Procedural Diagrams

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Sean B. Palmer

Jun 30, 2010, 6:41:44 AM6/30/10
to Gallimaufry of Whits
Björn challenged me to make a periodic table of the binary operators:

Of course there are lots of possible layouts, just like with the elements:

I thought that the layout that I designed was particularly good, so I
wanted to make a more professional looking copy and put it on a
web-entertainment style page with the "here's the thing you're looking
for" at the top and a light grey on dark grey @font-face sans-serif
underneath in columns.

This seemed like an Inkscape job, so I loaded Inkscape and got to work
on it. But it wasn't long before I got frustrated with Inkscape. I
didn't know how to clone things and position them where I wanted them,
and everything seemed very clunky.

My first inclination was to read some Inkscape tutorials, but then I
realised something. It was perhaps not my inexperience with Inkscape,
which I have actually used a moderate amount for small things before,
it was the fact that I wanted to generate the layout rather than use a

In other words, I wanted to be able to write code to produce the
image, because that's the way I'm used to laying things out. That's
what I do with HTML and CSS, so that's the way that I naturally think
about designing images.

I've been thinking that raphaeljs would be a good choice for this:

But perhaps there are some better libraries.

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