DAPL - Development issues

All of the DAPL code for the currently supported protocols is generated automatically by SLControl. Users can inspect the code retrospectively (as described in the main page in this section) but there is no way of altering the code at run-time other than by changing the experiment parameters. This is in some ways a considerable advantage because the end user does not need to understand the intricacies of DAPL programming and control loops to use the system to its full. However, for some advanced users, the inability to alter the DAPL code at run-time may be less than optimal, because it means that there is no easy way of performing an experiment which is not currently supported by SLControl.

This issue will become less problematic as new protocols are added to the project but it will never be possible to incorporate every conceivable experimental design. One potential solution is to add an option whereby SLControl can call arbitrary user-supplied code. The drawback to this approach is that it may be difficult to maintain compatibility between third-party DAPL code and existing SLControl data structures.

Perhaps a more viable alternative for users wishing to use DAP boards to control their own experimental protocols is to pass the command files to the processor using Microstar's DAPView for Windows package. It would then be a relatively straightforward matter to convert the returned data to a format compatible with SLControls *.slc filing format for analysis purposes.

Users interested in pursuing either of these options are welcome to contact SLControl for further advice.

Last updated on 3rd June, 2003 by Ken.