Friday, 5 April 2013

Centos 6/RHEL install yEd Graph Editor


If you are looking for free Linux alternative to Microsoft Visio to use on your Centos 6/RHEL (or any other) box then the impressive yEd from http://www.yworks.com is a program ripe for perusal and definitely worth a few minutes of your time.



There could be a number of reasons why you do not wish to go down the Microsoft route, you may have decided that Linux is your preference and want to use it as your main OS.



You might not work or play in an environment which uses Windows much and you may be looking for a functional way to create graphs in a Unix based setup.

The most likely reason will probably be that you have not , for whatever reason, been trousering billions for the last 30 years (a very serious oversight), you have a number of machines to accommodate and simply do not wish to or cannot pay the license fee that is necessary to run Visio on one of them.



yEd is a powerful desktop application that can be used to quickly and effectively generate high-quality diagrams. You can create diagrams manually, or import your external data for analysis. The built in automatic layout algorithms arrange even large data sets with just the press of a button.



yEd save and export types 


It IS cross platform as well as free so you can run it along side Visio on Windows if you prefer and make use of both products.

Installing on Linux is via a shell script and although it is available as a jar file runnable with java, I chose the install route on this occasion although another time I might well use the java version. Download it to your home directory and chmod.

$ chmod +x yEd-3.10.2_32-bit_setup.sh

$ ./yEd-3.10.2_32-bit_setup.sh


You can create Tree, Grid, Planar and Random graphs in a variety of layouts, Hierarchical, Organic, Orthogonal, Circular and Tree.
It also has specific functions for Swimlane, Flowchart and Family Tree. A variety of samples are available from the help menu to start you off, along with links to online resources and a short introductory tutorial.


Additionally, the yFiles product family offers high-quality diagramming for Java and .NET applications (Windows Forms and WPF) as well as for web applications based on HTML5/JavaScript, Apache Flex or AJAX technologies, or the Microsoft Silverlight framework. 

You may eventually decide to break out a few dollars and purchase one or more of yWorks other products although as a caveat I would warn that these are exponentially higher than Microsoft's by an average factor of approximately 10 with a not insignificant subscription fee payable annually on top.

The quality, however is superb, the cross platform availabilty will be useful for many and my overall impression of yWorks is one of an extremely positive and professional company with considerable expertise at their disposal.