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Entry 1: The Plan

Topic: Graphviz   

Tags:  Ubuntu   Linux   CommandLine   Mac   Diagrams   

Created on Fri, 16 Dec 2011.
Last Modified on Fri, 20 Apr 2012.

I'm a visual thinker, and I feel that i best describe my ideas through hand drawn images. So, for making diagrams and flowcharts, it looks like Graphviz is going to be my choice. I'm choosing it mainly because I can use it tomake diagrams in the command line.

Thinking back to when I was in school, I remember spending so much time drawing up a flowchart using the (abominous) flowchart drawing tools provided in MS Word. It took forever.

But now, Graphviz uses very simple text to generate the diagram. This will be faster to draw and even faster to edit in the future. For example, something as simpdle as

digraph G {
  a -> b;
  a -> c;
  b -> d;
  b -> e;
  c -> f;
  c -> g;
  c -> h;
  g -> i;
  g -> j;

will generate all the neccesary arrows. But don't be fooled, there are a lot more capabilities.

The documentation of Graphviz is quite technical, and not that easy for the newcomer to decypher. But, I'm sure i'll get the hang of it as I start using it more.

I think there user base would expand if they included a "getting started" section on their homepage. I tried installing the .deb file on my ubuntu machine, but their were some unmet dependancies (+1 for apt package manager). luckily, it was a breeze installing the core tools using the ubuntu gui package manager.

I will be following the command line instructions to use graphviz via the command line.

PLEASE let me know if I'm doing something wrong, or if you have any suggestions or requests~

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