Open Source and Virtual Instrumentation
One of the tools the reader mentioned is the Freescale Freemaster Tool.
It was initially called PC Master and it’s a GUI which lets the user remotely control an embedded application. It has a web browser interface as well.
LabVIEW itself is not an open source program (you can’t see the code behind the graphical interface), but the concept of open source programming is relevant to its users. Jeffrey Travis outlines the concept in great detail here. In it he first defines the meaning of free software (it’s free to copy and distribute but not necessarily free to use) which he equates with open source. Open source brings benefits to operating systems and languages by making them more understandable because one has access to the source and the ability to change it. LabVIEW users benefit from an Open Source practice by sharing LabVIEW VIs with one another making the modified versions freely available. The original developer may maintain license to the original work, but derivatives are free and freely used.
In researching it further, Open Source material is available in the world of virtual instrumentation. There’s the OpenG group which hosts a number of forums for open source topics related to LabVIEW. Jim Kring is a big proponent of Open Source and runs a blog called Thinking in G. Jeffrey Travis runs the LabVIEW Open Source Tools (L.O.S.T.) site which offers a number of open source programs such as an SQL database access, remote control of a VI over the web, and a LabVIEW to Perl communication program. Sourceforge had a number of Open Source LabVIEW tools including a database builder, an Excel toolkit, and an OpenG toolkit. Sourceforge also has an XML toolkit for LabVIEW which can be downloaded from here.
If you know of any other open source resources please drop me a note.