The power of good software

My boss said, “The managing partner would love to see a diagram of how all our systems link together, because he saw one that another firm had done and was impressed. No big rush; some sort of Visio thing or something, if you get a chance.“. And then he left for the day. Off I went and downloaded GraphViz. Great little tool; I’ve never actually used it in anger before, but I’ve heard about it. Five minutes reading the manuals, and I discover that it’s an utter piece of piss. Simply create a file, mygraph.dot, like this:

digraph mygraph {
 system1 -> system2; 
 system2 -> system3;
 system1 -> system3;
 system3 -> "The Big Complex System";
}

and get a lovely PNG of the output with dot -Tpng mygraph.dot -o mygraph.png.

He just walked back in, ten minutes after he left: apparently a building has fallen down near the Mailbox here in Birmingham, and traffic is fierce. Was quite surprised to see that the graph was done. Visio! Huh!

I'm currently available for hire, to help you plan, architect, and build new systems, and for technical writing and articles. You can take a look at some projects I've worked on and some of my writing. If you'd like to talk about your upcoming project, do get in touch.

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