Graphsy August 20th Update

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.

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

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”?

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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A Cornucopia of Features

July 27th, 2008 by Max

I’ve been wanting to use cornucopia for a while now, glad to have the chance. Just put up a new update of Graphsy that implements a bunch of features and bug fixes. Most importantly, and most noticeably, the zoom features. Users can now increase or decrease the scale of their drawings. Currently the implemented zoom levels are: 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 200%, 400%, and 800%. In the future I plan to add arbitrary zoom, but this is a good start.

Also added keyboard shortcuts to context menus. I’ve been talking about them for a few weeks now, and the buttons themselves were annotated with the corresponding key from the very beginning. Now, when a context menu is visible, hitting the key will correspond to pressing that button. The keys correspond to button placement, not what action they represent. For example, ‘q’ will press the upper left key, no matter which context menu comes up. This way the interface can be used with one hand on the mouse and the other on the keyboard. Hopefully, with this setup, users will not need to look down on the keyboard to hunt for keys and thus can create graphs faster.

The third feature added in this update is a better notification of when a project is not saved. First, a duplicate of the save button has moved to the upper right menu. That button will change color when the current document is out of sync with the saved version. In addition, when users try to leave the studio, Graphsy will inform them if their file is not saved and give them an opportunity to go back and save it.

This update also fixes several bugs. Most had to do with layout, saving, and exporting images.

The next two weeks may be busy, so I don’t know how much Graphsy work I will be able to do. Will try to write another “blog” post though, not sure about the topic yet. Check out the new features and let me know what you think.

Post from an iPhone

July 22nd, 2008 by trool

Just downloaded the WordPress plugin for the iPhone. Figure I’ll give it a try on the train. So here is my quick review of the plugin.

The WordPress plugin allows you to save the post localy for later upload. You can also edit posts already online. Basically you get all of the expected functionality when it comes to text editing. You can also add images, from the library or take them with the camera. I’ve added a picture of the neo cube I took earlier this week.

All of this functionality is great, but still has its limitations. First typing a post on the iPhone is not a lot of fun. It’s workable for small pieces, but at this point I am already tired of making mistakes. Second I am a terrible speller, and while the iPhone fixes most of my mistakes I fixed a few others by hand, which makes me think there are lots more mistakes here. Finally the preview option seems to be slow, but that could be because my connection is going up and down. When it did finally work everything looked terrible.

Basically I’m saying that the app is good, but limited by the iPhone. I can see my self using this for small, quick posts about something interesting I found, but isn’t that what Twitter or FriendFeed is for?


Graphsy Update/Status

July 21st, 2008 by Max

Just posted a new update to Graphsy (  This update adds arrowheads to line segments.  Users can add an arrowhead to any line end point.  They can also add arrowheads to all endpoints with a single click.  Just like all other objects in Graphsy, the arrowheads are rendered by ImageMagick on the server as they are requested.  So as lines change direction, the orientation of the arrowheads changes as well.

More information plus a video after the jump.
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Is perpetual Alpha/Beta really an issue?

July 16th, 2008 by Max

I see this come up every so ofter, usually whenever someone remembers that Gmail is still in beta.  The real question is why does this label bother some people?  Gmail is a great product so does it really matter if the developers want to consider it beta and not version 1?  Aren’t version numbers really obsolete in today’s world of web applications?  What are they good for anyway?

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Ways to follow me and Graphsy updates

July 8th, 2008 by Max

Just wanted to give everyone lots of options to keep track of what’s happening with Graphsy. First you can subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog or Graphsy’s main news RSS.  If you have twitter you can follow me at  Or if you prefer friendfeed, you can track me at  Trool was already taken on twitter.  If people are interested in Graphsy only feeds on twitter and friendfeed let me know and I’ll set it up.  Also if there are other services that may be useful post them here.

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Added new shapes

July 8th, 2008 by Max

Just posted an update to Graphsy.  Added two new shapes, diamond and pentagon.  While that doesn’t seem like much, the update is really a change in how shape information is stored.  Previously, just to get stuff out there, the two shapes (rectangles and Ellipses) were hard coded into Graphsy, now the information to draw them is stored in the database.  This is what makes working with a scripting language so nice.  The DB essentially stores the code to draw the objects.  That code gets executed and the shape gets drawn.

I’m working on a graphical way to create and edit objects.  I have some basic stuff done, but it’s not nearly ready yet.  Plus there are a few other features I want to get to first, including: arrow heads, layout, zoom, and uploading user pics for shape background images.

There is still a lot to do, but after only a week I feel like everything is still on track.

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