Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giffly - An on-line Drawing tool

I had a small project to modify an existing Notes database, adding a new process to an existing workflow application.

The initial request was worded along the lines of 'like form XXX but with the following changes: (etc)'

The database is a mature application, and is beginning to suffer from code rot. What appears to have originally been a reasonably clearly structured function has degenerated into over 300 lines of nested if and case statements. I was struggling to work through the logic and decided I needed to map the existing code before I could change it.

Although I do have it installed on my laptop, I have an irrational dislike of the industry leading software for creating flow-charts so I went looking for an alternative and found Gliffy

It has a 30 day free trial and I am impressed. For a quick chart or diagram, this is very easy to use and has all the features I was looking for.

As an example, this is the flow-chart I created for two functions I examined:

(Full size image)

You can export the images as jpg or png. The limited free version adds the Gliffy logo to images. The Premium service has single user access from $5 per month but for my purposes the free features are probably enough - when you just occasionally want to put together something for yourself, to clarify your thought processes, etc.

Now on to some serious refactoring ...

1 comment:

Stephan H. Wissel said...

You might want to try Visustin. While not as pretty as Giffly it has one distinct advantage: it generates the diagram out of your actual source code. It does LotusScript,JavaScript, Java and a ton of other languages.