I’ve been looking actively for an open source replacement for Visio, the programs work but the main weakness is the lack of the “stencils” or figures to make the diagrams. The artwork that I found is really lacking the help of a designer.
I checked out Dia 0.96.1 which I had used before and it works really good but as I stated before it lacks the artwork. The good thing is that there is hope, as stated in it’s web site: “It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape.”
Open Office Draw 2.4.1 is also suitable for the job. I personally it is a little more limited than Dia for the job, but maybe it’s just my impression. As a drawing tool it is more complex and give you more for your Money effort like object rotation, and other effect.
Kvio 1.6.3 is also a nice tool. I have to say that it works really well. It’s light and has good handling of stencils, they get extra points because it automatically finds and uses the Dia stencils. The only thing I really don’t handle well yet is that all objects when placed on the sheet a TOO BIG.
Is there a chance that someone with good graphic skills opens an Open Source project to make some standard shapes or stencils that can be used by all 3 tools or any other tools that wants to use them. If a momentum is created it is also possible to make the Vendors want to publish their shapes in this standard format.