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[Discuss-gnuradio] Re: Graphical programming with Ptolemy

From: TJ Dreier
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] Re: Graphical programming with Ptolemy
Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 12:04:19 -0700


You bring up some good points.  A python based GUI design environment
dedicated to GNU Radio would be great.

My Ptolemy based system is more generic, and best viewed as a "user of
GNU Radio" as opposed to an addition to it.  Imagine a system model
where blocks could be targeted to GR software or other
implementations, such as the Click modular router, or hardware blocks.

One goal would be to allow system designers who don't know or want to
know python or the details of GNU Radio to be able to easily compose
systems, simulate them, and generate target implementations.

Another driver for using Ptolemy is the fact that all the GUI
framework for this type of block diagram editing is already there.
The overhead for using Java would only be present in simulations,
where it doesn't really matter.  The generated python programs can be
run standalone.

I definitely see room for GUIs that are more tied to GNU Radio and
built on wxPython.  If anyone takes on this task, parts of Ptolemy are
probably a good reference for design ideas.  They have already
addressed much of the same issues but in a generic way and implemented
in Java.

Do you have any means for parsing working apps?
Not yet, but it could be done.


Date: Fri, 05 May 2006 12:12:38 +0200
From: Patrick Strasser <address@hidden>
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] Re: Graphical programming with Ptolemy
To: address@hidden
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

TJ Dreier wrote:
> I'm using a graphical
> modeling tool called Ptolemy  to allow design of gnuradio systems.

> 2) Use Ptolemy to draw block diagrams and connections.  Ptolemy allows
> block parameters to be configured by inspecting the XML I just
> described.

> 3) Then have Ptolemy convert the block diagram into a gnuradio python
> program.  Ptolemy is written in Java, so I have written Java classes
> to do this.

This are the parts I want to see in Python for several reasons:
* Gnuradio uses already Python. This is a known technology to the
developers. And you can get rid of XML, another unknown technology.
(Gnuradio depends on C++, USB, Swig, Python and wxWidgets, moreover the
 >3 audio interfaces. That's a enough to support as can be seen on this
* Gnuradio can work quite fine with wxWidgets. It's quite portable in
this configuration.
* I doubt that you use _less_ system resources with both Python _and_
Java/Ptolemy running.

> 4) Ptolemy launches this program and communicates with it using pipes.
> This allows you to create other pieces of Ptolemy simulations that
> source or sink data to GR.

Of course Ptolemy has a lot more functionality.

> Here's a screenshot to give you an idea:
> http://www.ee.ucla.edu/~tjdreier/gnuradio_ptolemy.jpg

Looks quite like the thing I had in mind.
Perhaps I should give it a try...

ad point 3): Do you have any means for parsing working apps?

Engineers motto: cheap, good, fast: choose any two
Patrick Strasser <patrick dot strasser at  tugraz dot at>
Student of Telematik, Techn. University Graz, Austria

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