[nycbug-talk] Diagrams.

Isaac Levy ike at blackskyresearch.net
Sat Sep 10 12:20:30 EDT 2011

Hi All,

I know this has been a topic before, but:

  Q: What X11 diagram tools, if any, do people use?

Context:  Folks that know me, know that I like making diagrams, and care a lot about visual communication.  I've been using OmniGraffle for many years (an amazing tool), on the Apple platform for many years- but it's time for some change...  I'm working in a heterogeneous *NIX environment, and I have a need to collaborate with colleagues on documentation.  No Omni for most people, and even the Mac users are reticent to sink any time into learn.  Not rocket science stuff, not political, I simply need to find common and accessible tools for what I consider to be a fundamental part of process, (making diagrams).

(I recall years ago when I asked this on list someone shouted 'ASCII art', [a perfectly acceptable answer]).

Not Appropriate Tools:
UML-specific tools are not appropriate, and no matter how much I love GraphVis, it's a graphing tool- not a drawing tool. However, it would be awesome to *import* GraphVis .dot files, and then move/arrange/edit by hand...
Gimp/Inkscape/etc... is not appropriate, diagrams are *very* hard to maintain as raster/vector artwork- a good diagram tool is intuitive and fast when working with shapes and lines- not art/graphics.

So far, I started with Dia, 


Running it now- and I'm recoiling at loosing all my mac/graphics command keys, (I grew up on PaintWorksPlus and have Photoshop 1.0 disks in some box here somewhere...  But that's my muscle-memory problem to overcome here :)

Does anyone use/know anything else?

Any thoughts welcome and appreciated, I'm about to sink a few months into biting this bullet!


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