Labview Woes

It’s been a tough week on the LabView front. I’ve spent some
frustrating hours on what should be some simple things. According to
the internet these are simple tasks. In reality, though, they seem to
not be so simple. The issues I’ve run into (in brief):

  • There doesn’t seem to be a simple way to synchronize clocks between
    two devices. The first way I tried, the somewhat manual way,
    suffered from lack of documentation. Other than brief snippets like
    ‘use this method along with this other method’. No order of
    operations. And the name doesn’t help. ‘Set Time From Reference’ ->
    Does this mean it checks the reference and sets the local clock, or
    does it mean set the local clock to use that as a reference.

  • So what about NTP (or simple NTP). Labview supports it from four
    versions ago. No problem, right? Except by ‘supports it’ it means
    ‘scour the internet until you find the updated version of the
    module that has it included because the module we provide doesn’t
    include it’. Automatic updating did not help. What’s the point of
    automatic updates if you can’t get the latest version of the
    module? And then, when I do find it, it still doesn’t work. I (and
    my lab-mate) have spent no small amount of time on this.

  • Object Oriented programming in LV is somewhat limited. All I want
    is an abstract class, or maybe a virtual class. ‘All subclasses
    must have this method. It must take in these things, it must output
    a map/hash.’ What I thought was the LV version of a map/hash —
    wasn’t. The entire purpose of the class was to create a template
    for all the sensors.

  • Of course, that might be a moot point anyway. To run on the FPGA,
    the only allowed data type is the Integer. And that’s the entire
    point of the exercise after all. The upshot of this little gem of
    information is that the code that’s already written to read and
    parse the data from the sensor won’t work. I either have to not do
    it on the FPGA (which somewhat defeats the purpose of our using
    the FPGA), or re-write the code. If the latter, at least I have a
    template. Right?

All in all, not the best two weeks on LV. I’ve learned quite a lot. I
have not, however, made much in the way of progress.

This is the life of a programmer.

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