SPUG: Programming diagramming software

Michael R. Wolf michaelrwolf at att.net
Wed Jul 23 15:39:12 PDT 2008

A comment at the end of the article said "don't forget about dot".

I used dot (or dotty) to create some (massive) function call diagrams a while ago for a local aircraft manufacurer.  (Apparently, they like code and loops as big as their airplanes: 2,000 line programs, with 600+ loops 7 levels deep.  Did I mention "flush-left" style?  Ugly code that needed reverse engineering and some places to grab hold of it.)

I forget how I extracted the call dependencies, but once I did, it was a simple matter to feed that as data into dot(1) or dotty(1).  The algorithm behaved as though bubbles repeled each other, but arcs acted like rubber bands, so the graph was fairly readable.  There were about 3-5 different algorithms to allow different kinds of attraction/repulsion.

P.S. Of course, this code wasn't written by a company, just a person.  My job was to unravel it.  dotty(1) helped a lot, especially since they had huge plotters that would create wall-sized graphs as reference.

P.P.S.  I used dot(1) and dotty(1) on *nix systems, but I bet they're also on cygwin for XP use.

Michael R. Wolf 
MichaelRWolf at att.net 
All mammals learn by playing.

-------------- Original message from "Philipp K. Janert" <janert at ieee.org>: -------------- 

> You can usese PIC - it was written specifically for 
> your intended purpose. 
> Shameless plug: 
> http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2007/06/21/in-praise-of-pic.html 
> More references in the cited article. 
> Best, 
> Ph. 
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