Improving Wetware

Because technology is never the issue

PlantUML has a good way of visualizing JSON

Posted by Pete McBreen 24 Jan 2021 at 03:55

Ran across this while looking at for a way to visualize the architecture of a system.

PlantUML now supports JSON in that it can draw a diagram that reflects the structure of the JSON, and it does it relatively simply. The #highlight “phoneNumbers” provides highlighting on the image, and even better, you can use markdown like highlighting inside the JSON to do the usual bolding as per the firstName at the top of the JSON.

#highlight "phoneNumbers"
{"**firstName**": "John","lastName": "Smith","isAlive": true,"age": 27,"address": 
{"streetAddress": "21 2nd Street","city": "New York","state": "NY","postalCode": "10021-3100"},
"phoneNumbers": [{"type": "home","number": "212 555-1234"},
{"type": "office","number": "646 555-4567"}],
"children": [],"spouse": null}

Then simply execute plantuml to generate the image

> java -jar plantuml.jar -tpng json.txt

Resulting Image that can be rendered into most formats that you might be interested

JSON Image

This is a great example of the concept of Diagrams as Text as it gives a source that is easy to diff while still allowing an easy to view presentation format.

Another take on Engineering vs. Craftsmanship

Posted by Pete McBreen 19 Jan 2021 at 13:02

Hillel Wayne has an interesting take

Many people have asked me why I care so much about this project. Why does it matter whether or not software is “really” engineering? Why can’t we just say that “software is software”? It’s because of these misconceptions. People have a stereotyped notion of what engineering looks like. Because software doesn’t look like the stereotype, they assume that we are wholly unlike engineering. The engineering disciplines have nothing to teach us. We are breaking pristine ground and have no broader history to guide us.