[nycbug-talk] Diagrams.

Isaac Levy ike at blackskyresearch.net
Sun Sep 11 12:32:31 EDT 2011

On Sep 10, 2011, at 6:44 PM, jeff at jeffmau.com wrote:

> Pen and paper, Ike.
> Cheers,
> Jeff

Ha!  You and I have been having this discussion for like 15 years now Jeff :)

There's actually a ton of paper in my world too, (all of it gets scanned regularly), plus time alone with a whiteboard and phone-camera are pretty amazing for working through and capturing ideas.

However, I've come to draw a line where I take it to the computer:

- Whenever there are many variants/multiples in the diagram
  - copy/paste is just way faster than drawing
  - visual libraries can be kept for later re-use
    (e.g. a server, a service abstract, a design pattern)

- Whenever there may be many variants of the diagram itself
  - Design A vs. Design B
  - Unknown Details from a bigger picture
    (diagrams quickly help me find weak or ill-understood parts of larger systems)

- Whenever the subject spans multiple layers, (OSI, Logical/Physical topology, etc...)
  - the idea of drawing layers saves a profound amount of time
    (overhead transparency film would be a solution, but...)

- Whenever the output needs to be shared with others, weather collaborators or outside parties
  - difficult to get people to address hand-drawn notes, line weights from pen-drawn diagrams are not often legible when displayed from a video projector or even some remote screen resolution I could never have considered.


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