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Graphical Design Tools
are dead.
long live graphical viewers
Dr. Ir. Philippe Faes
Types of Graphical Programming
● Data-flow based
● One-dimensional
● Behavioral (state-machines)
● Hybrid
Dataflow based
LabVIEW
One-dimensional
Minibloq
Behavioral
Niches
Graphical programming is successful in niches:
● educational and non-programmer
● flow-based: audio, video, measure...
Why graphical entry
for electronics?
● historical
● inspection / navigation
● documentation
Historical
Inspection
Documentation
Disadvantages of graphical
● lack of standard data format
○ vendor dependent
● difficult to compare two versions
● capture...
Graphical viewer flow
Graphical Data flow
Round-trip flow
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Graphical Programming is Dead

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Graphical Design Tools are Dead — long live graphical viewers.
Discussion about the limits of graphical programming and the future of graphical viewers.
Presented at the 2014 PLC2 forum.

Published in: Software
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Graphical Programming is Dead

  1. 1. Graphical Design Tools are dead. long live graphical viewers Dr. Ir. Philippe Faes
  2. 2. Types of Graphical Programming ● Data-flow based ● One-dimensional ● Behavioral (state-machines) ● Hybrid
  3. 3. Dataflow based LabVIEW
  4. 4. One-dimensional Minibloq
  5. 5. Behavioral
  6. 6. Niches Graphical programming is successful in niches: ● educational and non-programmer ● flow-based: audio, video, measurement data ● formal behavior (FSM) ● graphical design (GUI, games, ...) ● and some domain specific sub-niches
  7. 7. Why graphical entry for electronics? ● historical ● inspection / navigation ● documentation
  8. 8. Historical
  9. 9. Inspection
  10. 10. Documentation
  11. 11. Disadvantages of graphical ● lack of standard data format ○ vendor dependent ● difficult to compare two versions ● captures limited complexity ● debugging can be harder ○ tool flow works on generated HDL code
  12. 12. Graphical viewer flow
  13. 13. Graphical Data flow
  14. 14. Round-trip flow

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