[volt-nuts] do you like Labview in your labs?

Marv Gozum @ JHN marvin.gozum at jefferson.edu
Tue Dec 7 19:28:25 UTC 2010

Many thanks again Chuck.  Beyond the facts, your passion for Python 
says a lot.  I will take the time to dig into it.  I like interpreted 
for onthefly results, I want easy set up, and flexibility in many 
things particularly managing variables ala BASIC is always welcome; I 
had something like it in Turbo Pascal and Delphi despite being 
compiled.  I share your misgiving with C, just not good when you are 
splitting time between hardware and software and want fast results.

I was going to give Free Pascal a whirl, but sound like Python may be enough.


At 11:23 AM 12/7/2010, Chuck Harris wrote:
>Hi Marvin,
>Python is appealing for a number of reasons.  First, it is an
>interpreted scripting language.  You can make changes on the
>fly and instantly see their effect.  Second, it is a very highly
>structured object oriented language.  Third, it is available on
>virtually all operating systems, and runs on virtually all processors.
>Fourth, it has thousands of library functions available.  Chances are
>that anything you want to do, library wise, has already been done, and
>is waiting for you... python and graphs, python and surfaces, python
>and audio, python and Octave, python and C++, python and burning DVD's,
>python and well, visa compliant GPIB drivers...
>Because it is scripted, Python is never going to be the fastest running
>solution, but how fast do you need your GPIB code to be?  The libraries
>are typically written in C++, and are blindingly quick.  The ease with
>which you can make small changes and test them makes quick utilities
>easy to put together.  The easy integration with packages like wxPython
>makes building beautiful integrated graphical applications easy to toss
>together.... and wxPython builds GUI's anywhere python runs... including
>Perl would work too, but unless you are very disciplined, perl scripts
>end up being write only... totally unintelligible when you come back
>later to make changes... sometimes even the next day...
>I like C a lot; however, it takes a serious amount of setting up
>to make the compiler not barf with lots of undefined references.
>Python shares a characteristic with BASIC in that using a variable
>will cause it to be created, of the right type, and properly initialized.
>And, unlike Labview, python will survive the NI's eventual bankruptcy, or
>sale.  Python is heavily used in Linux, BSD unix, and even windows.  It
>will be here for a long while.
>-Chuck Harris

Best Wishes,

Marv Gozum

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