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Discover the Benefits of LabVIEW graphical programming!
If you are scientist or engineer who works in robotics, testing/measuring, or the design of control applications, you’ve probably heard of or have experience working with LabVIEW programming.
It has an extremely wide variety of features and programming tools, such as interactively available assistants, and the ability to users to define and configure their own interface within the platform itself.
It has its own intuitive graphical language (called G), and a built in compiler as well as a linker and a full suite of debugging tools.
To understand the full range of benefits that graphical programming makes possible, it helps to take a look at how programming languages originally developed. In the 1950s at IBM, all programming was done in assembly language, which was itself the most sophisticated option available at the time. People looking for a more practical alternative developed FORTRAN, and the race was off in terms of programming language and environment development.
Engineers, although skeptical at first, soon realized that this new alternative let them create programs which could outperform those built line by line in assembly, without any loss of efficiency. By combining certain programming elements which commonly occur in conjunction with one another together, the code base itself was rendered less complex by a factor of 20.
Just as FORTRAN offered clear improvements over programming in assembly code, using LabVIEW GP offers similar improvements over other currently available methods.
The first and largest difference is the fact that programs aren’t written in code at all. Rather, they are formed of a group of visual icons hung together on a diagram, with conditional representations and variables also expressed.
These icons translate directly to machine code, and are then executed. All standard data constructs available in other general purpose languages are available, looping, data types, events, all variables, recursion, even object orientation.
The second prime difference of LabVIEW graphical programming is that it is designed to execute by data flow, rather than the more traditional procedural approach. This makes it different thematically and in expression from many of the other popular languages such as C or C++.
It is the expression of dataflow execution; the fact that the flow of data between nodes regulates program execution rather than a prioritized list, that makes this style of programming different, and extremely powerful for the purposes you want to use it for.
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