interface

For Flowcode users to discuss projects, flowcharts, and any other issues related to Flowcode 6.

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Re: interface

Post by JonnyW »

Good evening, and welcome to the forum!

Your comments are very justified - a few people have been talking about the 2D/3D thing, and when I was first designing v6 this was a big talking point between myself and our MD. The remit for v6 was actually pretty simple: be able to easily create your own components in Flowcode. Unfortunately this is an over-simplification of 'make Flowcode capable of everything it can already do and everything Visual Basic was doing, in an easy way'.

The flowcode language has undergone quite a few advancements in order to make this possible and to make efficient coding possible (for example you can call a component macro directly from a decision icon, pass strings to macros by-ref and can manipulate and pass arrays around macros). Unfortunately there are other requirements that do make Flowcode more complicated to use, and some which affect the UI - we do not expect Flowcode users to be proficient in creating Windows forms just to add a couple of properties, but simplicity of creation gives rise to the properties list, which is clearly not as popular as the hand-crafted versions of v5.

I see your point about users who just want to download to chip - they are very valid. Most of the dev team (i.e. all but me) have only been working on FCv6 since February. In that time every component from v5 has been re-written from scratch in Flowcode, which was a truly remarkable effort from them. Going forward we will be able to add many more components for you to build v6 up much quicker and easier than in previous versions, and hopefully with less bugs than when written in non-simulatable C - how long would you have had to wait with v5 for a modbus component to appear?

What I am trying to say (over-lengthly and badly) is that whether these are 3D or 2D is not the focus of FC v6 - this is just the way that was chosen to display components, mainly for future-proofing reasons, and is largely incidental. Where the main effort has been focused is in the debugging tools (such as console, scope, etc) and behind-the-scenes features that makes the flowcode language and programming environment simulate faster, and capable of almost anything - not just downloading to chip, but also testing, interfacing and diagnosing problems during development as well as in your finished product.

If however you wish to use v6 in the same way as v5, the interface should be much the same (once you get past the 3D bit) and, for example, exactly the same flowchart in v5 or v6 will write text to an LCD.

I appreciate that this does not alleviate any issues anyone may have, but hopefully it goes some way to explaining why thing are how they are without going into a 20-page explanation (though this probably isn't far off!)

Lastly (and we have to be careful about what we say about Flowcode dealers) Flowcode v6 on our site is certainly not 4 times the price of v5!

Thank you for your time.

Jonny

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Re: interface

Post by balles »

Dear Jonny!

Belive me i got your point since the begining, i read the others answers first, i maybe just wrote to much deep into the topic. I was trying to clarify what others users were saying or writing, cause i could see their points and in same matter it was my first feeling too, honestly!

I truly was hoping that i could be understood on the other topic that i wrote first, as i pointed out, wasn't for criticise your efforts. And i dont will touch it anymore cause "going into a 20-page explanation" isn't needed anyway!

Your work on V6, on what it is now and seeing forward, i can't just imagine! The new components, are more than welcome and: we wait for more!! And yes we need to use it more to get better feelings about the new interface!

And for clarify this point completely:
"Lastly (and we have to be careful about what we say about Flowcode dealers) Flowcode v6 on our site is certainly not 4 times the price of v5!"

I wasn't talking about the dealers, i don't know them. And didn't was saying something about your site!! It was my mistake, i should be more careful before write it.
I was thinking about currency, i live in south america and because of it the diference in values. Nothing to do with you guys!!

So flowcode becomes a expensive tool for my pocket and i need to think about the currency every time i get the credit card in hands! Apologies if my statement causes any troubles!
And the next time i'll think in silence!! :)

Cheers!

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Re: interface

Post by JonnyW »

Hello. No - please don't think in silence, the more vocal our users are the better the product gets - your input is a great help (I have modded the properties panel and sorted remembering the screen layout between saves better based on the comments of yourself and others, these are changes that would never be made if everyone kept quiet!)

Remember I am a software engineer, and as such I may know what makes a good software development environment, but rely on you for the features needed for a good interface to the hardware.

I hope my replies do not come across in any way negative, and I would encourage you, and everyone, to speak out if there is any problem or question you have at all.

Jonny

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

Hey Benj, it's been 3 weeks since I bought the update to V6 Professional, and it still does not perform as well as V5.5.... "I STILL CANNOT INPUT INTO RS232 DURING SIMULATION".
Despite the fact that you indicated I would get updated a couple of weeks ago, that still has not happened, kinda of sad don't you think. It appears that this program was released
long before it was fully functional and I would of expected better from Matrix. I tried to PM you to keep the dirty laundry out of the forums, but it takes several days to get a answer
and even after I get an answer, there is no resulting action.

I was going to use V6.0 to expand into dsPic, but I can't bring myself to do that in light of the present circumstances. Over 6 months ago, I asked for a working example of a filter using DSP
and till today that still hasn't happened. There just doesn't seem to be much out there on DSP. I have searched Matrix you tube channel and the forums and don't find anything that is useful
to me. So I'm not going to subject myself to the added aggravation of attempting to use dsPic .... Makes me wonder if anyone at Matrix knows how to write a DSP filter program using Flowcode.

So back to RS232 input during simulation, how about NOW! (It's about time, It's overdue, and I am out of patience)

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Hello,

I did do the work for the RS232 input for you weeks ago and we have kept trying to release an update however we keep finding show stopper bugs from everything else that has gone in which if released would make your experience even worse so we are being very careful about what we release. Hopefully there will be a release today but there are some issue for me to look at. Just told my MD that I have to pay attention to this today before he gets me doing something else. I have also just had some time off work sick so this probably hasn't helped things, turns out I'm human after all :mrgreen: .

Here are some v6 DSP examples for you to play with, note there are some issues namely with the FFT. We are working on the examples, blogs and documentation to try and ensure that the product gets better and better. DSP does not mean dsPIC. DSP components should run on any device. dsPIC are simply riding the back of the DSP marketing wave though they are good, any microcontroller can be said to be a DSP (digital signal processor).
DSP.zip
(43.42 KiB) Downloaded 234 times
Makes me wonder if anyone at Matrix knows how to write a DSP filter program using Flowcode.
I wasn't aware you wanted a filter example, they are particularly simple. Someone asked me a few weeks ago and I put together the filter example in the zip in about 5 mins, probably doesn't simulate like the others do so let me know if you want a better demo. If we are aware of a need then we will do our best to fulfill it. We also get a lot of requests so remembering and actioning everything can be a bit of a uphill struggle. DSP has been given a big overhaul in the up coming update so that scope and console windows will automatically work out the box.
I tried to PM you to keep the dirty laundry out of the forums
We are not trying to hide anything and try to provide honest answers to our customers about what the state of play is. I see that RS232 data injection is a feature that is important but is by no means a show stopper. Also you can connect to real RS232 hardware now so surely this is infinitely better anyway? You could then inject any data you like into the simulation and have it respond appropriately.

There are always going to be teething problems with a new product such as this but if you provide information about what you don't like then we will do our best to make the changes to make it better.
So back to RS232 input during simulation, how about NOW! (It's about time, It's overdue, and I am out of patience)
Sorry but you will have to wait for the up coming release. Fingers crossed it will be today and I get to spend some time on it.

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

Hi Benj

Installed V6.0.2

You sure do make it hard to figure out how to use V6 features. The old RS232 (in V5.5) automatically came up with a window that was intuitive as to how to input data.
After hours of fiddling, I finally figured out to put a Human interface injector on the panel from the simulation menu. How are new users suppose to figure that out? We seem to be loosing the easy part of Easy programming. When I type in the number 4, the program converts it to the number 34, this is not how the V5.5 did it. I can't figure out any way to type in a byte from 0 to 255, as the program converts each digit independently to some other number format. for instance if I type in 63, the program will interpret that I typed in 36 and 33. So if I am not figuring out how to do it correctly, please enlighten me.

On another note, I did not really think for one second that anyone at Matrix did not know how to program a filter, but after 6 months I found myself compelled to say something provocative in order to get a response.
I sure wish I could get a explanation of how your sample filter program works. In fact it would be nice to see someone do a video series on DSP and how to use it.

As always, I eagerly await your reply.

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Hello,
How are new users suppose to figure that out? We seem to be loosing the easy part of Easy programming.
Your right and it does need improving. I currently see Flowcode like this, v1 - v5 gradually became better and better for the user but at v4 and v5 we pretty ended up at a dead end where anything we did involved so much work that it was pretty much better not to do the work and just let things stay as they were. Within a few years we may have lost the already legacy COM support in Windows that v4 and v5 relied on and then we would be completely stuck. v6 has the show stopper dead ends removed which allows us to proceed in a much easier and sustainable way. We are hoping that by the time v6.1 and v6.2 are released we will get back on a par with v5 usability (Vnet, MIAC addons, ICD etc) with the added benefit of all the new features v6 brings. We do need help though from the users as spotting the area's that need work is hard unless your the one sat there struggling with something. Don't forget your input is very important to us and we will try and listen and take on board each and every comment.
When I type in the number 4, the program converts it to the number 34, this is not how the V5.5 did it.
Good point I'll have a look into this.
I sure wish I could get a explanation of how your sample filter program works. In fact it would be nice to see someone do a video series on DSP and how to use it.
DSP in v6 works very well indeed, much much better then it ever was in v5. A suite of examples and videos could be the way to go but we are also currently writing a DSP course to try and head off some issues.

Here is a bit of a guide for v5 DSP to try and get across some of the thoughts behind how things are being done.
Introduction to DSP.doc
(118.5 KiB) Downloaded 223 times

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

Hi Benj

From the above post: When I type in the number 4, the program converts it to the number 34, this is not how the V5.5 did it.

So is there any work around for this? Most of my endeavors use RS232 and I can"t simulate, so this has forced me to go back to V5.5.... The patches are coming out too slow, I suggest that a problem be fixed and a patch released right away instead of trying to incorporate too many fixes. I have been waiting for this RS232 simulation fix for more then 3 weeks and when the patch (V6.0.2) finally comes out, it still doesn't work in a useful fashion. I hope you can sense how frustrating this is for me (after all this is not Beta, I did pay for a working "V6 Professional" product).

On another note, I hope you guys realize that V5.5 does not migrate to V6 very gracefully.

In another thread, you said that a DSP training package was in the works. When that comes out and if V6 is workable, I will be motivated to buy the chip pack and some hardware.

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Re: interface

Post by MJU »

I didn't read all the comments above, but my first feeling is that V6 is too much "other things than creating code".

I'm still waiting for the dutch language to be implemented in my V6-pro version.
I'n my humble opinion: why does a program like flowcode has to have a system panel and other "visual" stuff like it has in V6?

V5 was great, all the work was done in a space that didn't distract from the real work.
Now there are 10 kinds of buttons (why I don't know), ten kinds of potentiometers and so on. Why is this?
I don't get it why I can turn the stuff in the system panel in 3D?
The code is important, not how it looks in the system panel. I don't think I will ever use another button than the one I used in V5.

I've bought every Flowcode since V3, and all versions before this one were improvements.
I haven't used V6 because the files I made in V5 aren't imported well, and the language pack doesn't work and some other features don't work well.

I hope you can use the above comments to improve your product, Flowcode is a great product, but don't be to eager to implement features that nobody find useful.

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Hello,
From the above post: When I type in the number 4, the program converts it to the number 34, this is not how the V5.5 did it.
I have just checked v5 and if you add the ASCII number 4 to the queue and then display the received value as a number you get the decimal value 52 which is what I would expect. Are you expecting something different?

Checking with v6 I also get the number 52 so it seems the v6 injector seems to be working exactly the same as v5.
RS232Test_V5.fcf
(9 KiB) Downloaded 177 times
RS232Test_V6.fcfx
(8.19 KiB) Downloaded 203 times
why does a program like flowcode has to have a system panel and other "visual" stuff like it has in V6?
v6 can be used to develop code for micros as was in v5 and previously, the new visual stuff enables things like test where you want the embedded world to meet the PC world. This is going to be increasingly important as the internet of things becomes bigger and everything becomes interconnected.
I haven't used V6 because the files I made in V5 aren't imported well, and the language pack doesn't work and some other features don't work well.
Do you have any specifics which we can get look into getting fixed?
Hopefully we can get the language issue resolved quickly.

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

hi Benj

I don't see how that helps me. I want to type in 4 and I want 4 to come out of the RS232 register or type in 121 which now will be input as 31,32,31.. I don't see any way to type in a number larger then 0 to 9....
We don't seem to be talking the same language.. I can't make heads or tails of the above reply, is it possibly a reply to a question from someone else?

Larry

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Hi Larry,

Adding a character to the queue in v5 or v6 adds the character as ASCII. e.g. '0' is not the same as the decmial value 0 which is probably what your expecting.

See this for info,
http://www.asciitable.com/

When receiving a number consisting of multiple ASCII digits you have to subtract '0' or decmial 48 from the value to get the numeric value you expect 0-9. You then have to sum the values together using x10 multipliers for the tens, x100 for the hundreds etc.

What exactly are you trying to do and maybe we can help by putting an example together.

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Re: interface

Post by JonnyW »

Hi.

To add to Bens reply, have you tried other console applications - perhaps this might help?

TeraTerm is a very good and popular terminal widely used in industry: http://ttssh2.sourceforge.jp/index.html.en. This works in the same way - if you type 'a' it sends character 97, '0' sends character 48 and so on.

Cheers,

Jonny

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Re: interface

Post by saschech@gmx.de »

Hello

I use These one it is for me better....

http://www.ga-systemhaus.de/html/terminalsoftware.html

Regards Wolfgang

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

First of all, thank you Benj, Johnny, and Wolfgang and most of all thank you for your kind patience with me. I think I understand. In V5, when you install a RS232 device on the panel, automatically 3 windows appear. The bottom window allows you to enter data in the queue, and when you press OK the info is processed and the exact same number appears in the middle window to show what was received. After much examination and a lot of experimentation I see that the ascii equivalent is really what is being sent and received in your demo program. With the Human interface injector in V6, the middle window is not provided and I got somewhat confused.

In V5, RS232, Ext Properties, you are allowed to set simulation to either character or byte. I have mine set to byte and therefore allowed to enter any number from 0 to 255. Your demo program is set to character and therefore processing each digit as a ascii character. In V6 there are no provisions to adjust for a byte or character as far as I can find, and each character is being processed one at a time and not able to process a number higher then 9, and this is what is causing me grief.

I am not working with a terminal, I am working with Zigbee and need to transmit a byte at a time and therefore need to simulate a byte at a time.

As always, I eagerly await your reply.

Larry

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

Its 2 days and no reply, I fine it extremely frustrating.

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Hello,

It's on my list and hopefully should have a solution for this by next week, maybe even later today if I finish off the current job.

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Re: interface

Post by JonnyW »

Hi. Sometimes there is a delay in replying - we can't sort everything out immediately unfortunately and some things require thought as to how best to implement a solution, so please be patient. The last thing we want is to stick quick-fixes into a build to sort out a particular problem that may cause legacy issues further down the line.

With regards to entering in byte mode, there are a number of ways, for example you could stream the bytes in from a file so you don't have to type them in, but I don't know if that is what you want. We may include this functionality in the injector stuff in the next release as it would be nice to be able to stream to and from a file.

At the moment there is no facility to type byte-pairs directly into the console in this way. It could be possible to add this into the injector stuff as functionality, but this feature from v5 has been overlooked so far.

Hope this helps,

Jonny

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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

Hi Benj

Ok, thank you for the reply.

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Hello,

Ok here is an updated injector component which allows numeric byte data to be entered. Simply download and insert into your "Flowcode 6/Components" directory.

File Removed

There is now a property which controls if the data is interpreted as ASCII or as numeric. When set to numeric the injector will try and read numeric values between 0 and 255. Numeric values can be separated by commas, spaces, new lines or pretty much anything that is not an numerical digit.

e.g. 245,128;101,5:,62 89 1101

would read out the following byte values 245, 128, 101, 5, 62, 89, 110, 1

Might be worth putting in a hex mode too so I will see how easy this is to do.

Let me know how you get on.

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Found a minor bug so here is the latest fixed version.

File Removed

Above string was parsing 128 and then 8 rather then 128 and then 101.

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Re: interface

Post by Benj »

Sorry, Found yet another bug where 1 or 2 character numbers were not being removed from the start of the RX Queue if that was all that was there. All working now.
InjectorHumanInterface.fcpx
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Re: interface

Post by SHORTCIRCUIT »

Hi Benj
You got it, it worked awesome. Only, there is not enough time to enter all 3 digits. So if we had to hit the ENTER key before it accepted the data, or if we had to put in leading zeros and on the 3rd digit it accepted the data (like 004 or 078 or 243) that would be perfect.

Thank you
Larry

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Re: interface

Post by balles »

I agree with Larry, works very nice, but needs fast fingers! :D
Benj two questions, is there a way to improve the UART display mode? On the ASC mode the numbers are clear, but on the new numeric format they are so tiny i can't read them.
This human injector is a great tool, i looked for a way to use it with usb, but there isn't the Data Source for usb properties. Would it be possible to improve it to use amongst usb? Or to have one usb injector?
Or maybe i just didn't find how to do it? :?:

Thanks a lot!

---Edit---
Maybe my first question was not clear, so i'm providing the picture.
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Re: interface

Post by JonnyW »

Hi. Fair point. The character set for non-printable characters was drawn by me - luckily I have a day job.

I will try to think of a way of getting the values across more clearly - this idea was nicked from a text editor I used years ago, but screen resolutions were slightly less in those days. Maybe I need to redraw all the chars at 12x16.

If anyone has any ideas how to clearly display, say, E8 in a 8x16 grid, I will welcome any input.

Cheers,

Jonny

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