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Unread 05-17-2012, 07:34 AM
Programmer3941 Programmer3941 is offline
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Rookie Team needs programming help

I'm part of an ex-rookie team(3941), and all of our programming was done in Labview, by one person who has now graduated. Now we have to figure out what programming language to use.

Hear is our situation
C++: probably not

Labview: I do not know very much labview, but what I did learn from last year seemed fairly easy. There was also a lot of stuff already set up for FIRST. However, I did not really like the graphic format, and the code took forever to download.

Java: I know java, but do not know how to program a robot with it. There seems to be much less stuff already set up for FIRST. I like java, and would use it, but it seems much harder to get started with.

Any help much appreciated!
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Unread 05-17-2012, 08:05 AM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Programmer3941 View Post
I'm part of an ex-rookie team(3941), and all of our programming was done in Labview, by one person who has now graduated. Now we have to figure out what programming language to use.

*snip*

Java: I know java, but do not know how to program a robot with it. There seems to be much less stuff already set up for FIRST. I like java, and would use it, but it seems much harder to get started with.

Any help much appreciated!
Seeing as you're already familiar with Java, I assume you already have Netbeans. If you don't, just go here to download it.

WPI supplies a good document for getting started with Java. Page 5 tells you how to install the FRC plugins, which allow you to create new FRC-specific projects. You should also check out Brad Miller's video tutorials on YouTube to help learn the basics of Java-based robot programming.

Hope this helps!
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Unread 05-17-2012, 09:09 AM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

If you'd like to stick with LabView, you may be able to find a mentor from the local LabView Users group; there is one that meets about an hour away in Columbia that may draw from Aberdeen. Here are their websites:

https://decibel.ni.com/content/groups/nicommidatlantic

http://www.minkhollowsystems.com/WALUG.html

All of our software mentors are members of the local Users group and found out about FIRST and our team through it. Maybe you could give a presentation at one of their meetings to promote FIRST and see if you can recruit someone.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 06:50 PM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

we have found LabVIEW to be ideal for our team, as a result of it enabling the members of our team who are interested in programming, but have no C or Java background, to do so. If you and the other programmers are comfortable with Java, the WPI library is easy to pick up, so I would recommend going Java. Otherwise, if the bulk of the programmers on your team are not comfortable with text-base, go LabVIEW.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 07:12 PM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

As a student who was on a team who cycled through 3 different programming languages over a few seasons, I may be able to offer a little insight, especially on switching to Java.

First of all, if you're comfortable with Java, use Java. If you feel that, after evaluating Java for FRC purposes, then you have two options:
-Learn C++. It's somewhat similar to Java, albeit some key differences. More or less, if you can program in Java, learning C++ will be less of a challenge. That's from personal experience. I haven't looked, but I've also been told several times (by mentors trying to get us back to C++) that C++ is also much more supported for FRC. So that's an option.
-Look at your previous year's Labview code. Try to learn it, make sense of it, etc. I don't know how documentation in Labview works, but if it is properly documented, that should be quite a learning experience. If it's not properly documented... that could be quite a task.

Now, if you decide you'd like to stick with Java, there are another few things I can suggest:
-Look for teams who have posted Java code online. If nothing else, you should be able to better understand how Java works in terms of FRC.
-Practice by converting your old Labview code to Java. 1126 did that in 2010 I believe, converting our 09' bot (Labview) to Java. That has long since passed, with the dismantling of the 09' bot, but it could be a great experience for you and anyone you do it with.
-Make sure you know the basics of Java in general FIRST. That'll make things go over a little smoothly. That's just a general rule, though.

I hope these help. The most basic thing I can suggest is think your decision through. Look over all the basis you have, consider all your option.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 08:12 PM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

One of the first documents I send to students interested in Java for FRC was posted in this thread.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85836&highlight=new+programming+m anual


v9 is the latest I think, posted on post #24 of that thread.

It's a bit out dated now, but is still a very nice introduction to a lot of aspects of programming FRC robots in Java.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 11:39 PM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

If your looking for some examples for a Java based bot here is a link to my teams code for this year!

http://code.google.com/p/first-robot...2Fnurdrobotics

Also we are completely rewriting the code in a different (and much simpler) form which we will soon be releasing on the same link provided. Hope this helps and if you have anymore questions feel free to ask!
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Unread 05-18-2012, 02:19 PM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

Based on what you say, Java is probably the best bet. It will be easier for you to code in and probably easier to get others who can handle it into the language as well. (because you know it already, not because it is just easy, although as far as programming languages go, Java is fairly easy)

Its not complicated at all really, its a Java library just like any other.

Here is our Java code from this year(we were rookies when we wrote it, and only I had any experience in Programming [in PHP]): https://github.com/frc3946/ReboundRumble
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Unread 06-01-2012, 08:59 AM
Programmer3941 Programmer3941 is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

This was so helpful, your code is so well documented!
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Unread 06-24-2012, 11:22 PM
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Re: Rookie Team needs programming help

reported
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Last edited by Gregor : 06-25-2012 at 09:24 PM.
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