LibreOffice DRAW - Flowcharting automation with scripting language

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xavier2 xavier2
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LibreOffice DRAW - Flowcharting automation with scripting language

We are submitting an idea / proposal to the LibreOffice developer's list, regarding a feature we think it could be important and never was developed before. We wrote an email to [hidden email] and they suggest us to post a message in the LibreOffice Developer's List and also the Design Mailing List.

In our university we are working a lot with technical documents about physics and maths. Recently we had an idea that we consider it could improve dramatically the Draw performance, allowing it to automate the flowcharting process.

We describe the idea as follows:

Flowcharting automation process in Draw (creating flowcharts automatically, without effort) Scripting language

This is a new feature never developed in the software industry. This idea help extensively to academic professionals, researches and companies.

THE PROBLEM: When you want to create a flowchart, basically you have to spend time drawing boxes, and connecting them. That happen when you are planning your flowchart, but many times people don't have time. They need a "magic solution" that create the flowchart automatically. This idea allows you to create flow chart automatically in seconds.

HOW THE FLOWCHARTING AUTOMATION PROCESS WORKS:
It works with a simple language of tags. I wouldn't call it language, I'd say it is a very easy script.

SIMPLE LANGUAGE OF TAGS

To explain how this works, the best thing is to show an example.

Let's imagine we want to connect theories in math. Differential geometry, is related to many things in maths. Okay, let's imagine I want to create a flow chart showing all the stuff in which differential geometry have a relationship. What should I do? Open Draw, creating the boxes, applying the format... generating the connection
Okay... what about if we do the same with a simple language? extremely easy to understand, in which you don't need to know anything about programming.

[HEAD BEGIN: geometry: Rectangle, color: blue, rotation: 0, radious: 0, angle: 0, connector: normal, geometry-thickness: 2pt, connector-thickness: 2pt, shadow orientation:right-down, shadow color: grey, font-type-size: Calibri, 2pt, font-alignment: center, center]

// This lines is the commentaries line, if you read the head [ ], it connect the text "Differential geometry" creating boxes of blue color, the boxes are rectangles, they have 0 rotatio, 0 radious, 0 angle, the connector of the boxes is normal, the thickness of the boxes is 2 points, the the thickness of the connector is also 2 points, shawdow orientation of the boxes is right down, the shadow color is grey and the font type is Calibri, size is 2 point, and it is aligned at the center horizontally and also to the center vertically //

Differential geometry >  differential calculus
Differential geometry >  integral calculus
Differential geometry >  linear algebra
Differential geometry >  multilinear algebra

[:HEAD END]

With that simple code, you only have to type te head to define the properties, place all the stuff you want to connect... and then [HEAD END:].
You save that in a TXT file, and you're done! Open that file in Draw, and Draw will create that flowchart in seconds !!!
Basically you only define the properties in the head, then you put all the stuff you want to connect, and it is connected.

Let's analyze another piece of code.

[HEAD BEGIN: begin, geometry: Rectangle, color: blue, rotation: 0, radious: 0, angle: 0, connector: normal, geometry-thickness: 2pt, connector-thickness: 2pt, shadow orientation:right-down, shadow color: grey, font-type-size: Calibri, 2pt, font-alignment: center, center]

Differential geometry >  differential calculus > integral calculus > Differential geometry

[:HEAD END]

Okay, that connect differential geometry WITH differential calculus WITH integral calculus WITH Differential geometry.

So basically you can connect a box with a new box, or also, with an already existing box.

In the head you define the properties [ ] and then you define the head's end [HEAD END:]

And that is all. You can set up geometry, properties, color, etc. etc. etc.

You place all the text you want to connect with >

And... everything is connected, represented and flowcharted in seconds !!!

Without this simple scripting language, you have to spend hours drawing boxes and doing it all.
Having a simple TXT file with the stuff you want to connect, allows you to edit it in Writer, add things, remove things, and do stuff, then you save it, load it in Draw and bingo! here you have the full flowchart in seconds.

Imagine how easy would be to organize members in a list. It would be a question of seconds generating flowcharts.

We can do something so simple, that even wouldn't be necessary control structures as FOR, WHILE, DO, REPEAT etc.

EASY TO UNDERSTAND, AND EASY TO USE. That is the idea behind this.

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Robinson Tryon Robinson Tryon
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Re: LibreOffice DRAW - Flowcharting automation with scripting language

On Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 6:51 PM, - <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Flowcharting automation process in Draw (creating flowcharts automatically,
> without effort) Scripting language
> ...
> THE PROBLEM: When you want to create a flowchart, basically you have to
> spend time drawing boxes, and connecting them. That happen when you are
> planning your flowchart, but many times people don't have time. They need a
> "magic solution" that create the flowchart automatically. This idea allows
> you to create flow chart automatically in seconds.
> ...
> [HEAD BEGIN: geometry: Rectangle, color: blue, rotation: 0, radious: 0,
> angle: 0, connector: normal, geometry-thickness: 2pt, connector-thickness:
> 2pt, shadow orientation:right-down, shadow color: grey, font-type-size:
> Calibri, 2pt, font-alignment: center, center]
>
> // This lines is the commentaries line, if you read the head [ ], it connect
> the text "Differential geometry" creating boxes of blue color, the boxes are
> rectangles, they have 0 rotatio, 0 radious, 0 angle, the connector of the
> boxes is normal, the thickness of the boxes is 2 points, the the thickness
> of the connector is also 2 points, shawdow orientation of the boxes is right
> down, the shadow color is grey and the font type is Calibri, size is 2
> point, and it is aligned at the center horizontally and also to the center
> vertically //
>
> Differential geometry >  differential calculus
> Differential geometry >  integral calculus
> Differential geometry >  linear algebra
> Differential geometry >  multilinear algebra
>
>
> [:HEAD END]

Have you looked at the DOT language?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOT_(graph_description_language)

 digraph graphname {
     a -> b -> c;
     b -> d;
 }

There are a few others:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Graph_description_languages

Cheers,
--R
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m.a.riosv m.a.riosv
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Re: LibreOffice DRAW - Flowcharting automation with scripting language

In reply to this post by xavier2
Meanwhile the extension http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/smart can be helpful.

Miguel Ángel.
matm matm
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Re: LibreOffice DRAW - Flowcharting automation with scripting language

In reply to this post by Robinson Tryon
Le Tue, 26 Nov 2013 01:08:40 +0100, Robinson Tryon  
<[hidden email]> a écrit:

> On Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 6:51 PM, - <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Flowcharting automation process in Draw (creating flowcharts  
>> automatically,
>> without effort) Scripting language
>> ...
>> THE PROBLEM: When you want to create a flowchart, basically you have to
>> ...
>> [HEAD BEGIN: geometry: Rectangle, color: blue, rotation: 0, radious: 0,
>> angle: 0, connector: normal, geometry-thickness: 2pt,  
>> connector-thickness:
>> 2pt, shadow orientation:right-down, shadow color: grey, font-type-size:
>> Calibri, 2pt, font-alignment: center, center]
>>
>> Differential geometry >  differential calculus
>> Differential geometry >  integral calculus
>> Differential geometry >  linear algebra
>> Differential geometry >  multilinear algebra
>>
>>
>> [:HEAD END]
>
> Have you looked at the DOT language?
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOT_(graph_description_language)
>
>  digraph graphname {
>      a -> b -> c;
>      b -> d;
>  }
>
> There are a few others:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Graph_description_languages

Hello

DOT is handled by graphviz, which can export to SVG, that could be  
imported into Draw. Job's done ! :)
yEd handles TGF and can also export to SVG.

So basically, what is needed here is find a suitable Graph language  
(please don't create another one), make it create an SVG, then import in  
draw.

Or use Dia, which does not seem to read graph langs, but has a nice  
interface to play with flowcharts

Under professional Windows, I use mostly Visio to do flows and copy/paste  
into impress^W powerpoint. You can do the same with Dia & Impress. IMHO,  
creating a new import module for a graph lang to dia is more valuable, but  
being able to draw flows in Draw could be fun as well.

My 5 cents :)

Mat
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