New feature: UML symbols

By Chris Kohlhardt on Aug 30, 2006 in Stories

About a month ago I mentioned that we had been working on a few new surprises. I know, I know, you've been waiting in eager anticipation and wonder.... what could it be? Will Gliffy change their name because a few folks out there think it's silly? Will Chris and Clint finally resolve their differences with a Gliffy quick draw battle?

If you've read the subject of this blog post, you've already figured out the previous rumors are not true... instead, surprise #1 is that we've released the UML symbol library. Clint has been working really really hard making some major infrastructure changes to Gliffy so that more complex symbols for UML diagrams would be possible. While I was busy playing with my new XBox 360... errr, I mean working on surprise #2, Clint has expanded the capabilities of Gliffy quite a bit.

For the geeks out there, here's a little more interesting info about how Gliffy symbols work:
Gliffy renders symbols on both the Client application (built with OpenLaszlo, deployed via the Flash player) AND on the server side so that diagrams may be published as images or exported. In an effort to be standards compliant and ensure that we weren't writing rendering code on the client and server, we decided to rely on SVG as a standard format for our symbols. The advantage of using SVG is that it's vector based, and many popular image editors such as Illustrator are able to export it.

For our newer symbol libraries like UML, you can actually see the SVG that both the client and server use at runtime to render symbols. (you might need to view source)

We're hoping that by using SVG as a standard, it will be easy for people to create their own symbol libraries in the future.

Anyway, I hope that little tid-bit was interesting. Time to get back to the 360.... err... I mean Surprise #2!