» Archive for August, 2008

Graphsy Update: The Snappy Grid

Saturday, August 30th, 2008 by Max

Added some more functionality to Graphsy.  This time it’s an adjustable grid as well as the ability to snap to it when laying out shapes and edges.  Users can set the number of column in the grid and Graphsy will create as many rows as necessary to make sure each grid cell is a square.  Users can set a value between 1 and 100.  The grid adjusts through all of the different zoom levels and is saved with each project.

The grid itself is rendered using ImageMagick on the backend.  I experimented with using HTML elements first and, while the grid would pop-up faster, once it was on screen its presence slowed down all other operations significantly.  Therefore I decided to go with a rendered grid.  While it may take a bit for it to come up, once it does, it will be cached and the next time should be displayed faster.

Next update will contain more layout features.  Next time shapes and lines will snap into place based on objects already part of the project.

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Just how useful is design documentation?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 by Max

When one begins to learn software engineering, they are usually encouraged to do some form of design before jumping right into the code. I remember some of my first computer science (CS) classes. We had to submit a design document in addition to the source code for any particular project. I remember hating it, but attributing that displeasure more to the fact that the projects were so small and insignificant that they did not really need a design document. After studying software engineering and talking to many different practicing software engineers I realize that design is over rated. I don’t want to say that there is no need for design document, but that maybe too much emphasis is placed on them.

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Graphsy August 20th Update

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 by Max

I’ve just put up a new version of Graphsy.  This update was a long time coming.  Unfortunately I got busy with non-Graphsy work so it took a bit longer than I anticipated.  Ohh well.  Enough with excuses, lets move on to details.

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A small introduction to Graph Theory.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 by Max

Simple Decision Graph

I’ve now seen a few comments from people using Graphsy trying to figure out exactly what a graph is.  By a graph I mean any kind of relational, or boxes and arrows, type of diagram. I guess the confusion shouldn’t really surprise me.  I remember being terribly confused when the notion of graphs was first introduced to me.  Not because the idea was complex, but because at that time when someone mentioned graphs my immediate response was “line or bar?”  But no, the kinds of graphs one can draw with Graphsy are the kinds of graphs one can make with Visio or OmniGraffle, diagrams with nodes and edges.  Wikipedia has a great entry on graph theory, check it out if you need an introduction.  The next question to answer is what are these things useful for?

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Started using Zemanta

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 by Max

Just started using Zemanta, seems like a pretty cool service so far.  Will let you know more as I use it more.  Went back and reclassified some of the posts.  They may pop up as new in RSS feeds. Also notice the new look, one of the default WordPress ones so far, but I like it better.  Maybe I’ll try to customize it at some point, will have to wait and see.

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Is Microsoft now the “underdog”?

Saturday, August 16th, 2008 by Max

Am I the only one who is starting to feel bad for Microsoft?  I remember when Microsoft was this big evil empire and anything was better simply because it wasn’t them.  Now they seem more like a little child trying desperately not to get beaten up by the older kids.  They seem like an underdog in the industry they pushed forward.  I haven’t used Windows in about 3 years and it seems like I’ve become a Vista apologist.  How did they get this way?

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