Gaphor 2.2 highlights

By Arjan Molenaar on January 24, 2021

With Gaphor 2.2 we’ve set a new milestone when it comes to user-friendliness, both for the installation process (signed builds on Windows and macOS) and during use (simplified relationships).

We also got a brand-new logo during the 2.2 development cycle.

Signed builds for Windows and macOS

Both Windows and macOS builds are now signed. This means that Windows and macOS will not complain about you running Gaphor anymore. Although Gaphor 2.1 was already signed on Windows, we never emphasised it.

The signed builds make installing and running Gaphor easier by removing the scary warning messages, and the extra steps needed to try to bypass them when installing. It is also an extra layer of safety for our users, because you know the app came from us and hasn’t been corrupted or tampered with. If you want to help support Gaphor on Windows and macOS, check out Dan’s sponsor page on GitHub. The developer licenses that are required for signing require expensive annual subscriptions.

Instant feedback

From the feedback we received on Gaphor 2.0, it was hard to figure out how to create a valid relationship, and it wasn’t always apparent that Gaphor has a full UML data model behind the scenes. In Gaphor 2.2, we took a big step to solve this issue once and for all.

This short video shows you how it works:

Items are highlighted when a relationship can start on that point, and will highlight when you can drop the relationship.

When no relation can be made, the item will gray out. You can see that both ends of an inheritance relationship can not point to the same class.

This guidance makes it easier to spot which elements can be connected. There’s no need to connect exactly on an element’s edge anymore. I’m using a trackpad, and I wonder how I could have lived without this functionality for so long. It makes modeling so much easier!

Gaphor 2.2 logo

Thanks to GNOME UX designed Tobias Bernard, we have a new logo. Although we dusted off the logo for the 2.0 release, with the new logo we hope to make clear what the intention of Gaphor is. We think it nicely strikes a balance between simplicity and complexity, expressing Gaphor’s intent to suite both casual and more advanced MBSE modeling needs.

Under the hood

To support the usability features in Gaphor, we had to give Gaphas, the library that powers the diagram editing, a major upgrade. As a result diagram items now internally behave a lot more like model elements. This allowed us to simplify the copy-and-paste code.

In addition, we also updated Gaphas so that all edit actions are now guaranteed to run inside an “undo” transaction. Transactions are what power the undo system in Gaphor. When errors occur, a transaction is rolled back. This avoids the data model from ending up in an invalid state.

Gaphor joins GNOME Circle

Last month we joined GNOME Circle, which is a collection of great software which is available for the GNOME platform. This helps Gaphor by increasing publicity and also gives all contributors to Gaphor the ability to become GNOME Foundation members. We are honored to be part of this awesome group of apps!