Ball and Stick

Spiked by a conversation I had with Melo over lunch the other day, I spent some time trying to get Graphviz to render a decent-looking tree graph with a grid alignment. I like the default weighing and arrow flows, but as diagrams become larger you just have to do manual tweaking, especially if you want them to have a consistent look.

So far, it's not looking good. Even with the amazing Mac OS X front-end, it's a lot like herding cats, and I can't get it to look halfway as nice as one of my hand-drawn Visio diagrams.

Fed up with editing dot files by hand, I looked for decent high-level language bindings. PyDOT looks like a neat way to deal with automated generation of complex graphs, and I'll be investigating it later. But while looking for it, I eventually drifted off to find Pathalizer, which despite having nothing to do with my original intent provided me with a very nice flow graph of my site visits.

Turns out a lot of people land here via RSS and then spend some time clicking through my photo album - a lot more time than I thought. I'm currently hacking Pathalizer to see if I can get it to do a prettier layout (and use round rects and colors instead of the ugly node shapes), and will post something if I can get it to look halfway decent.

Heck, sometimes you need to code something to relax.

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