GRC2012 - Hackfest

New GNU Radio Companion Features

The two Tim's did some excellent work last week on GRC (GNU Radio Companion) during the conference and Hackfest that deserves being promoted.

1. The ability to reload GRC to update existing blocks or when adding new blocks. You no longer have to shut down and restart to get the new blocks. There is a button with a blue arrow in a circle that has the pop-up text 'Reaload blocks' that you click to get this feature.

2. If a hier_block you are using in a flowgraph was made using GRC, you can now open up the hier_block to see how it's constructed. This doesn't work with hier_blocks created in GNU Radio in Python/C++, though. To use this, you click the button with the orange down arrow (right next to the Reload blocks button) that reads 'Open the source of the hierarchical block.'

3. Automatically create hier_blocks from grouped blocks in a current GRC flowgraph. You highlight a set of blocks and hit 'c' or right-click and 'Create Hier' to automatically build a new hier_block that opens in GRC with the probes in place. Any parameter/variables become parameters in the new graph. You can then save and generate the block. Using the features mentioned above, you can then use the 'Reload Blocks' to get access to new block, which you can now also open up to see what's underneath.

These three features greatly extend GRC's capabilities and ease-of-use and have already been published on the master and next branch of the main GNU Radio source, and so obviously will make their way into the next releases.