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From Patrick Surry <>
Subject Re: *USEFUL* Stylesheet to generate a task-dependency graph for ant
Date Tue, 14 Oct 2003 18:54:22 GMT
Interesting!  I came up with the same approach of generating Dot files
and doing layout with graphviz to generate dependency graphs for an
inhouse SQL-like language we use (although I used perl to parse a
free-text format and generate dot).  

I looked at various other technologies, but the stumbling point was
the automated layout to go from graph topology to physical 2D coordinates.
One promising java-based approach that looks like it might have moved
on since I last looked a year or so ago is JGraph:

It certainly offers lots of nice features to display and manipulate
the graph (including GUI-less rendering eg to SVG), and appears to now
have some simple auto-layout stuff as well as ability to read some
kind of XML input.  So maybe the ingredients are there but would
require probably more java than I have at my command.

If you came up with your own layout algorithm (which perhaps isn't so
hard?) which could produce coordinates for each of the items in the
dependency graph, then you could also think about using XSL to go from
Ant -> SVG (or whatever) directly?


> Dear Ant users,
> Here's an XSLT script which will give you a graphical
> view of the task dependencies in your ant build file.
> See the attached postscript (.ps) file for an example
> of the end-result.
> The process is as follows:
>  1. Creating a a file using the supplied build.xsl script
>  2. Compile this file with the GraphViz 'dot' program
>      using the '-Tps' option to produce a PostScript file
>      which depicts all the dependencies in the build.xml file graphically.
> This is very useful to get a quick overview of the buildfile structure.
> It requires:
>  * graphviz -- open source and available from AT&T
>     (binaries available for windows, linux and many other systems).
>  * A postscript viewer (like ghostview --
>           available for many o/ses including windows and linux).
> Would appreciate feedback on other utilities which can do the same thing
> possibly using Java only (graphviz is written in C or C++).
> I'm aware of a jedit plugin, called AntViz;
> I haven't tried it out myself, though.
> Suggestions are welcome.
> Thanks,
> Alec Noronha
Patrick Surry, PhD  Tel 617 457 5200 Fax 617 457 5299

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