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GraphViz2::Data::Grapher - Visualize a data structure as a graph


        #!/usr/bin/env perl

        use strict;
        use warnings;

        use File::Spec;

        use GraphViz2;
        use GraphViz2::Data::Grapher;

        my($sub) = sub{};
        my($s)   =
                A =>
                        a =>
                        bbbbbb => $sub,
                        c123   => $sub,
                        d      => \$sub,
                C =>
                        b =>
                                a =>
                                        a =>
                                        b => sub{},
                                        c => 42,
                els => [qw(element_1 element_2 element_3)],

        my($graph) = GraphViz2 -> new
                 edge   => {color => 'grey'},
                 global => {directed => 1},
                 graph  => {rankdir => 'TB'},
                 node   => {color => 'blue', shape => 'oval'},

        my($g)           = GraphViz2::Data::Grapher->new(graph => $graph);
        my($format)      = shift || 'svg';
        my($output_file) = shift || File::Spec -> catfile('html', "parse.data.$format");

        $g -> create(name => 's', thing => $s);
        $graph -> run(format => $format, output_file => $output_file);

        # If you did not provide a GraphViz2 object, do this
        # to get access to the auto-created GraphViz2 object.

        #$g -> create(name => 's', thing => $s);
        #$g -> graph -> run(format => $format, output_file => $output_file);

        # Or even

        #$g -> create(name => 's', thing => $s)
        #-> graph
        #-> run(format => $format, output_file => $output_file);

See scripts/parse.data.pl ("Scripts Shipped with this Module" in GraphViz2).


Takes a Perl data structure and recursively converts it into Tree::DAG_Node object, and then graphs it.

You can write the result in any format supported by Graphviz.

Here is the list of output formats.

Within the graph:

o Array names are preceeded by '@'
o Code references are preceeded by '&'
o Hash names are preceeded by '%'
o Scalar names are preceeded by '$'

Hence, a hash ref will look like '%$h'.

Further, objects of different type have different shapes.

Constructor and Initialization

Calling new()

new() is called as my($obj) = GraphViz2::Data::Grapher -> new(k1 => v1, k2 => v2, ...).

It returns a new object of type GraphViz2::Data::Grapher.

Key-value pairs accepted in the parameter list:

o graph => $graphviz_object

This option specifies the GraphViz2 object to use. This allows you to configure it as desired.

The default is GraphViz2 -> new. The default attributes are the same as in the synopsis, above, except for the graph label of course.

This key is optional.


create(name => $name, thing => $thing)

Creates the graph, which is accessible via the graph() method, or via the graph object you passed to new().

Returns $self to allow method chaining.

$name is the string which will be placed in the root node of the tree.

If $s = {...}, say, use 's', not '$s', because '%$' will be prefixed automatically to the name, because $s is a hashref.

$thing is the data stucture to graph.


Returns the graph object, either the one supplied to new() or the one created during the call to new().


Returns the tree object (of type Tree::DAG_Node) built before it is traversed to generate the nodes and edges.

Scripts Shipped with this Module


Demonstrates graphing a Perl data structure.

Outputs to ./html/parse.data.svg by default.


Demonstrates using XML::Bare to parse HTML.

Inputs from ./t/sample.html, and outputs to ./html/parse.html.svg by default.


Demonstrates using XML::Bare to parse XML.

Inputs from ./t/sample.xml, and outputs to ./html/parse.xml.bare.svg by default.


Many thanks are due to the people who chose to make Graphviz Open Source.

And thanks to Leon Brocard, who wrote GraphViz, and kindly gave me co-maint of the module.


GraphViz2 was written by Ron Savage <ron@savage.net.au> in 2011.

Home page: http://savage.net.au/index.html.


Australian copyright (c) 2011, Ron Savage.

        All Programs of mine are 'OSI Certified Open Source Software';
        you can redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of
        The Perl License, a copy of which is available at: