Contributed by HansWobbe
You might find this a bit informative if you haven't seen it before.
The people at at c2: clearly do not think they were worth the trouble. I'm not sure yet, in spite of having tried to use these types of charts in the past and found them to be more trouble than they were worth. I'm continuing to poke at it this time because I like the productivity improvements I have gotten out of the wiki feature sets that I am using. It should not take me too long to see if these really make enough of a difference to make the approach worth while.
FWIW I lean to the c2 view: a) I feel indented structured programming is at least as clear as NS diagrams, and much less trouble, and b) if the logic is so convoluted that you need a visual aid, you need to back out and break it down a bit - preferably into data-linked, asynchronous modules :-)
Genna is wrapping up the first pass of the symbol set creation. It should certainly be ready late next week.
P.S. Once I figure out if this UseMod wiki supports internat anchors and what the mark up is, I'll reoganize the contents better.
Recent Posts segment:(Push down chronological stack)
Paul: I've moved things around a bit on this page with the intention of making it a bit easier to find new stuff and follow the (chronological) flow (for the benefit of an assumed new joiner). If you have any objections, please just say so and I'll follow rather than lead.
No problem at all - it was getting a bit confusing!
In the mean time, Genna is making it possible to get easy access to the symbols that we are thinking may be useful so far. I'll pull down the DrawFBP software. I like what I've seen of it so far, especially since the 'line-connection' approach is an equally valid approach to the nested one that I am using and I can see each having merit. I'm also exploring yet another one at meatball. If this aspect interests you, I'll post links.
Good idea! Re: line-connections, arrow-heads and joins would be nice!
Welcome aboard, Genna! Hans, this approach looks promising! Actually, I don't use very many icons - see the diagrams in the DrawFBP page. I think you have all the ones I need covered off - I use a little stick figure for humans, but in this day and age the "display" symbol will provide the same function. I did notice that the set of symbols in http://janus.datafix.com/hwo/HwoPages.htm seems to be drawn from several different methodologies, so it would be interesting to see how they would be used in an actual application development (make that a small application!). I just had a thought: one of you might like to download the DrawFBP program and try it out for usability...
One question: in your approach, how do you position a mini-page on the bigger page? Presumably you will have to be able to bring a line into contact with an actual icon. Perhaps some kind of variant of the table function without the cell-boundary lines...?
Chronological segment(s): I have been experimenting with enhancing the Perl code supporting this Wiki to give a page link capability within preformatted text, for use when documenting FBP applications. Free links are supported, using the [[...]] convention.
Sorry for being tardy in responding. The last couple of weeks have been unexpectedly demanding.
I agree that there is potential in adding some simple graphics like your flow chart to the other wiki capabilities. As I mentioned, I've also been experimenting, although not to the extent of tweaking wiki source code. All that I have been doing is using the capabilities of Ryan Norton's extensions to Eddies Wiki to create nested tables that seem to serve some of my needs quite well. Specifically, the ability to enclose a Wiki Word in a Table and to have the tables Nested by using Includes has turned out be be a great productivity improvement for me since it allows me to 'zoom' in and out of or 'pan' the many such charts I create. I've even found the very simple markup for creating tables that the derivatives of Eddies Wiki support, is really a neat way of quickly creating some very complicated tables.
If you are interested, I'd be pleased to provide a few examples of what I am doing.
Yes, Hans, I'd be very interested in seeing your examples. If the extensions to Eddies Wiki are not in my version of the wiki code, I'll try to add them in so we can exchange diagrams. I have put a query on the UseMod wiki asking whether my enhancements can/should be added to the standard <pre></pre> tag, but so far no answer! What do you think?
I've put up a trivial example here:
Its first hyperlink will jump to a named anchor lower in the page. I know this is really simplistic, but I thought it would be a good start since most of the pages that I publish are automatically generated from Ryan's version of Eddies Wiki, so they all make use of the same style of footnotes and internal hyperlinks that are evident in the Report outline example I incorporated.
Another reason I kept this simple is that I got worried I may have mislead you, on the basis of your comment about adding the extensions to your version of the wiki. Personally, I've found it very easy to generate elaborate nested Tables using the trivial markup that is in Eddies' version (Ryan extended this with Use Mod markup conventions). Then I just either Drag and Copy the rendered result or Save As *.html to get the semi-finished result. A few tweaks and I'm generally happy. If you care to try the table creation markup, Ryan was a demo site at
and you can just use the sandbox after looking at the table formatting instructions. (If you have any trouble at all, let me know and I'll post some trivial examples for you.)
P.S. If you want to put this stuff elswhere, I'm game since I fear I am cluttering up this page, which has another purpose.
Our recent posts seem to be making use of this (your) wiki environment more than the C2 environment. For my part, its certainly a lot less 'noisy' here. With your expressed indulgence, I'll create a HansWobbe page here, assuming that this will make it a bit easier to see my posts in the recentChanges log.
Of course - that's a good idea!
It will be a couple of days before I can test the markup capabilities of useMod tables. I've been meaning to do this ever since Ryan Norton added them to his fork of the Eddies Wiki code. I suspect that you are correct that nesting may not be supported. Even if it were, nesting itself is not a new concept nor is Include. However, I have found the combination of the two to be extrordinarily powerful, especially when combined with the wiki capabilities, which is what you are heading into with your diagrams.
I'll expand on this in my next post.
You may find this simplistic, but then I deliberately made it so to avoid some of the confusion that can happen in more complicated examples. I'm sure we'll get into the next level of complexity quickly enough as I start posting the examples of the Flow Chart symbols incorporated into nested tables (assuming, of course, you don't revoke my access to your system in what many would consider the be an utterly justified attempt at retaining your sanity, first :-))
No, it's really pretty, but "millennium" does have 2 n's, in spite of what Mazda thinks!
Wow! That's really neat! But really, no rush - we're all busy, and things usually turn out better when they have time to mature gradually!
Thanks for the encouragement.
If you have the time to be a bit helpful, I think I might be able to show you that it might be a worthwhile investment.
Genna (my daughter) is learning how to use these technologies better. As a practical exercise (she has a great sense of Style and more time than I but limited technology skills), I've got her helping me with the development of these flow charts on the assumptions that:
I think of these abilities as as a virtually infinite page on which our charts can be drawn; that would allow unlimited Zoom In/Out? and Panning.
Now then; assuming that you might like to use these capabilities in illustrating your FlowBasedProgramming concepts, could you please look at the symbols that we have pulled together initially, and let us know if there is an adequate subset that you would like us to set up as a set of templates, that would be in the form of 'mini-pages'. We will then give these standard Names and provide them to everyone as a set of mini pages that can be included in nested tables. I can obviously even provide Read Only space that can be used to post the result (automatically converted to raw html) since not all of our wikis support a common subset of markup, and we may not want to give people the ability to edit much of the content, but rather simply provide them with links to Comment pages.
Just ask, if there is anything about this (rushed) posting that is not clear enough.