Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lab::Measurement 3.00 released

I'm happy to be able to announce a first real release of the Lab::Measurement Perl package, providing a platform for measurement control with Perl.

Lab::Measurement is based on the packages Lab::VISA, Lab::Instrument, and Lab::Tools started by Daniel Schröer in 2005. Many people have contributed in the meantime, amongst others in roughly historical order Daniela Taubert, David Kalok, Florian Olbrich, and Alois Dirnaichner. The efforts of the last year have focussed on a general modularization, originally driven by a certain frustration with National Instruments NI-VISA support on Linux. Now, the hardware driver backend can be exchanged transparently, making measurements both with NI-VISA and with e.g. LinuxGPIB or the operating system serial port drivers on Linux and Windows possible.
Since VISA does not form a central part or even requirement anymore, the original use of Lab::VISA as name for the entire package became impractical, and we've decided to switch to Lab::Measurement instead. As version numbers of all components should still increase monotonously, our first release of the code rewrite then actually ended up as Lab::Measurement 3.00.

For downloads and documentation, including installation instructions for Linux and Windows and examples, visit the homepage of the package, Of course, if you're using Gentoo, the package is readily available in the main portage tree as dev-perl/Lab-Measurement.

Not all device drivers have been ported to the new internal architecture so far, but work is progressing swiftly. In the Regensburg nanophysics groups, we're using the new code already all the time in measurements at three different cryogenic setups. More drivers, bugfixes, and improvements are present in Git master. If you're willing to hack, I can only recommend that you give it a try. Contributors are always welcome; feel free to clone our git repository on Gitorious.

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