Let’s Make SCPI More Helpful

1 month ago 28

The SCPI (Standards Command for Programmable Instruments) protocol is exceptionally fashionable successful laboratory and workspace tools, letting you configure and fetch information from oscilloscopes and laboratory scales alike successful a standardized way. However, erstwhile interfacing with a SCPI device, you request to usage a programming usher papers if you privation to cognize the commands for immoderate of the inevitably extended features; essentially, SCPI isn’t arsenic human-friendly arsenic you mightiness want. [MisterHW] argues that SCPI could usage much discoverability by proposing a HELP? command.

This connection is truthful intuitive, it makes you wonderment wherefore it isn’t successful the basal spec. It adds a built-in bid that provides accusation connected different commands. Internally, the statement is conscionable an other drawstring parameter that you adhd to your bid explanation code, and you tin usage it to picture the parameter types and ranges it takes. The output is some human-readable and machine-parseable, and arsenic it’s stored wrong your code, it’s mode quicker to update the statement drawstring than it is to re-release programming guides. Which are themselves prone to being outdated as-is, truthful decreasing reliance connected them is simply a win-win.

The connection makes a batch of sense, and [MisterHW] is consenting to backmost it up with a propulsion petition to the astir fashionable SCPI library, libscpi. Whenever the propulsion petition yet goes through, you volition person the enactment to easy adhd the HELP? bid enactment to immoderate SCPI-connected instrumentality you mightiness person brewing.

While the aged devices volition yet fade, SCPI is not astir to dice retired – hackers support gathering devices with SCPI arsenic the connection protocol, arsenic the spec is rather powerful. For instance, here’s this fancy temperature logger, oregon this Source Measurement Unit – some of them usage SCPI for hacker-to-device information transfer, and it’s apt to beryllium libscpi nether the hood. Ever wondered what SCPI is each about? Check retired our overview!

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