Thursday, August 17, 2006

Traditions and Testing

On the LabVIEW team, we love sweet stuff. Heck, all programmers probably do. "The official food of the LabVIEW team" (tm) used to be Oreos but somewhere in the last few years, it became donuts - specifically Krispie Kreme donuts.  Every anniversary, birthday, or just for the heck of it yields a "donuts in (some location)" email.  A sugar fix is nearly guaranteed every morning.

Another tradition is to do a coding challenge as we enter final testing. LabVIEW is pretty stable at that point and we've gone through the entire testing database a few times. A coding challenge is a good way to make sure everyone is using the product in a "real way" rather than running through some script. We let a developer or group of developers write something, anything they want, in LabVIEW. There are awards given for the program that uses the most new features, coolest, most annoying, etc..  I think I won most annoying a few years ago for using the "new" (at the time) Datasocket feature along with the state machine editor to create a distributed music playing program. Every person who loaded the VI could enter some musical notes which would then be played on every other person's machine.  Can you say noisy?  "Annoying" was an apt title for that one.

Anyway, my favorite entry was from the LabVIEW 8.0 release. A couple folks got together and wrote a client-server application that would not only notify you of any new donuts but also show a map on the floor of where they were sitting and map a route through the cubes to show you the shortest way to get to the donuts. It had a nice installer and ran in the system tray.  Of course it was all programmed in LabVIEW.

So, what are you going to build with LabVIEW 8.2?


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