Graphical method for programming a virtual instrument

  • US 5,301,336 A
  • Filed: 07/12/1989
  • Issued: 04/05/1994
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/24/1986
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method for programming a computer to execute a procedure, the computer including memory, a display, user input means, and a data processor, the method comprising the steps of:

  • storing in the memory a plurality of executable functions and a plurality of data types;

    assembling a first data flow diagram on the display in response to user input to specify a first process, the first data flow diagram including function-icons corresponding to respective ones of the plurality of executable functions, variable-icons corresponding to respective ones of the plurality of data types, and arcs interconnecting the function-icons and variable-icons;

    assembling a second data flow diagram on the display in response to user input to specify a second process, the second data flow diagram including function-icons corresponding to respective ones of the plurality of executable functions, variable-icons corresponding to respective ones of the plurality of data types, a procedure-icon corresponding to the first data flow diagram, and arcs interconnecting the function-icons, variable-icons and the procedure-icon;

    assembling a panel on the display in response to user input, the panel including input variable-icons and output variable-icons for assigning input values and displaying output values, respectively, to variable-icons in the second data flow diagram; and

    generating an executable program in response to the first and second data flow diagrams and the panel including interconnected executable functions and data types as indicated by the first and second data flow diagrams, for receiving input values indicated in the panel and executing a procedure including the first and second processes to generate output values for display in the panel.

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