Lantz 0.3 is out: better PyVISA support, leaner drivers, great GUI building blocks

Lantz is a Python automation and instrumentation toolkit that allows you to control scientific instruments in a clean and efficient manner writing pure Python code.

After waiting for a long time, Lantz 0.3 is out. It took a while, but it was for a good reason: we were toying, playing and testing with new ideas to make Lantz better. I am going to go quickly over some of them.

MessageBasedDriver: a class to rule them all

MessageBasedDriver  replaces all previous Driver classes for message based instruments. It leverages the power of PyVISA to talk over many different interfaces. But remember that this does not mean that you require NI-VISA installed. You can still talk via the pyvisa-py backend which uses PySerial / PyUSB / Python Standard library. You can also use the pyvisa-sim backend to simulate devices!

Great GUI applications

Lantz provides two classes to help you build applications: Backend and Frontend. The first contains the logic of your application and the second the GUI. This keeps things easier to test and develop. It also allows you to call you application without a GUI (for example from the command line) or with a different GUI (for example a debug GUI with more information).

See for example here

App Building Blocks

Common structures such as looping or scanning are provided as blocks. These are combinations of Backend and Frontend that can be composed within your application. This enables rapid development of responsive, multithreaded applications.

Some of the blocks are showcased here

I will blog about this things in future posts. But in the meantime, you should really look at the docs.

Project documentation: ReadTheDocs

Public source code repository: GitHub

But the most important piece of news is not technical but social. Triggered by his contribution to Pint, MatthieuDartiailh and I have decided to work together. He has done some awesome instrumentation related coding in eapii and HQCMeas. We will work together to put the best of them into Lantz. Thanks to this collaboration, I have no doubt that Lantz 0.4 will be even better than 0.3

I have always felt that dividing the community among many projects is a waste of time and energy. That is why this is more than just than a technical merge. This is the birth of a python instrumentation initiative that we have called LabPy. We have created an organization in github to host Lantz and other projects with a common goal: making instrumentation better in Python. Join us!

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