[Note, 20130510: The posting below is correct, but I now maintain information in my Notes collection — see the current note or visit the search page for the Notes collection and search for "graph or "automaton", etc.]
The language Dot describes graphs in plain text. It is used with the Graphviz graphic application; both were originally developed at Bell Labs.
Below are a few notes on surprises I had when working with
.svg ("Scalable Vector Graphics", a standard XML-based format for
graphs) files in Python:
- For viewing
.svgfiles, desktop installations of Ubuntu use the Gnome viewer "Eye of GNOME" (
eog) by default.
Ubuntu's (Lucid) server installation of graphviz does not include a viewer by default. You can display
.svgfiles using Firefox; set the browser to
about:configand confirm that you have the setting
svg.smil.enabled;trueand place an entry in your
Of course, you can also install
eogon your server.
The current Mac version of Graphviz (v. 2.28) has no trouble opening a
.dotfile, but apparently it cannot open
For use within LaTeX documents, it is possible to do everything native packages or (more interestingly) to incorporate Graphviz output by converting it to a native format:
- The native LaTeX tools for producing flowcharts and automata are the
pstrickspackages. TikZ, which has more comprehensive support, supplies a library called
automata(see the TikZ manual for detailed instructions. There is also a third library, [
VauCanSon-G], but it appears to have less functionality.
- There is a Python module,
dot2texby Kjell Magne Fauske, that converts
.dotand other Graphviz formats to TikZ or pstricks.
- Fauske has also written a [LaTeX package,
dot2texi], that allows
.dot(etc.) graphical output to be embedded directly in a LaTeX document.