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Graphviz is great for a whole lot of graphing tasks.
But I'd say it is better suited for automatically generated input files. You wouldn't want to maintain a flowchart by editing the DOT input file, which is oriented towards the graphic display elements, not the abstact structure and flow that you want to present.
Well, there may still be old Unix (pre Linux) guys around who frown at GUIs and want to write DOT files in vi to create output on their pen plotters. For most of us, we would rather drag boxes around than editing 7 bit ASCII files. (OK, UTF-8, but the editing is done in the same way for ASCII and UTF-8 files.)
I use graphwiz myself, but for maintaining flowcharts, I would use other tools. On the other hand: I haven't ben drawing a flowchart for ages.
I like to use Graphviz as well. Though more for displaying my charts for others. I tend to create my actual flows as text, then put them into Dot files.
Yea. I know. I'm a little odd. I am so far the only person I know that does it that way. I always structured things as text long before I was ever introduced to flow charts. Going all the way back to my grade school days, my teachers hated seeing what my rough drafts of reports looked like.
Money makes the world go round ... but documentation moves the money.
I don't use a formal tool - or even software - but I do use this: ROOTS[^]
I was introduced to it when I worked for Rob at the Atlas Computer Division of Rutherford Labs as my first industrial placement (one of three in a thick sandwich degree course at Uni) and worked on the FORTRAN program that drew them from preprocessor code.
It fits surprisingly well with modern OOPs apps I think - certainly better than traditional flowcharts which are far too procedural for my taste.
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I haven't done a flowchart since high school if memory serves. Since then, I've done a few UML diagrams (in PowerPoint) to document frameworks--but only afterwards. I just sit down, start coding, and ruthlessly iterate and refactor by letting the code speak to me, as the cliche goes. Sometimes I write high-level design notes before starting, but the details often end up being different than what I had envisaged.
When I was programming PLCs and I had to develope something, I wanted to see the whole structure / sequence so I used paper (usually DIN A3, couple of times up to DIN A1), pen and rubber gum to make the graphcets and then I used coins to simulate the evolution of the truth states
If I had to write some documentation I have mostly used excel or ppt for diagrams, because they always were installed by the company I have worked to and they were enough for what I needed in 99% of the times.
If the diagram was way more complicated AND if Visio was installed, then Visio because I find it easier to manage the multi page format, although there are times I must rant very loud, because its automation annoys me, when I tried to do something not that standard. If it wasn't installed... back to excel, powerpoint or even paper + scan the result
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Pencil with vellum (ClearPrint 10x10) paper. I tried using Visio for years and it's garbage. Of course, my version is 2003, I believe; they might have improved it some, but I refuse to pay for a newer version.
Before Windows, I used size C paper for everything, as it fit nicely on the desk. With everything being reduced to small modules activated by user actions, it's fairly easy to fit most blocks on an A or B size page. There are certainly about as many views on this as there are programmers, but when I chart an action and need a bigger sheet, I start looking to simplify that action or break it into smaller chunks. I'm getting old, and my attention span doesn't carry as many pages as it once did!
Visio if available - but use so little I cant justify purchase!
Open Office - Draw does nearly the same as Visio for state diagrams - has glue points on shapes so can move around and links stretch to fit.
Data flow diagrams - have used LucidChart.com for simple diagrams - free up to a certain size
Edit the PDFs out of Lucid with free version PDFxchange , can annotate with extra detail block comments and shapes.
This is my favourite tool for annotating printouts and pasted screenshots from windows snipping tool, etc for simple program documentation.
Used Gliffy once or twice. Visio a few times when available. But I always come back to PowerPoint. I don't usually diagram anything too crazy. I will be honest i have used PowerPoint for everyhing from mockups, to rough floorplanning and blueprinting. So I'm a little bias. Maybe if I had any real skills at diagrams I would use more appropriate tools.
I have been using Visio for software architecture drawings.
Not really a flowchart drawing tool per se, but Think & Do was a PC-based industrial control package that used flowcharts to document a machine's control logic. A medium sized project would contain 100+ flowchart. The flowcharts were compiled into a byte code stream that the run-time component would evaluate in real time. Scan times for a medium sized project was 2-3 msec.
I worked for Think & Do Software in the early 00's and am working to port the Visual 6.0 C++ solution to VS2019 C# so it will run on 64-bit Win-10. Visio and Excel have been helpful in documenting how the old C++ code worked
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Will Rogers
I used a DOS Based Product called EasyFlow ^ .
I have to say it had the SIMPLEST/FASTEST user interface.
Basically, the first letter of the SHAPE (B=Box, D=Diamond).
I believe the Arrow (or Ctrl-Arrow) keys created a line out of that side, and you were prompted for a new symbol.
You could pound out a template without text in it in under a minute.
Then go back and fill in the text.
Keeping in mind that we typically were replicating existing diagrams, or entering the ones we had drawn by hand...
Visio for many years. Then I found this online remake.
Recently thanks to Confluence used more the plug-ins as Graphvis and PlantUml.
X-mind (mentioned by someone) mainly for brainstorming and idea development.
Last Visit: 1-Apr-20 8:51 Last Update: 1-Apr-20 8:51