Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Post questions on how to use or achieve an effect in Inkscape.
igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:39 pm

Hi Inkscapers,

I'm trying to use Inkscape to draw network diagrams (and schematics in near future) and I've come across a few issues, it would be great if someone could help to sort them out. I was trying to use stable version, but found out that in trunk there is addition of "cusp nodes" to attach connections to, which is what I need so I'm trying to use that now.

1) when I attach connections to the center of the object, the auto-update of connection path when shape is moved works but with some shapes the line either ends before the shape boundary (stable) or goes all the way to the center (trunk) - is there a way to define this boundary where the line ends?

2) if I use the "cusp nodes" then the line ends at this cusp node but doesn't auto-update when the shape is moved, it is not "connected", how to achieve connection to the cusp node in a way that would connect to it just like when I connect to the center of a shape?

3) Is there a way to create custom "cusp nodes" or connection points where lines could be attached to? This is critical when designing schematics and very helpful when creating network diagrams. Is this possible?

Hope someone could help, thanks a lot

igman
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:37 pm

I've attached a sample file where you can experiment with the connections - the switch shape behaves correctly and the lines end at the switch boundary, however the router shapes behave each differently - the blue one is attached at the center at all times but the red one changes the attcahment point according to position relative to the switch. An image demonstrating this is also attached.

diagram-example.png
diagram-example.png (16.04 KiB) Viewed 6834 times
Attachments
diagram-example.svg
(11.62 KiB) Downloaded 245 times

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:55 pm

Ah, I see - the line always goes to the center, it depends only on the Z-order of the elements whether it is visible or not - then the question is, is it possible to define custom attachment points and make the connections to "stick" to them? Because now if I add styles to the line endings like arrows, they are not visible.

Lazur
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:38 am

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby Lazur » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:58 pm

Hi.

You can try grouping like rectangles of 0% transparency to the objects you want to connect. That way you can reposition the center.

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:11 pm

Thanks for the suggestion but that (apart from being an ugly hack:) would mean I'd have only one connection point per shape and every time I'd like to connect to a different place I would have to ungroup, resize the transparent box, group again and reconnect ... that kind of defeats the purpose of using the connections in the first place to simplify diagram creation and editing them :)

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:27 pm

OK, the behaviour keeps surprising me - so it DOES work correctly for the switch shape, I connect it to the center, it binds and the line actually ends at the boundary, this is NOT working with the router shapes. I've made all shapes transparent to make it more obvious. Could this be a difference between paths and other objects or something? How to make the router shapes behave like the switch shape?

diagram-example-trans.png
diagram-example-trans.png (16.6 KiB) Viewed 6807 times

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:42 pm

argh, it does work as I originally described it (should have made the icons transparent from the start), the connection point for red router changes according to position and the blue one is always to the center

hulf2012
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:37 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby hulf2012 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:18 am

Hello

I haven't checked your sample file, but let me say that the Inkscape's diagramming tool :tool_connector: , it's not my favourite at all. When I've tried to make some things on it, I've found bugs that resets Inkscape. Or after saving the work an opening again, the connectors modifies their pathway :? :!:

A good graph diagramming editor is yEd:
https://www.yworks.com/products/yed

which is free (AFAIK), can import and export SVG objects, and also can arrange the diagrams gracefully. Of course It will require some consult to its manual and webpage for learning many of its characteristics.

Anyway, trying to help with :tool_connector: :
-Have you tried converting your nodes to symbols?
More about conectors:
http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL ... fying.html

Good Luck
If you have problems:
1.- Post a sample (or samples) of your file please.
2.- Please check here:
http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html
3.- If you manage to solve your problem, please post here your solution.

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brynn
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Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby brynn » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:27 am

I haven't used the Connector tool very much. Which options do you have enabled on the control bar?

I can remember in the past, this tool had some kind of behavior where no matter where you place the mouse, the line's ends are placed automatically in a certain position. I can't seem to achieve that now. Now, the line begins and ends where the mouse button is pressed and released. So there must be some particular options, but I'm not sure which ones.

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:55 pm

Yeah, the implementation of connector tool seems to be pretty poor, that's really a shame because I would like to use an open-source diagram editor but there is not really a good one - Inkscape looks like ideal framework to achieve this use case, I do not understand why so little emphasis is put on it.

Thanks for suggesting yEd, but I'm looking for a open-source solution not just gratis one. I'm using draw.io as of now, but check on Inkscape now and then whether it is mature enough to handle it, seems like I ended up empty handed again. Is any developer working on this? Is there a place to report bugs and discuss planned features? I'd like to help move this forward, it could be great tool.

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:05 pm

Regarding the "convert to symbol" suggestion - it actually stops working also for the switch when I do that :D weird!

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:47 pm

I've added a comment to existing bug report, this is a known issue at least for a year from 2015-04-22, shame it hasn't been fixed yet :(

https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/1447303

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:22 pm

OK, I'm not even able to make curved connectors, the curvature is lost after moving the object and rerouting, I've come to the conclusion that Inkscape is currently not even remotely usable as a diagram editor and the "connector tool" is there essentially just for show. I'm not able to use this even for the simplest diagrams.

However I've just tried LibreOffice Draw and it works like a charm, I'm able to define my own "glue points", connect to them, make curved connections, move objects as I like and everything works. I'm going to miss the power of Inkscape in general vector graphics but at least LO Draw works as expected. See you in a year or so I guess, when I again decide to become frustrated by trying Inkscape for drawing diagrams :D

Thanks for all the suggestions

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brynn
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Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby brynn » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:34 am

OK, I'm not even able to make curved connectors, the curvature is lost after moving the object and rerouting, I've come to the conclusion that Inkscape is currently not even remotely usable as a diagram editor and the "connector tool" is there essentially just for show. I'm not able to use this even for the simplest diagrams.


I'm fairly certain there must be some kind of regression with this tool. I'll check the bug tracker for clues. In case you're intereseted: https://launchpad.net/inkscape

Edit
No results for "connector" in the bug tracker. Rather than make a bug report, and since I'm not 100% positive about this, I'm going to ask on the mailing list first. But I seem to remember some "automatic" kind of features. For example, it didn't matter where you started or stopped a line, it would automatically point to the center of the object, and automatically stop at the outer path. And I seem to remember if you dragged a box somewhere else, the line would follow.

The oldest Inkscape version I can find is 0.48.1. I thought I had 0.47 somewhere....maybe I'll look around some more. Maybe I have it somewhere.

I'll let you know what I learn. Or you're welcome to post directly on the mailing list, if you like: https://inkscape.org/en/community/mailing-lists/

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brynn
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Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby brynn » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:17 am

Oh, never mind. I see you already found LP.

Moini
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Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby Moini » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:44 am

@brynn: You can find lots of old Inkscape versions on our website: https://inkscape.org/en/release/ (Martin uploaded them, and I added their data to the system)
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

Inkscape FAQ - Learning Resources - Website with tutorials (German and English)

igman
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby igman » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:43 pm

I remember that I read somewhere about the curvature being lost after rerouting - it said that when the path is recalculated, it recreates it with the least possible nodes, therefore any custom nodes that were added to accomplish the curvature are deleted and it recreates the path just from 2 nodes (start, end), it was presented as "it's not a bug it's a feature" for whatever reason.

I do not remember where I read that and I'm unable to quickly find it in bug reports just now, sorry for that - if anybody comes across this topic, feel free to make a bug report for it I guess.

IgorFomenko
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Re: Inscape to draw network diagram or electronic schematic

Postby IgorFomenko » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:33 pm

igman wrote:However I've just tried LibreOffice Draw and it works like a charm, I'm able to define my own "glue points", connect to them, make curved connections, move objects as I like and everything works. I'm going to miss the power of Inkscape in general vector graphics but at least LO Draw works as expected. See you in a year or so I guess, when I again decide to become frustrated by trying Inkscape for drawing diagrams :D

Thanks for all the suggestions

Are you sure that you can define your own "glue points" for any external object like MathType equation for example?
I tried to do this in OO Draw without success, it was possible to do with system shapes only.
I can define my own "glue points" for any object only in Visio.


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