Kinoma at the Embedded Linux Conference 2016

I’m curious what people think about this…

KinomaJS provides something akin to a beefed up BBUI or simplified LabView. Of course, you can use real NI LabView on BeagleBone Black now. KinomaJS does a lot of what I’ve wanted to do on BeagleBone to make physical programming really easy out-of-the-box, but also does several things different. I first saw it at a MIT conference on IoT where Peter and I were both speakers—I ran out and bought one of their hardware kits.

They demonstrated KinomaJS BeagleBone Black support at ELC. Did anyone see it? Is it exposing full functionality?

Kinoma at the Embedded Linux Conference 2016 | Welcome to the Kinoma Blog. from Peter Hoddie’s Tweet

Disclosure: I believe Kinoma is owned by Marvell.

The concept I think is flawed. Programs like these that create “programmers” without the ability to write code, or at minimum write decent code. Flawed as in that the end result is a “programmer” that can not think for him / her self, that often relies on others to get things done.

Also, I feel insulted as someone whose taken it upon himself to learn several programming languages over the course of ~20 years.

Plus their “debugger” they spoke of that removes its self from production code, because debuggers are a security hazard or some such none sense . . . this is actually a feature of Nodejs modules potentially being installed as a dev dependency only. I noticed several other parallels to Nodejs, googles V8 engine, and task runners such as gulp and grunt, and jshint, or other Javascript linters . . . So I’m left feeling . . . unimpressed.

I won’t disagree with what you say, but it ignores a few simple truths.

Programming is hard work and requires absurd amounts of arcane knowledge that can quickly become obsolete.

There is, and will continue to be, a shortage of competent programmers in the language dujour – which changes every few years, and in all the traditional languages.

These graphical or visual programming languages you denigrate really do help scientists, engineers, and other “domain experts” who aren’t, and don’t want to become, “programmers” implement an idea for which there is not, and will never be until the idea is proven sound, a budget for “hiring real programmers”.

I’ve seen many, and been involved in several projects where a smart non-programmer with a bright idea got something going rather quickly in LabView, succeeded enough to get real money funding, then get in over their head, and eventually hire someone like me (or possible you) to finish the job. It may not be the “optimum” work flow, but unless the creative would rather learn to “sell” instead of “graphically program” its often one of the only practical ways to bootstrap an idea.

LabView has the virtue of tools to help with a porting a LavView project into C/C++ implementation via their LabWindows/CVI product (Windows & Linux, although the Linux version is a red-headed step-child). But you practically need to know the secret handshake to find out how to buy LabWindows/CVI from National Instruments. :slight_smile:

I think that lower cost, and especially open source efforts, like node-red, and other really high level tools like these are a very good thing in general. I found node-red on my BBG, imperfect as it is, very helpful in rapidly prototyping an idea and let me concentrate on the data analysis instead of the data flow among the networked interacting parts (on-going effort, in C).

How is this different to Cloud9 IDE and bonescript? I took a brief look at their site, and I don’t see anything equivalent to LabView. All this could be achieved with Nodejs and the C/C++ Addon library to talk to I/O. The hardware with an old ARM processor and limited memory looks horrible.

Regards,
John