How to run the Polyglot Code Offline Layout script

The offline layout script - it's too generous to call it an application! - is run as a node.js script; you'll need to install node.js to run it, or you can fetch a binary release which bundles up node.js and the script into a single executable.

Apologies that this is fairly clunky at the moment - this script largely exists because the voronoi layout I wanted to use was far too slow to run in a browser, especially as it fails pretty often (see the docs for more).

You can run this script via the executable or the bundled binary:

Binary executables

I am using pkg to package up runnable executables.

Fetching binary releases

Binary releases are published to https://github.com/kornysietsma/polyglot-code-offline-layout/releases

You should be able to download the right file for your platform here. Note I haven't tested this at all on Windows yet! And I only have a single generic build for linux and OSX - if you are on another platform, you'll have to use node.js for now.

Getting binaries to work on mac OSX

OSX has a system to protect you from malware, called 'gatekeeper' - by default on OSX if you try to run the binary app, you'll get an error "app is from an unknown developer". To bypass this I'd have to go through a complex extra stage of signing and bundling my tool as an application, which I'm avoiding for now.

If you are happy that the binary is safe - all the code that builds it is on github, so you should be able to inspect it yourself - you can run it by stripping the extra attributes that OSX adds when you download it:

unzip polyglot-code-offline-layout-macos.zip
xattr -d com.apple.quarantine polyglot-code-offline-layout

Then you can move the polyglot-code-offline-layout binary to wherever you want.

Running this script using node.js

  1. Install node.js - see https://nodejs.org/en/download/package-manager/
  2. clone the code from https://github.com/kornysietsma/polyglot-code-offline-layout
  3. In the checked out repository, run npm install to fetch all the dependencies

Then you can run it with

$ node layout.js -i input.json -o output.json

If you have multiple repositories in your source json, e.g. for a group of projects or microservices, you can ask for a pretty circle-packed algorithm for the main diagram with -c:

node layout.js -c -i input.json -o output.json

The -i and -o parameters are optional, if you don't supply them the script will read stdin and send output to stdout, so you can use unix-style pipes, or :

node layout.js < input.json > output.json

There are some optional parameters:

  • -h for help
  • -c to use circle packing for the top level shaping, voronoi for the rest
  • -g (the default) to accept an imperfect voronoi map - if you turn this off, the script will fail if it can't find a precise layout
  • -p NNN - specify how many points to use to draw the main circles around voronoi treemaps. The default is 128, which is a pretty smooth circle. You could specify -p 6 and it will use hexagons!
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