[erlang-questions] Visual Erlang notation v0.1.0 - feedback request
Mon May 5 17:43:21 CEST 2014
On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 3:32 AM, Torben Hoffmann
> Garrett Smith writes:
>> My hopefully constructive input though... I think you ought to be
>> easier on folks who don't use fancy graphics editors :)
> That's the first time I have heard LaTeX being called a fancy graphics editor ;-)
Not as fancy as my vi based SVG editor, but still fancy.
>> I (and the folks I work with) tend to use Google presentations to put
>> together visual diagrams. It's quite a handy program. Unfortunately
>> you can't do a few things that you require:
>> - Squiggly lines
>> - Double lines
>> But you can do:
>> - Lots of different line endings (circles, squares, triangles)
>> - Dashed lines
>> - Dash-dotted lines
>> - Thick and thin lines
>> Unless you have a religious point of view when it comes to squiggles
>> (I hear this is a thing) I'd recommend tweaking the symbols to widen
>> the tent for drawing tools :)
> I'm not religious about squiggles, but I had a reason for using squiggles for message
> I want to encourage using module APIs to send messages around. It is rare that you
> need to send messages directly, so the symbol for that should stand out and the easy
> straight line be used for calling an API function.
> But I am very open to finding ways to make this distinction come out, so perhaps one
> could use dashed lines for message passing?
> Another criteria is that it should be easy to write the Visual Erlang diagrams on a
> whiteboard. I find squiggles easier than dashed lines, but that could be my
> preference - dashed lines are not impossible.
> Thick and thin lines are really hard on a whiteboard.
Think of a dashed line as a squiggle turned 90 degrees - you can use
the same hand motion.
> I will ponder a bit over this in conjunction with some of the other feedback, so
> please follow this thread!
>> I also recommend putting together some PNGs and including them as
>> images in the README so people can see what's going on at a glance
>> from the github page without downloading the PDF. But this a nice to
> I didn't know that one could include PNGs in the README on github - do you have an
> example of how this is done?
> Very cool idea!
>> Can't wait for the Patterns In Erlang book! (But who's in the GoF?)
Ah shucks, this was my overly dry and cynical humor. This Design
Patterns  book by the so called gang of four made into my hands at
a young age and I've been trying to repair my brain every since.
> So far it is only a dynamic duo: Jesper and me.
> Gang of anything sounds so last century - need to find something cooler. Dynamic duo
> also has an oldish feel to it, mind you ;-)
> We will start with getting Erlang patterns documented - if it turns into something
> that people want in book form it might happen.
Book or none, this is a great thread and if it picks up speed I think
we'll start seeing helpful diagrams with a consistent syntax/semantic
popping up in blog posts and, er, whiteboards :)
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