The Labview Style Book

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2/27/2007
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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&> Drawing on the experiences of a world-class LabVIEW development organization,The LabVIEW Style Bookis the definitive guide to best practices in LabVIEW development. Leading LabVIEW development manager Peter A. Blume presents practical guidelines or "rules" for optimizing every facet of your applications: ease of use, efficiency, readability, simplicity, performance, maintainability, and robustness. Blume explains each style rule thoroughly, presenting realistic examples and illustrations. He even presents "nonconforming" examples that show whatnotto doandwhy not. Coverage includes Significance of style: How good style improves quality and actually saves time over the full project life cycle Before you code: Configuring your LabVIEW environment, and organizing your files on disk and in the LabVIEW project LabVIEW project specifications: A specialized standard for specifying LabVIEW application requirements Efficient VI layout and development: front panel, block diagram, icons, and connectors Data structures: Choosing data types, efficient use of arrays and clusters, and special considerations with nested data structures Error handling strategies: Trapping and reporting errors for robust and reliable applications Design patterns: Standard VI architectures and application frameworks that promote good style Documentation: Essential rules for source code documentation and streamlining the process Code reviews: Enforcing a style convention using a checklist, the LabVIEW VI Analyzer Toolkit, and peer reviews Appendixes: Convenient glossary and style rules summary This book will be indispensable to anyone who wants to develop or maintain quality LabVIEW applications: developers, managers, and end users alike. Additionally, it will also be valuable to those preparing for NIrs"s Certified LabVIEW Developer or Certified LabVIEW Architect exams, which contain significant content on development style. Foreword by Darren Nattinger Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Chapter 1 The Significance of Style Chapter 2 Prepare for Good Style Chapter 3 Front Panel Style Chapter 4 Block Diagram Chapter 5 Icon and Connector Chapter 6 Data Structures Chapter 7 Error Handling Chapter 8 Design Patterns Chapter 9 Documentation Chapter 10 Code Reviews Appendix A Glossary Appendix B Style Rules Summary

Peter Blume is the founder and president of Bloomy Controls, Inc., a National Instruments Select Integration Partner that specializes in LabVIEW-based systems development. Since LabVIEW Version 2.5, Blume and his staff of engineers have solved more than a thousand industrial applications for customers throughout the northeastern United States. To promote consistent quality among multiple developers in multiple offices, Blume established and evolved the company’s LabVIEW development practices.


Blume has written and presented multiple LabVIEW style-related presentations, including Bloomy Controls’ Professional LabVIEW Development Guidelines at NIWeek 2002 and Five Techniques for Better LabVIEW Code at NIWeek 2003. He also has published technical articles in various trade publications, including Test & Measurement World, Evaluation Engineering, Electronic Design, and Desktop Engineering.


Blume holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut. He is a National Instruments Certified LabVIEW Developer and Certified Professional Instructor. The company has offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. For more information, visit www.bloomy.com.

Readers who want to contact Blume regarding style-related suggestions, questions, or comments may do so at the following email address: lvstyle@bloomy.com . Readers interested in contracting Bloomy Controls for a LabVIEW development project should call us directly or contact us through our website at www.bloomy.com/quote.


Table of Contents

Forewordp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xx
About the Authorp. xxii
The Significance of Stylep. 1
Prepare for Good Stylep. 21
Front Panel Stylep. 47
Block Diagramp. 87
Icon and Connectorp. 129
Data Structuresp. 157
Error Handlingp. 203
Design Patternsp. 239
Documentationp. 299
Code Reviewsp. 319
Appendix A
Glossaryp. 339
Appendix B
Style Rules Summaryp. 349
Indexp. 357
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Preface The LabVIEW Style Bookis a comprehensive reference on recommended LabVIEW development practices. It contains guidelines designed to optimize the ease-of-use, efficiency, readability, maintainability, robustness, simplicity, and performance of LabVIEW applications. The book provides thorough explanations of each guideline, including examples and illustrations. The material leverages the work of the early pioneers of the LabVIEW community 1 , has evolved from many years of use by Bloomy Controls 2 , and has been reviewed by esteemed representatives of the LabVIEW community 3 . I invite you to learn from the experiences of myself and the staff at Bloomy Controls, Inc., by readingThe LabVIEW Style Book.I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Intended Reader Intended readers include developers, managers, and organizations that develop or use LabVIEW applications. Developers that have learned and successfully applied the fundamentals of LabVIEW can use this material to learn LabVIEW best practices. Experienced beginners can use this book to form good programming habits early in their LabVIEW careers. You must have a working knowledge of fundamental LabVIEW principles and terminology, as instructed in a LabVIEW Basics I and II hands-on course 4 , and experience developing and deploying applications. Intermediate developers, who have mastered the fundamentals and are ready to take their skills to the next level, will learn the most from this material. No doubt you have experienced the power and flexibility of LabVIEW and are ready to concentrate on style. Advanced developers will strongly identify with the contents, reinforce their knowledge and experience, and have a useful reference to share with colleagues. You might useThe LabVIEW Style Bookto help reduce the training and support burden you might have within your organization, to focus on your primary responsibilities.ManagersandOrganizationsthat employ multiple developers and users can gain maximum benefit by standardizing on these guidelines across the organization. Specifically, an organization might adopt the recommended guidelines and reference as its standard and require that all applications, whether received from internal or remote developers, consultants, or third-party systems integrators, conform to these guidelines. This approach ensures quality and consistency throughout an organization and helps satisfy industry quality standards. Organization The chapters ofThe LabVIEW Style Bookpresent guidelines and examples organized by topic. Chapter 1, "Introduction," discusses the significance of style, including its relationship to ease of use, efficiency, readability, maintainability, robustness, simplicity, and the performance of the completed application. Chapter 2, "Prepare for Good Style," presents considerations that influence style before you begin programming, including specifications, configuration of the LabVIEW environment, and project and file organization. Additionally, it presents a specialized standard for LabVIEW project specifications. Chapter 3, "Front Panel Style," Chapter 4, "Block Diagram," and Chapter 5, "Icon and Connector," present the basics for VI layout and development. Chapter 3 provides guidelines for layout, text, color, and navigation. It distinguishes separate guidelines for the front panels of GUI VIs and subVIs, where appropriate. Chapter 4 presents guidelines for layout, wiring, and data flow, along with techniques for optimizing data flow. Chapter 5 discusses good icon development practices and editing shortcuts, and covers standard connector terminal patterns, assignments, and conventions. Chapter 6, "Data Structures," provides guidelines on data type selection and array and cluster development. A met

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