Forum OpenACS Development: Flow chart generation with drag and drop functionality

I'm looking for advice on how to implement the following:
  1. Create a flow chart that shows the relationship between various user defined elements that will already be modeled in the OACS database.
  2. Click on the element or relationship to edit its properties.
  3. Drag and drop and element to change its place in the tree.
Is Graphviz my best bet? Can it do the drag and drop?
Posted by Jade Rubick on
Let us know if you find anything! I'd love to do that with project-manager, for some sort of gantt charts..
Recently I was thinking of a similar problem, and the basic problem is that webinterfaces are not very well suited for this kind of action.

You could use flash or java to make something better suited, but that's a lot of hazzle. Most ideal would be a desktop application. But that does not fit in well with the webbased application idea.

The direction I'm now thinking in is the use of 'starkits' - gives you the benefit of both worlds:

a) not being hindered by the inherent limitations of webpages (it's just a normal windows/x-windows application)
b) almost as easy to use as a regular webpage (for the user)

The idea then is:
- the user has downloaded a suitable TclKit for his platform (1mb download, just once)
- and when he clicks on the link to e.g. edit the gantchart, he gets downloaded a suitable starkit (instead of an HTML page). The kit is probably around the same size as a page with images. After editing (no roundtrips to the server!) the kit uploads the edited chart back to the server and terminates.

I haven't done anything in this direction yet, but I thought it may be worthwhile sharing the thought.

In case you're never heard of tclkit/starkits:
- about starkits:
- about tclkit:
- the starkit archive:

If you want a Flash charting tool then checkout Fusion Charts Its not open-source or even free but at only $99 for an unlimited license its very reasonable. We've used it in a couple of places and the results are very good.

  - Steve
Ya'll might want to check out jpgraph (  I know its for PHP4, but it does some really kewl stuff (like built-ins for Gannt Chart generation)

If you mount the latest copy of GForge (, you can see it in action, creating Gannt Charts on the fly (

As for Caroline's requirement, have you tried checking out Dia? (

It seems like graphviz and grappa should be able to do this with a bit of work.

Are there any advantage of starkit or Dia vesus graphviz/grappa?

Does anyone know if graphviz/grappa are under active development?


Posted by Jade Rubick on

If you have any notes or additions to make to that page, let me know.

You may also want to check out Eclipse (

Its often thought of as Java-centric, but its supposed to be language-neutral, and they have several projects to enable it to support other languages ( using its plug-in architecture.  They also just came out with a UML toolkit that you might be able to leverage (