Drawing on Command


The idea behind Mermaid seems captivating: Graphs and diagrams are compiled in the form of a text description, provided with a style sheet, and then translated into an image. The text format ensures easy composition, and it also enables uncomplicated archiving of the data in a version control system.

Currently, the local version has several problems that cloud the picture, including installation issues, incorrect rendering of special characters, and incorrect edge labels. The online edition also had some issues with unusable vector graphics. The Mermaid project is on the right track, and if you're interested in an easy tool for generating simple charts and diagrams, you'll enjoy exploring and experimenting with the online editor: In its current state, however, Mermaid is not really reliably enough for steady production use.

The Author

Frank Hofmann works from Berlin, Geneva, and Cape Town as a developer, trainer, and author. He is the coauthor of the Debian Package Management book (https://www.dpmb.org/).

Mandy Neumeyer works in the tourism industry and has lived in South Africa for nine years. She is currently building up additional income as a digital nomad.

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