Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I'm developing driver assistance functions for vehicles and I have experience using simulink, although not anymore, fortunately. It's usage is converging slowly but steadily to zero in the company I work for, although we still use it for controllers, but mostly only legacy "code". Why is it?

- First is the most serious, debugging: this is a deal breaker alone. Once your code will go into production, and once, bugs will be found in it. How do you debug it? A typical variable in simulink looks like this: `Simulink_Sum_Node_4521` (something similar, I don't remember exactly). Yes, that is a variable in the c code generated from simulink graphs. It's index start from 0, but you have quite a lot of it - just count the operations in your normal code, and don't forget that (a+b)/c already contains 2 operations! Not sure if the original programmer was lazy to name them all, but not sure if it is possible to meaningfully name them either. If you want to get (a+b)/c^5, (a+b) might not have a meaning on it's own. So you stuck debugging a 10k+ lines long file containing variables like this.

- Reading is natural: we read from early childhood, we write from early childhood. Did you draw computational graphs as a kid? In school maybe? Yeah, me neither. When I want to tell my colleague a formula, I'm not going to draw him/her a computational graph, I'm going to write it down. Hell, you are reading right now, and not looking at a graph consisting words and arrows that represent relations! Imagine how that would look like...

- Graphs take up much more space on the screen than text. Grab a pen and draw a computational graph of a Fourier transformation! It takes up a whole screen. As a formula, it takes up a tiny fraction of it. Our state machine used to take up about 2m x 2m on the wall behind us.

- Also the other reasons already written in this thread...

Working with simulink convinced me entirely that graphical programming has no future whatsoever.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2022

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact