Lex Johnson’s rule of thumb about control block usage was posted to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list in May 2007.
1. Do it in regulatory control blocks (most efficient, least prone to problems).
2. If the regulatory control blocks can’t do it, use a CALC block (efficient, but must deal with BAD and coding errors; debugging is a pain).
3. If the CALC block can’t do it, use a sequence block (pretty inefficient, but in the CP, so it’s redundant; code/compilation relatively complex; debugging is a pain).
4. If you can’t do it in a sequence block, reconsider if you need to do it.
5. If you must do it, see if you can do it in a shell (sh, ksh, csh, perl, etc.) script (easier to debug, easy to schedule, remember to use omgetimpand omsetimp to avoid broadcasts, remember to use show_params to check the IMPORT table).
6. If you can’t do it in a script, reconsider doing it.
7. If you must do it, see if a third-party or Foxboro package will do it. (Ask on the mailing list.)
8. If you must do it and can’t find a package, write a program.
Addendum (5 Sept 2008):
If you are going to use HLBL, keep the following in mind:
- 1 line of HLBL code is roughly the same load as an AIN block.
- External OM variable references, e.g., :C:B.P when the compound is in a different CP, suspend the block for one full block period. Thus, 20 lines setting values will take 10s to execute if the PERIOD is 0.5s.
- Internal block references don’t suspend the block, but they are slower than you might expect and will have an impact on your loading if you have enough of them.
- Remember that code runs until it hits a WAIT, WAITUNTIL, External Reference, or BPCSTM is reached.
- Remember that if you don’t loop you code back to the top (yes, with a GOTO), it will reach the end of the block and stop.
- Remember that ACTIVE and MA must both be set to true for the block to run.
added to The Cassandra Project Wiki by Duc M. Do, 15 May 2007.