Opening up G

Posted on Tuesday 23 August 2005

One of LabVIEW’s limitations is the fact that the environment and source code file format are proprietary. This creates many problems when one attempts to employ software engineering processes, which rely heavily on the automation of various tasks. In order to achieve automation of these tasks the source code must be machine (computer) readable and writeable. Actually, VI diagrams are machine readable and writeable, but only to NI. However, that’s not entirely true any more. With the public availability of LabVIEW VI Scripting, new worlds are opening up.

So, what needs to be done with scripting? In my opinion, a good first step would be to develop an open file format for storing LabVIEW source code. And, I think that XML is well suited for storing VI Source code, which consists of a network of aggregate objects having attributes and associations with other objects. This information can easily be captured in XML. All that is needed is an XML schema for LabVIEW VIs and an XML to VI code generator. Once this simple step is taken, G will be opened to new tools and software engineering possibilities. Yes, the future for G is wide open…

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