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From Jean-Sebastien Delfino <jsdelf...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Drawing composite graphs, was: [jira] [Commented] (TUSCANY-3496) Develop a simple tool that can be used to generate composite diagrams from the xml files
Date Mon, 23 May 2011 03:18:04 GMT
On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM, Nirmal Fernando <nirmal070125@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jean,
>
> On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 10:49 AM, Jean-Sebastien Delfino
> <jsdelfino@apache.org> wrote:
>>
>> On Sun, May 8, 2011 at 10:21 AM, C.S. Nirmal J. Fernando (JIRA)
>> <dev@tuscany.apache.org> wrote:
>> >
>> >    [
>> > https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/TUSCANY-3496?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13030511#comment-13030511
>> > ]
>> >
>> > C.S. Nirmal J. Fernando commented on TUSCANY-3496:
>> > --------------------------------------------------
>> >
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > I'm looking at Graphviz API, playing around it and checking whether it
>> > can be used in this project !
>> > Also watching few screen casts, reading the paper "Drawing graphs with
>> > dot" by Emden Gansner and Eleftherios Koutsofios and Stephen North to learn
>> > "dot language", and experimenting :)
>> >
>>
>> Sounds good.
>>
>> I think it'd be interesting to try to generate the same diagram using
>> Batik, Graphviz, and 'nothing' (just print SVG directly in your code),
>> and then compare the three programs. There may be other options out
>> there too, but I'm suggesting to try the 'nothing' approach, as in my
>> experience SVG is easy enough to print without a complex object model
>> like Batik's.
>
> Don't you think that 'nothing' approach would need some significant work on
> finding/implementing a
> layout building algorithm? If Graphviz implementation succeed, I am not sure
> whether it is worth to put an effort on 'nothing' approach.
>
> What do you think?
>
> Thanks.

I think the best way to know is to try. I didn't mean spending a lot
of time investigating the 'nothing' approach. Just enough to decide if
it's worth doing, or if it can be eliminated without a doubt... but
based on concrete data.

I think there's different aspects in what you're trying to do:
a) walk an SCDL model and transforming it to a model from which you
can derive a layout easily
b) compute the layout of the composite diagram
c) generate SVG for that layout
d) allow a user to navigate it, zoom etc

My guess is that Graphviz and Batik won't help with (a), may help with
(b), are probably over complicated for (c), and I don't know if they
can help or instead get in the way for (d).

The 'nothing' approach wouldn't change the situation for (a), would
require you to think hard and craft some algorithms for (b), and
wouldn't get in your way for (c) and (d).

Another way to ask the question is: What if you spend time to master
Graphviz (1.6Mb) and Batik (1657 classes, 8Mb) and build something
nice with them, and then somebody else just tries without these big
dependencies, at the expense of some hard (but interesting) work to
craft and tune the necessary algorithms, and produces a similar result
with a few pages of lightweight code? Which one will be more
successful?

But again we won't know if that's possible without trying... If you're
already comfortable with Graphviz and Batik, I don't want to derail
your progress, it's really up to you to decide which way you prefer to
go here :)

Thoughts?
-- 
Jean-Sebastien

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