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!

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