Jump to content

NXG, I am trying to love you but you are making it so difficult


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I am seriously surprised scripting support (or interfaces) are given higher priority to fixing the GUI. That seems like aiming for the 1 percent use case. Probably less than 1 percent actually. Apart from the tool makers, who is honestly using scripting enough to warrant its prioritization?

Put another way, is there a single medium or large application developedfrom scratch in NXG or even converted from CG NI can showcase to us to put our fears at rest? I am talking more than 20 or 30 classes, something like that.

Edited by Neil Pate
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 154
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Thanks for putting down all your thoughts and providing examples, Neil. I agree with every point you've made. Have you used the Shared Library Interface editor yet? That's some next level UI inconsist

Why are so many things just that little bit harder in or weirder in NXG? I am trying to use it to make my first "real" application, in this case a relatively simple WebVI. I put this list down in

My experiment with NXG is now over. A simple web page has taken about 5x longer than I had planned for. Some of this is due to me underestimating the nuances of the web module but most of it has been

Posted Images

57 minutes ago, Neil Pate said:

I am seriously surprised scripting support (or interfaces) are given higher priority to fixing the GUI.

A) GUI isn't higher or lower priority than those language features. There are multiple teams working on NXG.

B) The GUI generally is not seen as particularly broken. The particular UI for classes is (in my opinion) cumbersome but functional. The priority was getting classes working. There will be UI improvements over time. Honestly, NXG team has more credibility with that than I do in LV20xx. The "new class" experience in LV20xx has been terrible for how long? And we only got it fixed in LV 2020? NXG has shown a far better track record for releasing a language feature and then improving the UI later when they have more usage data about what features people are actually using and how.

I am NOT saying you should be using LV NXG right now. In my personal opinion, NXG is still a long way from full-app users moving from 20xx to NXG. But there are a reasonable number of users for whom NXG is sufficiently complete TODAY that they do develop in it. Various people at NI will give you different time estimates for when all LV users should move over. That variance in estimates is not unexpected for a product of NXG size and complexity.

As I have said before: The NXG vector direction is good, but vector magnitude is still developing.

1 hour ago, Neil Pate said:

is there a single medium or large application developedfrom scratch in NXG or even converted from CG NI can showcase to us to put our fears at rest?

I know there are several that have ported, and I thought NXG had shared details of at least one large customer app with the community, but I'm not sure... I don't recall what I've seen in customer presentations vs internal presentations. You'd have to talk to someone customer-facing in NXG to get specifics. There are multiple forums on ni.com for these questions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aristos Queue said:

I would differentiate the icons in the project tree, which NXG chooses not to do.

That is even better, haven't thought about it. Is there any chance of this changing?
It would also be really great to have an idea exchange for NXG to discuss things like this. I want to support the effort, but sending out one-way tickets is very frustrating :frusty:

1 hour ago, Aristos Queue said:

Take a look at LV 2020*... interfaces and classes use the same file extension, and it is way better for refactoring hierarchies. BUT we use distinct icons in the project tree and various other places. You can read the details of this decision in the document I published yesterday about interfaces. I even go into detail about where we deliberately do NOT differentiate for end users.

Thanks for reminding me, this is something I'm very excited for (and almost forgot about ūüėÖ)!
You are right, those icons make it super easy to distinguish. Kudos for spending time on this :star:

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/27/2020 at 3:52 PM, Neil Pate said:

What was fundamentally wrong with the Project Window in Current Gen?

If you do not already have your own personal list of "Wow, NI really missed the mark here" bullet points, well, it makes me happy that we made at least one customer happy with that design. That makes me happy because I thought the count was zero. I'm not being sarcastic. The project window was a good first attempt, but it quickly showed problems, and we've never fixed those. But if it works for you, I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Aristos Queue said:

If you do not already have your own personal list of "Wow, NI really missed the mark here" bullet points, well, it makes me happy that we made at least one customer happy with that design. That makes me happy because I thought the count was zero. I'm not being sarcastic. The project window was a good first attempt, but it quickly showed problems, and we've never fixed those. But if it works for you, I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise.

Well, apart from the bug in LV8 (I think) where moving files around using the file tab would cause them to go into the wrong place on disk I am pretty happy with it! I must be an oddball.

Regarding your previous comment about changing the icons in the project in NXG if you had your way... this is a bit scary. If you (yes, we really do put you on a pedestal!) cannot get traction within NI what hope is there for mere mortals like us.

Thank you for your comments though (ūüôŹ), even though I sound a bit negative I genuinely appreciate the time you take to engage. I know a product the size of NXG is the result of the direction and labour for a large number of managers and developers, but I not so secretly wish more NI decision makers would comment here. I know there are other forums I could post this on which might get more involvement from NI, but I feel the general audience here on lavag represents a more accurate spread of developer skills.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, LogMAN said:

(Un)fortunately only someone who actually worked with CG is able to tell the difference, which makes NXG easier to sell to new customers than existing ones. Just a few clicks and you get your shiny graphs, overviews or packages. @Aristos Queue mentioned before, that NI lost business opportunities because of the old fashioned UI of CG.

I'm pretty sure we are not the target audience of NXG at this point. Maybe in the future. Until then we can still spend our money on CG. Really, there is no incentive for NI to listen to our complains right now and I don't expect them to. Nevertheless, I'll keep an eye on NXG and on how it evolves in the future. Until then we can share our experience and ideas here and prevent each other from regretting horrible decisions¬†ūüėČ

We used to have a poster in the office 20 years ago; it said that "For every existing customer you lose, you have to recruit 3 new ones just to make up for the loss". 
The difference between companies that grow and those that don’t is very often customer retention. The more customers that you can keep and continue to sell to, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals.

Steve Jobs said; "¬†‚ÄúIt's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people¬†don't¬†know what they want until you show it to them.‚Ä̬†The new users you refer to do not know better than the existing ones, because they do not yet know the gifts and challenges unique to¬†graphical programming. Sure, give them (and us)¬†fancier graphics, but do not reinvent the wheel by making it square.

There are lots of things in CG that are the the way they are because of the original driving¬†vision behind the product;¬† making software an intuitive graphical¬† data flow based - WYSIWYG - process. LabVIEW¬† CG is unique because of how they solved the many unique challenges related to graphical programming.¬† When I try NXG it makes me think that¬†someone who loves text based programming and IDEs like Visual Studio (and/or secretly despises LabVIEW CG) has been given too much say*,¬†and the¬†driving force is now to make¬†LabVIEW like every other (text based) tool. It does not just alienate¬†existing users*, it is a loss of the original vision. That might make NXG The Last¬†Generation.ūüė¨

(* Which might think that *we* are the ones that do not know what we want...ūüėĶ)
 

Edited by Mads
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Aristos Queue said:

we made at least one customer happy with that design. That makes me happy because I thought the count was zero. I'm not being sarcastic.

I think you're thinking of MAX :D

Sliding scale the project tree is not the worst thing.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mads said:

"For every existing customer you lose, you have to recruit 3 new ones just to make up for the loss". 

Most of the existing customers surveyed like NXG. They just don't like how limited it is at this time. I, for example, really want to be able to use NXG. It has so many nice things. It just ain't ready for me yet. But it will be. And in the meantime, LV 20xx continues to be a thing. Used interfaces yet? ūüôā

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Aristos Queue said:

Most of the existing customers surveyed like NXG. They just don't like how limited it is at this time. I, for example, really want to be able to use NXG. It has so many nice things. It just ain't ready for me yet. But it will be. And in the meantime, LV 20xx continues to be a thing. Used interfaces yet? ūüôā

AQ, maybe NI does things differently, but when I sit down to my customers at the start of a new project I explain to them we need to try and get the GUI design as close to correct quite early on as changing it later can have huge implications (cost, frustration etc). It does not seem this was done by NI. Surely we, the audience of lava, are approximately your target customer?

Between us, the forum peeps who have commented on this thread have probably spent hundreds of thousands of hours using current gen., shipped hundreds (probably more like thousands) of totally different applications, directly or indirectly been responsible for tens of millions of dollars worth of NI hardware purchases and use LabVIEW in vastly different ways. Yet it seems our opinion is worth virtually nothing when it comes to deciding the direction of NXG.

I have been really quite happy with LabVIEW current gen for the last few years (except for a few weird editor issues which made me skip certain versions completely) .., but at some point NI is going to turn off the tap, and I fear that is going to be sooner rather than later. Also, we want our new shiny NXG toys to play with now ūüėČ but cannot afford to invest into something that may not pan out.

Edited by Neil Pate
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Aristos Queue said:

Most of the existing customers surveyed like NXG. They just don't like how limited it is at this time. I, for example, really want to be able to use NXG. It has so many nice things. It just ain't ready for me yet. But it will be. And in the meantime, LV 20xx continues to be a thing. Used interfaces yet? ūüôā

Most of the people that are shown a demo of SAP or Microsoft Dynamics will also say that it looks great.ūüėĄ¬†It is only when they start to use it themselves for even the simplest things that they pull their hair out... Then they¬†try to convince themselves, or at least the surveyor, that it is probably their own fault, just a transitional problem, or¬†that everything will be better once¬†the next version comes out. The latter will obviously be a strong influence here, combined with people trying to not come out as old fashioned naysayers. Did the analysis of these surveys take such¬†social effects into account?

Showing the System Designer to a hardware enthusiast will probably generate lots of smiles.

Edited by Mads
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the past I've brought up issues like "You aren't listening to our feedback on the UI".  And someone at NI reminded me that NXG started out very different looking.  In fact (I hope I can say this) the UI actually had a ribbon interface for a alpha release or two similar to office products.  NI claims they listened to our feedback and started over with the UI that contextually pops in on the right.  In my opinion, I think that NI would have moved away from ribbon interfaces on their own, just because it had technical limitations, and didn't scale well.  This this is an example of the users complaining a lot, and NI changing it for the better.

EDIT: Oh and @Mads made a point about how much harder it is to get new customers, than retain the ones you have.  I'm not a Linux or Mac user.  I probably will never install LabVIEW in either of those environments.  But current LabVIEW has some users that do, and zero of them would be supported in NXG.  From NI's perspective, what is the effort needed to support them, and what percentage of users can migrate to Windows?  I actually lost a bet (pretty badly) with Michael about this.  I made a bet with him that one year after NXG 1.0 was released NI would have a Mac or Linux version.  We had both been part of the Alpha/Beta of NXG and I figured they were just prioritizing Windows until a stable release.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still not convinced I want to develop a 2000+ VI project in NXG ... or that it has even been done yet. We are probably close to 8 years (or more) into development of NXG. That is a very long time to go without this kind of test.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Please tell me I have missed something obvious...

By visual inspection of the project, what is the access scope of the two methods in the class?

image.png.7df679df4196e6ec5760f3955bccc33f.png

NXG has taken away Virtual Folders and also now visual indication of access scope? I am being dumb here right, I must be missing something obvious surely?

For comparison, here is a class I wrote 10 years ago, which of these looks easier to use? (Note my actual class on disk has a flat structure, no API or Sub VIs directories are present.)

image.png.0509b4e293e541320eb5ef93ba8f9157.png

Now I have reminded myself that Virtual Folders are gone. This is so terrible.... Why NI? ¬†ūüė쬆

Edited by Neil Pate
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Buttons? Come on... what is wrong with saying they are Booleans?

"True and False" data? Phew glad this was changed. What is next, renaming a DMA FIFO to "magic thingy the computer does to get data into the memory stuff without bothering the brains bit"?

 

Annotation 2020-05-02 115528.png

Edited by Neil Pate
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone want to guess what is in the bottom icon? (Not to be confused with the Cluster which looks quite similar and is just above it).

Yes, you guessed right. Decorations and control references! Because those definitely deserve to be grouped together. But just to further confuse things, they are now called Data Placeholders.

I am sorry, I just cannot believe this GUI was designed by anyone who has actually used LabVIEW in any capacity or that this is the result of 8 years of iteration.

Annotation 2020-05-02 120237.png

Annotation 2020-05-02 120426.png

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the auto-alignment feature of the Front Panel, but why is this disabled when designing a new gtype? There seems to be no snap at all so getting things to line up nicely in a cluster is a lot more work than it should be.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil, your almost getting me to consider installing the latest NXG and try and give feedback again.  Almost.  It's too depressing.  And there's no good channel for feedback; that forum link AQ gave is practically dead.  And I doubt any NXG Devs are keeping up with LAVA.  I gave some feedback on the Champions forum, but that's not public.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, drjdpowell said:

Neil, your almost getting me to consider installing the latest NXG and try and give feedback again.  Almost.  It's too depressing.  And there's no good channel for feedback; that forum link AQ gave is practically dead.  And I doubt any NXG Devs are keeping up with LAVA.  I gave some feedback on the Champions forum, but that's not public.

Please do give it another whirl. Certainly it is getting better just most of the pain points we have been moaning about for literally years are not being addressed. I feel this feedback is just going nowhere. It is quite telling that the devs of NXG do not monitor LAVA (I agree with you).

I wish NI could show us a just a single  medium or large application that is being developed in NXG.

Thankfully Current Gen is still fantastic and just getting better, but at some point (probably in less than five years) work is just going to be stopped and then it will slowly wither into irrelevance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.