This post was originally published at Walking the Wires
I am a lucky LabVIEW Architect. I have made it to every single CLA Summit so far. The CLA Summits in the US and Europe are the most important events for my LabVIEW career every year. Not only do I get to continue my LabVIEW education, I also get to see my LabVIEW friends.
This year the European CLA Summit was in Rome. Steve Watts has already mentioned in his blog how nice it was for most of us to be staying at the same hotel. This meant that we had opportunities to meet with our LabVIEW friends during breakfast and at the lobby at the end of each day, as well as during the coffee breaks, lunch and dinner. For me, this is heaven; of course as Chris Roebuck reminds me every now and then, my love for LabVIEW may not be that healthy 😉  (Look who is calling the kettle black).
While sitting in a metal tube for 10 hours on my way home, I am still digesting all the things that I learned at the summit. Some of the things that stand out in my mind are Dmitry’s Agile approach to LabVIEW and how he has managed to abstract complexity in his Actor Framework architecture. He also showed us pictures of the beautiful boat where he is using this work of art (presumably it was Al Capone’s and it has been restored to its former glory). Dmitry has achieved not only an elegant architecture but a beautiful front panel as well. The whole project is a work of art inside and out.
Stephen Loftus-Mercer’s use of theology to describe Design Patterns and how they are used, misused, and not understood in the LabVIEW community was inspirational, as was his call to architects to help identify design patterns made in LabVIEW, for LabVIEW. He also called for volunteers to translate the examples in the “The Object Oriented Thought Process” by Matt Weisfeld book. This is nagging me in the back of my head. I hope I can make the time to work on some of these examples, though I am not publicly volunteering.  I learned my lesson back in the first CLA Summit, where I volunteered to work on improving the error library, and it seemed that this was the trick to get busier than ever!
Steve Watts’ presentation was not only entertaining, as usual, but it was a love letter to LabVIEW. I have asked myself many times why do I love LabVIEW so much.  I had convinced myself that it was due to the visual aspect, but Steve got me thinking about immediacy and how we take that white arrow for granted (unless you are using LabVIEW FPGA). There were other points in that presentation that I am still digesting.
One tool I want to try as soon as possible is the Assertions library that Peter Horn introduced, since one of my areas of interest in LabVIEW is testing.  If you don’t have access to the Certified LabVIEW Architects group, you can see his presentation and tool in the Unit Testing Group.
Another interesting tool that I have been dying to try out is Jeff’s wire. He has been talking about this LabVIEW syntax to represent inter process communications for years. He gave us the secret words to get to use it in LabVIEW 2015. If you have access to the CLA Community, you can learn more here. If not, we will edit this blog post and add a link to it here as soon as it is publicly released. One of my favorite things about CLA Summit in Europe is that Jeff K. hangs around a lot longer than he does at the CLA Summit in the US and he seems to enjoy the presentations.
My business partner, Chris Roebuck, did a presentation about “his friend” and how he and his partner have merged their different ways of approaching LabVIEW code. I enjoyed the presentation a lot, specially the sentence he sneaked in after we had reviewed our presentations. If you have ever wondered how TestStand Architects approach applications differently than LabVIEW Architects, this presentation is for you.  You can also contact us at Delacor and we can help you build a bridge between the two worlds now that we have built it for ourselves…I mean between “his friend and his partner” 😉
Another great presentation/exercise was Richard Thomas’ Swish toolkit. The UI was very impressive; I really enjoyed the group code review we did and I admire Richard Thomas even more for being open about doing such an exercise. I would have been terrified to do something like that.  I get pretty nervous as it is just doing a presentation. Richard will be nominating another CLA to do something similar next year, so if you would like your code to be reviewed by the top CLAs in Europe, now you know who to contact.
If you have ever wondered how to use Packed Project Libraries, Jarobit Piña Saez did an excellent summary on the pros/cons and caveats. We have invited him to post about his findings in this blog. Stay tuned for his thoughts on this matter.
If you missed the CLA Summits this year, I hope you are planning in joining us next year. Don’t have your CLA yet? What are you waiting for? 😉
Lots of LabVIEW love,
You can follow Fab via Twitter @fabiola31416. She mostly posts during CLA Summits and NI Week.