[kde-edu]: Sugg: Framework for Science Meters

David Saxton david at bluehaze.org
Thu Dec 15 01:19:15 CET 2005

A week or so ago, there was a discussion about frameworks for science meters. 
I meant to reply sooner but never got around to it...

KTechlab (http://ktechlab.org) is a tool for electronic circuits and 
microcontrollers - not an application framework for science meters. But it 
(in subversion, at least) it provides all the things that were mentioned in 
this discussion - and so I thought it might be worth mentioning anyway:

* Data recording and plotting: Can handle both floating point and boolean data 
- the oscilloscope is simple, but efficient (e.g. boolean data can be 
smoothly zoomed from showing a new data point every few seconds to 
potentially millions per second).

* Interface to hardware: Has code (well, some parts are still in development) 
for interfacing serial ports and parallel ports; sending and receiving data 
on both a character and a per-pin basis. Very simple to use.

How would data from scientific meters be interpreted and displayed?

A "component" for interpreting the data is written. It can get the data either 
via the serial/parallel port component (so that the interpretation component 
is just wired up to the serial/parallel port), or directly using the 
SerialPort and ParallelPort classes:


As I like being lazy, ktechlab does as much work as it can - and so an 
interpretation component would only have to worry about interpreting data.

There are a number of ways that a component can be invoked - it can be called 
when input data changes, or at regular intervals up to a million times a 
second (or more, but this is so far unoptimised), etc.

Once it has interpreted the data, there are again two ways it can go about 
displaying the data. Either it can be wired up to a probe component, or it 
can interface with the Oscilloscope directly - e.g. see:


The oscilloscope would need development to make it display different units, 
and lots of other features required for scientific probes, but the framework 
is already there.

Well, I guess that's my little presentation over. I don't know exactly what a 
framework for scientific meters would involve, so maybe ktechlab is entirely 
inappropriate - but we'll see :)

David Saxton

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