Drawing tools for developers
If you’re like me, then you hate doing documentation. I’d much rather draw a block diagram on a whiteboard and a photo of it. But sometimes you need to create a more official looking diagram, and then you probably want a tool that helps you get the job done as quickly as possible, without having to learn how to use Visio or some complex graphics / drawing application.
seqdiag allows you to generate UML sequence diagrams using a simple text file format.
draw.io is a very nice online drawing tool that allows you to download your drawings, including UML diagrams etc, as .png or lots of other file formats.
GraphViz with its simple .dot file syntax makes it very easy to create directed graphs. It’s easy to write a script that reads some input and generates the .dot file, and then you use graphviz to generate a .png or .pdf file. For example, I’ve used it to generate a graph to visualize the dependencies between projects in a Visual Studio C++ solution etc.
Recent versions of Visual Studio support generating a .dgml graph to show project dependencies.
But you can also write your own script (PowerShell?) to generate a .dgml file from any hierarchical or graph source and view the .dgml file in Visual Studio.
There are so many other cool free graphics tools I’ve used over the years, I can’t even remember half of them. Also check out Gimp and Inkscape…