Happy Halloween Watt’s up fans! Today I want to look at what programming language you are going to use to write your program. Instead of recommending a particular language, I am going to break it down by graphical versus text based programming.
Let me start by saying that there really is no correct answer to this question. This is a matter of personal taste.
I am going to start with a bit about my background. Unlike most of my colleagues, I did not specialize in analog electronics in college. I focused more on computer engineering. Due to this specialization, I have taken quite a few programming based courses. I prefer sitting down and programming using a text based programming language because of my background.
I am going to make a confession. If I have to write a program quickly and I do not have to show it to anybody, I still will write it in HPBASIC. I find it to be very easy to do simple instrument programming. There is no need for drivers, once it is set up properly; sending and receiving information with an instrument is a breeze. Large programs do not fare very well in HPBASIC though.
My preferred way to program these days is Visual Basic (using VISA-COM IO). If you look at the power supply example programs that we provide, there is a lot of VB in there. I feel that a text based program allows you to write much more compact code. It takes up a lot less screen space than an equivalent graphically based language. Something like Visual Basic is also more versatile since it is not only for test and measurement but for more general applications. The looping constructs work very nicely here and to me the flow makes more sense. I also find typing quicker than connecting boxes. Text based programming does have some cons though. For one, the graphical languages are written from the bottom up to do instrument control. They have built in functions and data manipulation that make thing easier. The graphical languages also have some really good libraries for building User Interfaces.