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F.A.Q.

 

 

Cuál es el objetivo de PlantUML?

PlantUML es usado para graficar diagramas UML, usando una descripción de texto simple y fácil de leer por humanos.
Ten cuidado, porque no te previene de graficar diagramas inconsistentes (por ejemplo tener dos clases que hereden entre si). Entonces es más una herramienta de dibujo que una de modelado.

 

 

¿Por cuánto tiempo se guardan las imágenes generadas por PlantUML Server?

Enlaces a png o svg generados por PlantUML Server están activos por siempre (eso es siempre y cuando el servidor esté arriba).
Sin emargo, nosotros no almacenamos ningún diagrama en nuestros servidores.

Esto puede sonar contradictorio. No es así: El diagrama completo es comprimido en la misma URL . Cuando el servidor recibe la URL, descomprime la URL para recuperar el texto del diagrama y generar la imagen. No hay necesidad de almacenar nada. Incluso cuando el servidor está abajo, tú puedes recuperar el diagrama usando el flag -decodeurl con la linea de comando. Adicionalmente, los datos del diagrama son alamcenados in metadata PNG, así puedes buscarlos incluso desde una imagen descargada.

Ocasionalmente podemos activar trazas HTTP en nuestro servidor. Esto es principalmente por problemas de rendimiento (cuando tenemos alguno) para entender el trafico que tenemos. Una vez el problema se resuelve, desactivamos las trazas HTTP y removemos los logs.

Observa que también contamos el numero de diagramas generados (impresos en el home page) para medir la capacidad del servidor.

Respecto a contenido sensible: incluso si no almacenamos diagramas generados, por favor ten en cuenta que todo el tráfico va a través de HTTP, por lo tanto es fácil de capturar.

Por lo tanto, tal vez deberías instalar un servidor local en tu propia red si planeas generar diagramas con información sensible.

 

 

¡No funciona con mi configuración!

PlantUML ha sido instalado en varios sistemas, y algunos usuarios reportaron problemas menores cuando lo instalaron.
Puedes mirar en esta pagina que te aconsejará si algo está mal.

 

 

¿Cuál versión de Graphviz debería usar ?

Acá encontrarás más información sobre Graphviz aquí y un breve test para hacer aquí.

PlantUML debería funcionar con cualquier versión de Graphviz, empezando con la 2.26.3

Las siguientes versiones han sido probadas, y se sabe que funcionan:

Observa que las versiones 2.39 y 2.40 no funcionan muy bien con PlantUML.

Si compilas Graphviz tu mismo, tienes que crearla con libexpat para que funcione con PlantUML.

 

 

Is this mature? I don't see any new release ?

Google Trends are somehow positive. And there are few books that mention PlantUML. So yes, it's mature.

Note that PlantUML is developed with continuous integration in mind. That means that there are new releases quite often, with (hopefully!) backward compatibility. So the file PlantUML.jar may changed over time, while keeping the same name.

If you want to know the exact version you are using, you can type in the command line:

java -jar plantuml.jar -version

or use the following small special diagram description :

@startuml
version
@enduml

 

 

How to know if a new release is available ?

To check if a newer version is available for download, you can go to the download page.

You can also subscribe to the following rss flows:

Or you can use the command line:

java -jar plantuml.jar -checkversion	

This command connects to the PlantUML website, so you may have to set your proxy :
(Please note that -D flags must be set before -jar flag)

java -Dhttp.proxyHost=myproxy.com -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -jar plantuml.jar -checkversion	

Or use the following small special diagram description :

@startuml
checkversion
@enduml

You can also set your proxy using the following syntax :

@startuml
checkversion(proxy=myproxy.com,port=8080)
@enduml

 

 

I have an error message with the Eclipse Plugin.

If you have the following error message :

The currently displayed page contains invalid values

when displaying the Windows/Preferences/PlantUML, you should try to quit Eclipse and use the -clean flag on the command line:

eclipse -clean

 

 

I want to generate huge diagrams!

PlantUML limits image width and height to 4096. There is a environment variable that you can set to override this limit: PLANTUML_LIMIT_SIZE. You have to define this variable before launching PlantUML, something like:

set PLANTUML_LIMIT_SIZE=8192

or

setenv PLANTUML_LIMIT_SIZE 8192

Another way is an option in the command line:

java -DPLANTUML_LIMIT_SIZE=8192 -jar /path/to/plantuml.jar ...

Note that if you generate very big diagrams, (for example, something like 20 000 x 10 000 pixels), you can have some memory issues. The solution is to add this parameter to the java vm : -Xmx1024m.

 

 

I have issues with accented characters.

Characters encoding is a subtle thing... By default, PlantUML use the default charset of your platform, which may or may not be UTF-8 . If you want to know which charset you are using, you can type the following command:

java -jar plantuml.jar -help

...
-charset xxx To use a specific charset (default is windows-1252)
...

If you want to use a different charset, for example UTF-8, you can use the -charset flag :

java -jar plantuml.jar -charset UTF-8 ...

You can also find here information about unicode . Note that even if Java does not support B.O.M. (Byte Order Mark) in UTF-8 format file, a workaround has been put into PlantUML, so this should not be an issue.

 

 

I have issues with Asian characters.

Some Japanese users reported that they have to set the LANG variable to ja_JP.UTF-8 in their shell before launching PlantUML.

export LANG = ja_JP.UTF-8

Since the new architecture, it should simply work, because Java knows how to draw East Asian characters.

 

 

How to generate EPS ?

You can use the -eps flag in the command line, or format="eps" in the ANT task.

 

 

What about XMI ?

Work is in progress.

 

 

Is @startuml needed in with -pipe flag ?

Short answer: You do have to use @startuml (or @startditaa/@startjcckit...) when starting a diagram.

Long answer:

The @startuml/@startditaa/@startjcckit is useful to determine the type of diagram (uml, ditaa, jcckit...), and because you can optionally put a filename after the @startXXX. This also allows to have several diagrams inside the same file.

Earlier versions of PlantUML were not supporting ditaa or jcckit. When you use -pipe flag, since the diagram is generated to standard output, there could be only one diagram in the standard input. And there is no need to specify a filename. For all those reasons, @startuml was not needed when using -pipe flag at that time.

Latter, it has been decided to normalize this, and to impose @startXXX everywhere, even with -pipe flag, because it was confusing for users. Unfortunately, since some existing scripts were already using the fact that @startuml is not needed in -pipe flag, it has been decided to keep this as a deprecated option, just to allow older scripts to run. We indeed do pay attention of ascending compatibility.

For newer scripts, you should not rely on this, and use @startXXX/@endXXX with the -pipe flag.

 

 

Under which license is PlantUML distributed ?

PlantUML is distributed under the GPL license.
You can print the license using the command line option:

java -jar plantuml.jar -license

Or you can use the special diagram:

@startuml
license
@enduml

 

 

I don't like GPL!

You can also use:

Those versions miss few features (DITAA for example), but are 100% able to generate UML diagrams.

You can print the license of these versions using the command line option:

java -jar plantuml.jar -license

Or you can use the special diagram:

@startuml
license
@enduml

 

 

Are images generated by PlantUML covered by the GPL/LGPL/ASL/EPL/MIT license ?

No, they are not.

Images (whatever their format : PNG, SVG...) generated by the execution of PlantUML are owned by the author of their corresponding sources code (that is, their textual description in PlantUML language).

Images generated by the execution of PlantUML are not considered as covered work. You can do whatever you want with them.

The generated images can then be used without any reference to the GPL/LGPL/ASL/EPL/MIT license. It is not even necessary to stipulate that they have been generated with PlantUML, although this will be appreciate by PlantUML team.

There is an exception : if the textual description in PlantUML language is also covered by some license (like the GPL/LGPL/ASL/EPL/MIT), then the generated images are logically covered by this license.

 

 

Can I redistribute the LGPL binary file PlantUML.jar and if there any constraints about it?

As long as you do not modify the Java source code and the jar file, you can integrate PlantUML.jar in your own closed source software.

The only constraint is that you have to mention somewhere in your own license or in your documentation that you are using PlantUML and that PlantUML is distributed under LGPL.

You can then even sell your software and earn money, without any other constraints (although donation will be appreciate in that case :-)

 

 

What it the license of the PlantUML syntax?

There are no license for the PlantUML syntax itself : this means that everybody can use it.

So you can use PlantUML comments into your own code : those comments are owned by yourself, and are not considered as covered work, and are not covered by the GPL/LGPL/APL/EPL/MIT license.

Only the current implementation (that is, PlantUML program) is licensed under GPL, LGPL, ASL, EPL or MIT. On the other hand note that the documentation (examples, notices, ...) published in the PlantUML website is copyrighted. But you can still write your own documentation.

 

 

I have a message "file not found" when running the Word Macro with Java 7!

You may have to properly set Environment Variables. To fix go into Windows Environment Variables settings and find these two variables:

Variable Name: PATH, Add to Value: ;C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin
Variable Name: CLASSPATH, Add to Value: ;C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\lib

If they do not exist, create new User Variables:

Variable Name: PATH, Add to Value: .;C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin.;
Variable Name: CLASSPATH, Add to Value: .;C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\lib.;

 

 

What does net.sourceforge.plantuml.svek.EmptySvgException mean ?

PlantUML is using Graphviz to generate some diagrams. So PlantUML is launching dot program and retrieve the information generated by dot as a SVG flow.

This message means that PlantUML is getting an empty flow from dot execution, and therefore cannot generate UML diagrams. There may be several reasons why this happens:

 

 

I have a message complaining about X11 or headless!

If you are running PlantUML on a linux server without graphical capability, you may have some error message:

Basically, this is because PlantUML needs to have access to some graphical resources (more information here). You can turn PlantUML to headless mode, using the flag -Djava.awt.headless=true. For example:

/usr/bin/java -Djava.awt.headless=true -jar /data/PlantUml/plantuml.jar ...

 

 

I have an UnsatisfiedLinkError under Mac OS X !

Under Mac OS X, if you have some error message like:

Error java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError / liblwawt.dylib /libosxapp.dylib

You need to follow the instructions on http://stackoverflow.com/questions/25914757/osx-yosemite-jvm-shared-library-does-not-contain-the-jni-createjavavm-symbol:

  1. Download and install the package: JavaForOSX.
  2. Found the file AptanaStidio3.ini, the file by default located under the directory here: /Applications/Aptana Studio 3/AptanaStudio3.app/Contents/MacOS
  3. Add -vm argument to specify the java which will be used to lunch Aptana Studio: -vm /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/java

This seems to work only under Java 6, so you may define the following alias to be used in your scripts.

alias java6="export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6.0)"

 

 

PlantUML scripts are grabbing keyboard/window focus!

Depending on your configuration, you can try the flag -Djava.awt.headless=true.
For example:

/usr/bin/java -Djava.awt.headless=true -jar /path/to/plantuml.jar ...

 

 

I found an issue, but I cannot provide my diagram showing the issue because my diagram contains confidential data

There is a -cypher option the command line that generates a .preproc file instead of regular image file.

The .preproc generated file looks like the input diagram expect that all words (except PlantUML language keywords) have been replaced by a random set of letters.

You can double check this by running several time the -cypher option (you will get a different text each time). You may also look at the Cypher.java class used to execute this transformation to be sure that there are no backdoor there to retrieve back your original diagram.

If there is an issue in your original diagram, the same issue is likely to also occur with the cyphered one. Since the cyphered text is really meaningless, you can safely share it with us : there will be no way for us to guess what you are really working on.

But we will be able to reproduce the issue and fix it so that you can have your original (and confidential) diagram working.

 

 

I have a question that is not here!

You can use the forum facility.

Someone will try to answer your question there.