016 at 3:05 PM, Michael Aivaliotis said:

So is LabVIEW just fading in popularity? Being relegated to some obscure language nobody cares about?

Not too long ago someone turned me on to the indeed trends page. I don't know how useful the data is but if anyone hasn't seen it its kind of neat:

http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview.html
Which looks negative, but then you compare that to other languages and..
http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-q-python-q-java-q-C%23-q-C++.html?relative=1
In relative terms, python is a huge winner. If you add in standard labview terms you get these interesting compares:
http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-test-measurement-q-python-test-measurement.html
http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-instrument-q-python-instrument.html
 

Edited by smithd
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2 hours ago, smithd said:

Not too long ago someone turned me on to the indeed trends page. I don't know how useful the data is but if anyone hasn't seen it its kind of neat:

http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview.html
Which looks negative, but then you compare that to other languages and..
http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-q-python-q-java-q-C%23-q-C++.html?relative=1
In relative terms, python is a huge winner. If you add in standard labview terms you get these interesting compares:
http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-test-measurement-q-python-test-measurement.html
http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-instrument-q-python-instrument.html
 

Oooh. This is fun.

http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-labview-q-programming.html?relative=1

Python is far superior to PHP and IMO is why it is enjoying the attention. 

http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-php-q-python.html?relative=

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19 hours ago, Reds said:

I mean...just putting on my marketing hat for a second....how exactly *are* the new kids supposed to find this site anyway??

That's an interesting question.  I'm not sure how I originally found Lava years ago.  Probably a google search result since the NI.com search is/was terrible.

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  • 1 month later...

Google trends for "Learn Python"

Google trends for "Learn LabVIEW"

I agree with another poster that it feels like LabVIEW is headed for the retirement home.  Probably because that is where all the expert users are heading soon.  Our LV user group is full of grey-haired old folks, while the yearly Python "boot camp" is full of 10 times as many bright-eyed kiddies.  It doesn't take a math genius (although most of us are) to see what is happening.  How can we stop the slow demise? The answer is, we can't.  Only NI can do anything about it.  I'd post a list of what they can do, but they won't do it.

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You make some good points, but I don't completely agree:

3 hours ago, smarlow said:

Our LV user group is full of grey-haired old folks, while the yearly Python "boot camp" is full of 10 times as many bright-eyed kiddies.  

Ever been to a robotics competition?  NI is pushing their stuff there for sure.  Then there are the engineering colleges that offer LabVIEW courses for those that aren't CS/CE.  I'm not blind to changes, but I'd hardly call it a demise, especially in my personal life in the surrounding job market where I got 3 job offers in the last 3 weeks, and I'm not talking about random Linkedin recruiter messages.

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3 hours ago, smarlow said:

Google trends for "Learn Python"

Google trends for "Learn LabVIEW"

I agree with another poster that it feels like LabVIEW is headed for the retirement home.  Probably because that is where all the expert users are heading soon.  Our LV user group is full of grey-haired old folks, while the yearly Python "boot camp" is full of 10 times as many bright-eyed kiddies.  It doesn't take a math genius (although most of us are) to see what is happening.  How can we stop the slow demise? The answer is, we can't.  Only NI can do anything about it.  I'd post a list of what they can do, but they won't do it.

Hey. What about us old baldies?

There is little correlation between LabVIEW and Python (unlike PHP) The boom in "software as a service" is the main driver behind this uptake. Outside of this domain, Python is a poor choice and is nothing without its C/C++ bindings.

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3 hours ago, smarlow said:

I agree with another poster that it feels like LabVIEW is headed for the retirement home.  Probably because that is where all the expert users are heading soon.  Our LV user group is full of grey-haired old folks, while the yearly Python "boot camp" is full of 10 times as many bright-eyed kiddies.

From what I'm seeing working for a supplier to the automotive industry, the population of engineers is mostly "grey-haired old folks". That's in the supplier and customer side. There is a massive wealth of knowledge and experience that has started to retire.

Python has its strong points. Collecting and analyzing data, or time to market for custom test equipment isn't among them. These are LabVIEW's strengths because that's what the language was designed around.

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On 6/21/2016 at 11:18 AM, Tim_S said:

From what I'm seeing working for a supplier to the automotive industry, the population of engineers is mostly "grey-haired old folks". That's in the supplier and customer side. There is a massive wealth of knowledge and experience that has started to retire.

Python has its strong points. Collecting and analyzing data, or time to market for custom test equipment isn't among them. These are LabVIEW's strengths because that's what the language was designed around.

 

On 6/21/2016 at 11:09 AM, ShaunR said:

Hey. What about us old baldies?

There is little correlation between LabVIEW and Python (unlike PHP) The boom in "software as a service" is the main driver behind this uptake. Outside of this domain, Python is a poor choice and is nothing without its C/C++ bindings.

 

Yes, I agree.  But the younger generation doesn't seem to care much what it was designed for, and new libraries and bindings are appearing all the time to do all sorts of things.  That is the point I was trying to make.  The young folks like it because it is free to install and use.  Never mind that it is a poor choice for the type of work LabVIEW is designed for, or that the true cost of it shows up later trying to get all the libraries to do something useful.  

The first time I saw Python and played around with it, I thought to myself "well this is a giant leap backward into the past", or "a command line interpreter? Are you kidding".   I felt like it was 1982 and I was writing a gwbasic program with edline.  I was impressed by its ability to dynamically reshape complex data types and large amounts of data, but other than that it looked like a big pile of crap to me.  Again, the kids don't seem to care, nor do they mind spending hours trying get that pile of stuff working together as a unified development system of some sort.  At least that is what I am seeing where I work.  It has already almost completely obliterated Matlab here.  All it is going to take is for someone to create a distribution that is specifically designed for data acquisition.  There are examples:  https://github.com/Argonne-National-Laboratory/PyGMI, and the Qwt library is specifically designed for control/dynamic plotting.  I found a pretty good youtube video that explains what is available, and the work being done in that area: 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, smarlow said:

 

 

Yes, I agree.  But the younger generation doesn't seem to care much what it was designed for, and new libraries and bindings are appearing all the time to do all sorts of things.  That is the point I was trying to make.  The young folks like it because it is free to install and use.  Never mind that it is a poor choice for the type of work LabVIEW is designed for, or that the true cost of it shows up later trying to get all the libraries to do something useful.  

The first time I saw Python and played around with it, I thought to myself "well this is a giant leap backward into the past", or "a command line interpreter? Are you kidding".   I felt like it was 1982 and I was writing a gwbasic program with edline.  I was impressed by its ability to dynamically reshape complex data types and large amounts of data, but other than that it looked like a big pile of crap to me.  Again, the kids don't seem to care, nor do they mind spending hours trying get that pile of stuff working together as a unified development system of some sort.  At least that is what I am seeing where I work.  It has already almost completely obliterated Matlab here.  All it is going to take is for someone to create a distribution that is specifically designed for data acquisition.  There are examples:  https://github.com/Argonne-National-Laboratory/PyGMI, and the Qwt library is specifically designed for control/dynamic plotting.  I found a pretty good youtube video that explains what is available, and the work being done in that area: 

Ask your "kids" what's their favourite OS. I can guarantee it is Linux. Python is the go-too tool for RPC GUIs to Linux programs and services. You've just got a lot of Linux "kids" where you work :D

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8 minutes ago, ShaunR said:

Ask your "kids" what's their favourite OS. I can guarantee it is Linux. Python is the go-too tool for RPC GUIs to Linux programs and services. You've just got a lot of Linux "kids" where you work :D

There are a lot of Linux users here, that is true.  But Windows still predominates by a wide margin, and the Python training bootcamp last year was mostly Windows machines and Macbooks.

 

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LabVIEW has been marketed as a complete language since at least 2009.  It should be able to stand up to python and such.  That said, it's not just NI that is responsible for driving acceptance of the language and moving it out of the niche space.  We (professionals, but definitely consultants) are a big factor in driving that as well.  Initial costs to develop a system provide a lot of inertia after it is completed.

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