xfig still state of the art?

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

From time to time I have to draw a diagram. This excites me, I enjoy diagrams. Back in university the way to draw a diagram for a report was either xfig or to marking it up directly in latex. But they’re oldskool there are groovy new ways to draw diagrams these days. The state of the GUI diagramming art seems to be either inkscape or dia.

Really? Well… I don’t think so. While both are good in an attractive sort of way, they also both suck. On my Ubuntu “hardy” machine I get SEGVs out of inkscape every few minutes, not sure why and have no time to investigate. As for dia, it is just plain lacking. In inkscape I can group objects and resize the group, in dia a group of objects (even just rectangles) isn’t scalable! (Even xfig can do that.) So I have one option that breaks and is unusable, and another that lacks essential features and is unusable! All I want to do is draw some boxes with words in them, and maybe make them look pretty.

So, I’m using xfig now. Clearly, it is the state of the art in Linux diagramming. (And I’m oh so tempted to boot over to Windows and use Visio sometimes.)

What else is there? If I want to draw some class diagrams, boxes and lines, maybe even UML shudder, what do I use? A few apt-cache searches bring up some candidates, but I just don’t have time to play with them. I’ve got a bloody diagram to draw! Go go xfig!

Inkscape is extremely promising, I’ll maybe try it again in another year.

2 thoughts on “xfig still state of the art?”

  1. I’ve never had crashines with Inkscape… which I guess is a good thing as it means it’s got to the stage where it’s stable for other people, it’s not actually alpha.

  2. I was really pleased with Inkscape for about 15 minutes. I had 2 sexy looking stacks of squares, one with captions. I tried to caption the second stack and SEGV! This is fairly repeatable, but not so obvious that I’m going to be able to debug it at my end. However, it happens often enough that it becomes a hurdle to productivity.

    I did use Inkscape for a similar purpose (on Ubuntu) around a year ago, it was fine then. The obvious (on the screen) fine-control of object position was the winning factor at the time. Inkscape, without the SEGV, is just what I want. But I’m using xfig for now.

    I so hate being the other people. 🙁

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