programming (not sure where to post this)

Ok, I have a simple question and want to say hello Chief Delphi.
First year team, so this is my first time doing this, did a few google and Chief Delphi searches a while ago looking for what programming language i would use (i’m probably going to be our programmer) and couldn’t find anything.
All i know is that it is (according to my teacher/adviser/team leader) “icon/image based” and based on C++.
I found several languages with google, and in the programming section their are several languages, could someone direct me towards whatever language i will be working with and possibly whatever software i will be using so i can mess around with it before the build season?
Thanks for any help or lack of help.

You will most likely use National Instruments LabView. Each year, every team receives a copy of it in their Kit of Parts. A good website to learn about it specifically for FRC is

Or C++. Or Java. All three are supported by FRC electronics.

Labview uses icons; C++ and Java are text-only. None of the three is based on any other one in the three. (However, many concepts may be transferable between programs–but syntax will not be.)

C++ is programed in Wind River workbench

Java is programed in netbeans

LabView is programed in LabView

Thanks, will check it out.

Odd thing is i know what C++ and java are (never used java though, don’t like javascript) and personally like text-based ones better…

Not sure what any of this stuff is other than C++ but i will check it out a little…

I will have to verify that it was icon-based and C++ after the long weekend, will probably be a lurker on here in my free time though.

Thanks for reply’s and/or help.

Congrats on getting started :slight_smile:

Whether you use Labview, C++, or Java, you are bound to have a fun and productive season. Do a little research – lots of quality info at FIRST website, FIRST Forge website, and individual FRC team websites. Also, try and see if there is another local team that would be willing to share their knowledge to help you get started.

FIRST Forge website in the WPILib (a library of useful robot classes, data, and commands) section has a number of useful documents:
The 2012 WPILib Cookbook, C++ Getting Started Guide, Java Getting Started Guide, and WPI Robotics Library Users Guide are four good documents to start on.

Other FRC teams have posted information that will help in getting started:
Team 1114 Simbotics
Team 971 Spartan Robotics

Good luck and keep asking questions:]

As a technicality, LabView code is all compiled into C or C++ (I don’t remember which) code before it’s sent to the cRIO, but like I said, it’s a technicality. :o

Java and Javascript are actually two entirely different languages; neither has anything to do with one another outside of the name

If you don’t have the installation media that was distributed in the Kit of Parts last year, then Java would probably be the easiest to get started with now.
Everything you ned is available online without license requirements.

No, LabVIEW is not compiled into C or C++.
That’s not what Compiled means anyway. Compiled means reducing code to a machine-specific language (or virtual machine).
If went through an intermediate language before being compiled for some bizarre reason we’d use the word translated.
If it isn’t reduced to machine-specific language, then we might use the word Interpreted.

You should definetly try to get in contact with other teams in Washington who have done this before. Even if they just send you some of last years code, it will give you something to work with.

Generally, we use the term Autocoded to describe code written in a high-level language, converted to C, and then compiled from the C code.

It’s usually done on embedded platforms, since it’s usually easier to find a C compiler than to adapt the high-level tool’s native compiler to work with the unique platform. Simulink works this way, LabVIEW does not (for NI hardware).

It has advantages and disadvantages to compiling directly from the starting language.


Post any questions you have about FIRST related thing on the sub-forum that you think makes the most sense with the topic of the question, but its not too strict, just dont post a “broken gearbox question” under “programming”, for example. And please use google or the search function on this forum before posting your question.


Most if not any team will be willing to help another team getting started. We are for the first time this year and are VERY excited! :slight_smile:

Oh, and FWIW, it seems like the majority of teams start on labview and switch to a text-based language (Java, C++, Python (yes Python)) later on. This is probably because from what Ive heard, labview makes more sense to non-programmer (or not yet) types. We used Labview for two or three years before switching to Java, and we may switch to C++ again this year.

Personally, It annoys me, but I learned on C++ at least 5 years ago so the way text-programming “works” was already with me, so Im not a good indicator. Though, once you know one language, like Java, learning another like C++ is way easier than if you have no prior experience. I would suggest using labview until you feel comfortable using Java, which I believe is easier than C++ for a few reasons, A being just the way it looks, C code looks more complex than Java to me. B being the way memory is allocated to programming stuff, and how you deal with that.

So go get familiar with labview NOW (not at the kickoff :stuck_out_tongue: ) but try to learn Java in your free time. But hey, if Java just isnt your cup of tea, that fine too, and theres nothing wrong with sticking with Labview. Many VERY successful teams out there do it.