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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Why I like PlantUML

Posted by jpluimers on 2018/06/13

Ever since I started using computers, I’ve liked text based solutions.

It’s one of the reasons I like PlantUML, but there are more. This is from a GitLab.com request I did a while ago: [WayBackPlease enable PlantUML rendering on gitlab.com both for standalone plantuml files and inside markdown plantuml code blocks (#2041) · Issues · GitLab.com / GitLab.com Support Tracker · GitLab

one of my UML gripes from the past (I’ve been a software developer for about 30 years now) was that it wasn’t text based.

After bumping into PlantUML a long time ago in 2014 I’ve become a happy user of it for a few reasons:

  • the language is text based (with many benefits I don’t need to explain)
  • the tool is cross platform
  • the tool is still actively developed all the way back from 2009
  • after rendering, the arranging of elements is much better than I expected from an automated tool

Of course every now and then there is a glitch in complex diagrams, but I’ve found that professional tools:

  1. don’t do much better in fully-automated arranging
  2. become very cumbersome to use when you to manual arrangement

My first use initially was online, then in 2016 installed it on my Mac even submitting homebrew updates for it every now and then.

Oh: I love their 404 humour at http://www.plantuml.com/plantuml/beta

Renderings can be in all sorts of graphics and text formats, for instance SVG, PNG, ASCII and Unicode.

Example:

plantuml -tsvg PSO.network-diagram.PlantUML.txt

–jeroen

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