I’m lucky enough to have a new project that will be developed in LabVIEW 8.6 (which was just released at NIWeek 2008), so I get to start using various new features like Darren’s totaly awesome Quick Drop tool. I’m really excited to start using Quick Drop, because I saw Darren (the LabVIEW R&D team member who created it) use it during the NIWeek 2008 coding challenge and he was able to code ridiculously fast. Seriously, you’ve got to see it to believe it. He’s even faster than me!
Quick Drop even works with OpenG VIs!
Now, that’s an unfair advantage.
In fact, I didn’t even bother to enter the coding speed challenge at NIWeek this year (which I won at NIWeek 2005), because I saw how fast Darren was coding during the NIWeek keynote (here is a video of it), and my LabVIEW skills were more than a little bit rusty at NIWeek 2008, as I hadn’t touched LabVIEW for 3 weeks (I was traveling for a wedding, and also visiting some of my European LabVIEW buddies, in France). Ya, excuses, excuses…
So, instead of competing, I hid in the JKI booth and pretended to be too busy to enter the contest. Of course, I didn’t want to loose my unofficial “fasted LabVIEW coder on the planet (or at least, NIWeek)” title in a head-to-head match up against Darren — the dude is fast! I wanted to at least have some time to practice using the Quick Drop tool and try to level the playing field. Then, I’d come back and challenge Darren to a fair match — pretty sneaky huh?
Speaking of fair competition, they weren’t even letting contestants use OpenG VIs in the coding speed contest, this year (I guess OpenG is an unfair advantage). Like Darren didn’t have an unfair advantage
All joking aside, the Quick Drop tool is amazing. It’s basically like auto-completion for text-based languages (so, it gives text-based programmers one less reason not to go graphical). Just press Ctrl+Space and then type the name of the VI or function you want to place on the Block Diagram. As the list of possible items appears, press Enter to select the top item in the list, or click on any other item, to place it on the Block Diagram. It really lives up to it’s name by allowing you to quickly drop nodes onto the block diagram. There’s no doubt it will become one of your favorite tools in LabVIEW, once you give it a try.