Every single diagramming tool.

All the SaaS ones are either way too limited in function, or proprietary vendor-locked.

All the FOSS/desktop ones have a 90s UX experience.

I really want to make a great, comfortable-to-use diagramming tool which just directly uses SVG as the file format, but without the "FUCK IT DOESNT ALIGN CORRECTLY AND WHY IS THIS ARROW BEHIND THE REST" experience...

But I know deep down that it's hard work, and I'll probably get stuck delivering the gazillionth lackluster, bugged diagramming app.

  • 5
  • 10
    what's your gripe with draw.io?
  • 7
    @heyheni this, draw.io desktop version is my way to go.
  • 6
    @heyheni Yeah least of all evils. Still feels clunky though compared to something like Miro — which in turn is fucking trash for being proprietary, non-portable, online only.
  • 5
    What about plant uml?
  • 3
    Still like lucidchart best. Although you can export it to whatever you like the lock-in is tight. Complete with a subscription model and all.

    To be fair I don't think that SVG is not good enough to store the data needed for the tool to work. Would be awesome if a standard would be drawn up like ODF for documents or OBJ/STL for models but than for charts and diagrams.

    Unfortunately like 3D modelling tools I'm afraid that every tool is going to keep it's own format for their own "special" feature set. Even if we get a nice standard for interchange.
  • 2
    @iiii plant is nice. Didn't know it but recognise the diagrams. Seen quite a few made by it
  • 5
    I like mermaid :)
    Tikz can also be a good option.

    I recently felt like making a bigass specing tool, I have free time again now after all... Still, probably a bit too ambitious and I might end up dropping it '^'
  • 8
    @heyheni Just fired it up, and have to say, draw.io/diagrams.net feels better than last time I tried it. Some more sensible user friendly options for styling/theming for example.

    Thanks for nudging me to give it another try.
  • 4
    Use mermaid-js, write diagrams like markdown, they have also online editor that embeds diagrams inside url as base64 encoded code
  • 3
    except for diagrams.net (former draw.io) my colleague was quite happy with yEd live
  • 2
  • 2
    @hypervtechnics Neat, although I feel like it would work better as a CLI tool instead of an online thing. That way, you could use it offline & integrate it into documentation/build tooling.
  • 5
    @iiii @hjk101
    I’d like to push plantuml
    I didn’t know I’d during my 10years of CS stuff…
    You write text files, check them in into git, and run planuml in it. Out comes ascii, pdf, svg, tex, png.
    It has support for class-, ER-, swim lanes -, state-, activity-, component-, json-, timing, network-, wbs-, gantt-, mindmap-diagrams.
    Plunge for CI groovy, ant, doxygen, even bloody word 2007 ;)
    Themes, custom styling, editor syntax files, auto layouting…

    Call me a fanboy but I was missing a tool like that for my entire career until now.

    (Mobile version sux, but the documentation pdf is awesome!)
  • 3
    @dder There's some great stuff in there. Didn't like the lack of theming before, great to see there's options now, have to try that out.
  • 1
    @bittersweet theeming for diagrams is a tool of evil
  • 1
    mermaid and plantuml!! :)
  • 0
    Just go for PlantUML - there is a plugin for JetBrains IDEs.
  • 0
    Figma for svg and draw.io for uml is my go-to.. but not a power user
  • 0
    another one as i just saw a colleague to use https://excalidraw.com/

    Ain't exactly diagrams or for technical documentation and the outcome can look a bit goofy, which might look more friendly on trainings, workshops, etc....
Add Comment