It is July, and something feels out of place… oh yes! I know what it is! In years past, I would be preparing for NI Week, but this year is different. NI Week took place in May instead of August, so here I am writing a blog post about one of the presentations we gave at NI Week, instead of preparing it.
Darren Nattinger from National Instruments agreed to present with us. We had the opportunity to watch him code an entire application, using DQMH, from zero to an executable in less than an hour, in front of an audience. To make things more interesting, the application included communicating with hardware, which in this case was a Peloton Cycle bike. Darren might have retired, invictus by the way, from the Fastest LabVIEW Programmer competition, but he is still the fastest LabVIEW developer I know (sorry Matthias Baudot and Robert Mortensen).
Why do we care about programming faster? A manager would say “to be more efficient, produce more working code in less time”. As a programmer, I find that the use of shortcuts, templates and other automation tools help me stay focused on the task at hand. I am not distracted by additional steps to get the task accomplished. That is one of the reasons I love the DQMH scripting tools, I can create a DQMH Request Event without being distracted by all the steps involved in creating an event.
Unfortunately, our recording of the screen during the presentation did not work. Darren graciously agreed to record everything again, and I tried to match the video with the audio of the actual presentation, so there might be places where they don’t align too well. Editing this video was fun! I slowed down every action so I could annotate it for you. I learned several tricks along the way, and at the end of the video, as Darren is explaining them, I added the annotations once more. So, if you don’t have time to watch the entire presentation, below are the links to the spots in the video where you can learn how to:
43:32 Create your own Quick Drop object shortcuts. In this case deq for the Delacor QMH Enqueue Message VI
44:06 Use Ctrl+Shift+B to change the property/method on a Property Node or Invoke Node. For this to work, you need to know the exact name for the given property or method. Earlier in the video, he used this for setting the method “ctr.val set”. By the way, if you have ever wondered how I would sound if I spoke at a decent speed, this is a good example of that. I had to slow down the audio to keep up with the code recording.
44:31 Right Click Plug-Ins. Darren gave a presentation on how to create and use your own right click menus for LabVIEW back at NI Week 2015
- 44:57 Move Create Constant/Create Control/Create Indicator to the top of the right-click menu for all terminals and wires
- 45:23 Create Value Change event for a control terminal to add a new event frame to the event structure on your block diagram
- 45:37 Set Current Event Frame to Value Change for control terminal. This is a very useful plug in for DQMH development, because the DQMH scripting tools create the event case frame for testing a DQMH Request, but it is not mapped to a button. This is in case you decide to fire the event with another control type
46:12 Paste-Replace to replace control/indicator with another in a single action
46:40 Shift-Enter to add multiple enum items without going to the Properties page. This also required selecting the correct tool. When using auto tool, you can hold Ctrl key to get a “second try” tool if don’t like the one that auto tool picked. In the enumerator case, auto tool assumes you want to operate on the enumerator, but with Ctrl, the second try is that you want to edit the text. By the way, the use of the Ctrl key to get to the second try tool is a good way to convert people who are not using the auto tool yet.
The Delacor Team and Darren Nattinger