Friday, April 6, 2012

Postscript flowchart symbols for graphviz

I've been wanting a more complete set of flowchart symbols for graphviz for a long time. Since today is a holiday and the kids are out of town I had some time to finally hack up some postscript flowchart shapes that graphviz can use. Some shapes are already available but others have been missing. With the above shape file, you have to use the postscript driver to have access to a more complete set of flowchart shapes. But once you've generated postscript, you can convert the output to other image formats with something like ghostview. Here is an example - a student registration process as a flow chart. This example was proposed as a swimlane flowchart and originally from an article in CA magazine.
Graphviz flowchart example: A Student registration process

Monday, January 9, 2012

Scripted vmdk/ova images w/boxgrinder and virtualbox

It wasn't immediately clear to me from boxgrinder or virtualbox documentation how to script the complete creation of a self-contained runnable virtual image. Since it took me some effort to get it all together, I'll post here a complete example. The script creates a Fedora 16 w/graphical UI machine image by first creating a virtualbox vmdk image (pretty straightforward) and then from that, scripted creation of a more self-contained .ova image (less straightforward).

I have the following packages installed:

  • VirtualBox-OSE
  • rubygem-boxgrinder-build

Starting from a boxgrinder appliance definition file...

...the script creates an .ova image that can be easily imported and used by 3rd parties like this:

  $ VBoxManage import f16-xfce.ova
  $ VirtualBox --startvm f16-xfce