{Virus?} Re: Database Schema chart

Shane H. W. Travis travis at SEDSystems.ca
Fri Sep 24 18:31:10 UTC 2004

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On Mon, 13 Sep 2004, David Miller wrote:

> > What I'm wondering, therefore, is:
> >
> > a) is someone else already doing this
> I'm not aware of anyone else that's said they were going to, so by all
> means feel free to take it on. :)

Okay... so I did, and it's done. Took longer than I'd though (both from when
I originally promised it in March, and from when I said again I'd do it now)
but there's something finished now. Not quite what you were hoping for (see
below) but I hope it'll do.

> > b) is this the preferred format (dia)? I ask because I have access to both
> > corel and visio, either of which could produce better-looking diagrams (and
> > be a lot easier for me to work with). Dia is *great* for a free tool, but it
> > does seem rather... primitive.
> Yeah, Dia is the preferred format, mostly because it is free, and it's
> easier for the average developer to get their hands on it and update the
> chart next time we make schema changes.

Okay. I tried working with dia... I really did. I just couldn't finish with
it, though, because the whole thing was just looking so damn *ugly* and I
felt like I was trying to sew with mittens on.  I don't do a lot of diagram
work any more, but when I do I like things to look just so...  so I picked
up the half-finished job I'd done on the 2.16 schema in CorelDraw and
finished it. The result is attached to this document as a zip in three
different formats:

* Original corel draw document, so that you've got a copy. (You told me
	that all you guys had was the .jpg from the last schema diagram.)
* 1-to-1 size .jpg with standard compression: original filesize of
	8MB, 'shrunk' to 2MB. This is a high-res image from the .cdr
	file that you can play with for importing/exporting.
* The results of a generic 'publish to the web' sort of wizard inside
	Corel Draw: one .html file and a directory of images.

As I said, this is schema for 2.16; I know that it's rather late to be doing
this, but it's where I started and it's what I understand. (I haven't been
following the 2.17/2.18 progression much at all, so I don't grok the pattern
of what's been added and how it inter-relates just yet. I figured that this
would get me back in the game, and be a good starting point for me for
2.18... or if I end up having to ditch again, at least you're further ahead
than you were.

What I'd like before going on to 2.18 is some constructive criticism on the
results. I know what I did isn't how you had it laid out; it more mirrors
the schema diagrams done for 2.14 and before. That was intentional; your
initial diagrams had a great deal of information on them, but it was a tad
overwhelming and confusing. I thought that this was clear without being
(too) cluttered, and was able to convey the relationships well.

I'd like you to tell me what's important to you, though. If you really
really REALLY want all those enum-listings, foreign keys, unique, multiple,
etc. on the schema chart, let me know and I'll see what I can do to work it
in. Basically, provide me with some feedback that I can use to start working
with 2.18

(Should I have posted this to the appropriate log item too? I'm really not
used to working with open source projects, so I tend to interact with one
person better... but if there's a right and wrong way of doing stuff like
this please let me know and I'll work on following procedure.)

> For the immense size of the data on there, it may work best to rearrange
> the tables into logical areas of functionality, and actually put each
> functional area on a separate page...

I'm quite pleased that I was able to get all of 2.16 on a single page, but I
have no such illusions that I'll be able to do so with 2.18 without
shrinking it to unreadability... so yeah, split across two pages would
probably do it.

Once I have some feedback on this (the image, the process, anything) I'll
start working on 2.18. Since I've got a pretty hefty base to start from now
(lots of learned/re-learned skills in doing the 2.16 one, and most of
the tables haven't changed that much since 2.16) it should be a relatively
painless process to update it.


Shane Travis            | Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some
travis at sedsystems.ca    |   practical results, but that's not why we
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan |   do it.         -- Richard Feynman
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