Alternative ArchiMate symbol set

Started by delub, September 15, 2014, 11:37:34 AM

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delub

Great as Archi is, I feel that the 'official' ArchiMate symbols that are used by Archi are 'too heavy'. Therefore I hacked Archi to add an alternative set of symbols. Using these symbols I created a diagram of the ArchiMate metamodel (see attachment). I am curious to hear what you think of this alternative. How does this look?

Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie

Hi,

This raises several remarks from my side:

  • Your hack looks good, but is maybe too "flat" for me. It also tends to loose part of information that one may have using colors (you have some but not easy to figure out).
  • The potential use of alternate symbols has been proposed by the creators of ArchiMate to ease communication. In this case we don't have official symbols anymore but visio-like shapes. This could be of some interrest if (and only if, IMHO) we can switch from standard/custom without impacting layout.

From a technical point of view I don't know which implementation is the best (or even feasible):

  • Hard code all this in Archi.
  • Define some entry point and let contributors develop UI plugins.
  • Create a pixel based "theme" and let users puts whatever .png they want in a theme folder.
  • Use eclipse 4 CSS based theme engine.

JB
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delub

Hi,

Quote from: Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie on September 15, 2014, 12:41:59 PM

  • Your hack looks good, but is maybe too "flat" for me. It also tends to loose part of information that one may have using colors (you have some but not easy to figure out).
  • The potential use of alternate symbols has been proposed by the creators of ArchiMate to ease communication. In this case we don't have official symbols anymore but visio-like shapes. This could be of some interrest if (and only if, IMHO) we can switch from standard/custom without impacting layout.

I experimented to find colours that both look good on screen as well as on paper (it is especially hard to find a yellow that looks good on screen and reads well on paper). Perhaps this is too much of a compromise. I think the symbols with an icon in the upper right corner are quite readable (I did not change any icons, but only made a background and changed the colours); maybe increasing the thickness of the line would help?

Loading any model in an untouched version of Archi gives the standard icons, and loading any model in my hacked version 'automatically' renders the custom ones. Since the size of the symbols is not changed, no layout changes are necessary. If there is interest in these symbols, perhaps an option could be added to switch between the standard and custom set.

Quote
From a technical point of view I don't know which implementation is the best (or even feasible):

  • Hard code all this in Archi.
  • Define some entry point and let contributors develop UI plugins.
  • Create a pixel based "theme" and let users puts whatever .png they want in a theme folder.
  • Use eclipse 4 CSS based theme engine.

I'm not a very experienced programmer. Hard-coding this doesn't sound very good, but option 2 sound like a lot more work (and then the question is whether an indefinite number of symbol sets should be supported, which might be a good idea).

I don't like option 3, since this would make exporting to .svg impossible.

I don't really understand the last option, due to my lack of knowledge of eclipse.

Regards,
Alex