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Re: Documentation and explanatory diagrams

From: "Ross J(dot) Reedstrom" <reedstrm(at)rice(dot)edu>
To: Greg Smith <greg(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Documentation and explanatory diagrams
Date: 2011-06-13 18:15:26
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Lists: pgsql-docs
On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:35:41AM -0400, Greg Smith wrote:
> On 06/13/2011 09:36 AM, Rafael Martinez wrote:
> >It refers among other things to Inkscape [2]. This program generates SVG
> >diagrams and is not so difficult to use. One of the good things with
> >Inkscape is that it works with a standard format so we are not bound to
> >a specific program or non standard format.
> I've been staying out of this discussion so far because I truly hate
> dia, and was waiting for others to decide against it too.  Inkscape
> saving to SVG is a much more reasonable choice.  I just created a
> drawing, saved it, then modified it a bit.  The spurious diff from
> the GUI was quite small:  three lines of junk with the filename
> change and some windowing metadata.  And the new material added
> showed in a pretty readable diff as I would hope too.  Original file
> and diff attached as samples.
> The main issue I've seen with SVG is that it doesn't render the same
> way in every program.  The attached drawing1.svg shows up in
> Inkscape with a text box and the word "stuff" in the middle.  But if
> I open it in the standard desktop viewer on my Linux system, "Eye of
> GNOME", or in OpenOffice Draw, it shows a black box where the text
> is supposed to be.  (OpenOffice Draw can read some SVG files, but it
> can't save in that format.  Improving OOO support for SVG on import
> and export is a high priority feature for the project though:
> ,
> )
> I think that any SVG diagram might need to have QA that includes
> opening it in more than one program, to confirm the file isn't using
> a fuzzy feature in the standard that renders differently.  Maybe we
> don't care, and the fact that it renders correctly in whatever tool
> is used to generate the docs is all that matters.  But SVG is as
> good candidate for a storage format as we're likely to find.  I've
> been trying to find an open replacement for the sort of diagrams I
> used to draw all the time in Visio in the late 90's, and tools like
> Inkscape using SVG have finally started to look good enough for me
> to consider using seriously in the last two years.  OpenOffice
> completely sorting out their issues with the format is really the
> last blocker for my own purposes--it becomes much easier for me to
> justify making these when I can easily pull them in and out of
> presentation slides--but that may not be relevant to the community
> documentation efforts the way it is to my personal work.

Just want to add a +1 to using SVG as an vector graphics
intermediate-exchange format that is amendable to manual
tweaking/cleanup via Inkscape. I routinely generate graphs from gnuplot
into svg, pull them into Inkscape to add notation and tweak labels, and
generate the PNG versions from there. Inkscape runs as a commandline
tool as well - in fact if I find need the same graph multiple times,
I'll workout the arcana to add the labels via gnuplot (or via a sed step
on the svg output) and completely automate the figure generation.

Ross Reedstrom, Ph.D.                                 reedstrm(at)rice(dot)edu
Systems Engineer & Admin, Research Scientist        phone: 713-348-6166
Connexions                    fax: 713-348-3665
Rice University MS-375, Houston, TX 77005
GPG Key fingerprint = F023 82C8 9B0E 2CC6 0D8E  F888 D3AE 810E 88F0 BEDE

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