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A standardized instrument programming language based on IEEE Std 488.2

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1 Author(s)
Nemeth-Johannes, J. ; Hewlett-Packard, Loveland, CO, USA

The author describes the features of TMSL (Test and Measurement System Language) and how they relate to compatibility. TMSL implements a tree-structured command set, rather than a traditional flat instrument language, allowing keywords to be reusable and identifiable in context. Reusable keywords also allow for simple and regular mnemonic generation rules. TMSL also addresses parameters through the use of regular parameter forms, a say-what-you-mean philosophy for discrete switch settings, and the minimization of obscure side effects. In addition, TMSL addresses the need for horizontally compatible, signal-oriented measurements, as well as the traditional programming of instrument-specific hardware. The model of an instrument developed for TMSL and the importance of such a standardized model are discussed. The author outlines the advantages realized, including the ease of adding capabilities in the future, the ease of learning, the self-documenting features, the opportunities for reuse of instrument firmware, including increased reliability of parsers, and the ease of integrating instruments into existing test systems

Published in:

Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference, 1990. IMTC-90. Conference Record., 7th IEEE

Date of Conference:

13-15 Feb 1990

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