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Blog Has Moved

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 by Max

This blog (the posts, comments, and everything else) has moved to a new home at www.troolstudio.com. I’m involved in a lot more things than just Graphsy now, so I figured it was time to put everything under the same roof.  Hope you enjoy the new setup and checkout some of my other projects.

Graphsy Update: Shelves and Bug Fixes

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 by Max

It’s been a while, but here is a new update for Graphsy.  The biggest change is the new shelves system for storing and using common objects. I have also changed the default behavior to have the shelf panel visible when Graphsy loads.  Every user gets two shelves by default, Basic Shapes and Basic Shapes with Anchors, but can create any number of shelves.  Adding and removing objects is done by dragging them into and out of the shelf and individual shelves can be stored. Here is a brief video tutorial on how to use shelves.


In addition to shelves, several other things have also changed.  First you’ll notice that the logo at the top has gotten much smaller and the drawing area has gotten much bigger.  I have also taken the time to fix many bugs (most of them dealing with Internet Explorer) and improve performance accross all browsers, so hopefully you’ll find using Graphsy more pleasent.

As for the future, the next big updates will involve grouping objects together, creating tables. exporting graphs as PDFs, and sharing shelves among users. Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Graphsy Update: Custom Shapes

Sunday, December 28th, 2008 by Max

Sample ShapeI’ve just added the ability to create custom shapes to Graphsy. This update ads a new button to the tool bar, right next to the object creation button. As with all of the previous drawing tools, users can choose to draw a single shape or several. Hitting the button once enters single shape mode and hitting it again will place Graphsy into infinite drawing mode, until the button is hit a third time.

The button that begin the custom object creation process.

When actually drawing shapes, you begin by clicking once on an empty spot, to select where the shape will start.  Then click again to draw the first edge of the shape.  Then, each additional click adds another edge. To finish drawing the shape, you have to click on the starting node.

shape_cmenuThe custom shapes have the same context menu as the regular shapes with one additional button.  In the lower left corner of the context menu there is a button to edit the shape.  By clicking on that button, or pressing ‘z’, you can edit the shape by moving, deleting, and creating new nodes.  All of those are accessible from the appropriate context menu.  A selected node can be moved or deleted it via its context menu.  Selecting an edge enables one to split it at the point of selection, again via the context menu.

The shape objects can be used in the same way as the regular shapes.  One can change their width and height, animate them, or change their color properties. Everything that can be done with regular shapes can be done with these “custom” shapes.

Next on the agenda is to create a way to group objects together and save them into libraries that could be shared with other users.  I’m still trying to figure out a good name for the library, right now I’m thinking shelf, but if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments or email me. I hope you guys like the new feature, as always let me know what you think.

To finish up here is a demo of the shapes:

What’s up with Graphsy

Friday, November 7th, 2008 by Max

Just wanted to drop a line about a new features I’ve been working on.  It’s not on the list of requested features, but I think it’s pretty cool none-the-less.  I wanted to create controls that would allow for simple animations of graphs.  Something where nodes can be rearranged to demonstrate a point.

The impetus for this feature came from wanting to write a post clustering and how it relates to software engineering.  I wanted to use Graphsy for illustrations, and then thought about using animations to demonstrate clustering.  Clustering and animations are a very natural fit, but Graphsy did not have that available.  So I figured I would create it.

As I started implementing the features I realized that it is going to be a bit more work than I originally thought.  A few things in the low levels needs to be changed to make room for it.  And, as I was creating it, the interface I wanted to use for it changed as well.  The feature has morphed from something really simple to something a bit more powerful, but hopefully still as simple to use.  I’m about half way there right now.  I’ve crossed most of the major hurdles already and can create some very basic animations.  What’s left is cleaning up the UI, adding build in and build out animations, and creating a player available in the embedded version of the graphs.

I hope to finish this in the next two to three weeks.  With a post about the features will also come a post about clustering to demonstrate the usefulness of Graphsy.  I hope people don’t mind me going off the path, but I really want to get Graphsy to a point where I use it as my main graph creation/editing tool.  It’s not there yet, hence the alpha and not beta, but hopefully it’ll get there in the next few months.