Pikchr is a specialized tool designed for one specific purpose:
- Pikchr generates diagrams for technical documentation written in Markdown or similar markup languages using an enduring language that is easy for humans to read and maintain using a generic text editor.
To this end, Pikchr diagrams are designed to be:
Cross platform → Pikchr is not tied to any particular computer architecture or operating system. The current implementation is a single file of generic C code using no external resources apart from the standard C library.
Simple, well-defined, and easy-to-learn syntax.
Enduring → The diagram source text should be easily readable, editable, and understandable by people not yet born. Pikchr is based on the PIC language, which was developed in the early 1980s.
What Pikchr is not:
Pikchr is not intended for marketing graphics. Pikchr strives to present information in a dry and mathematical style. The objective of Pikchr is to convey truth, not feeling.
Pikchr is not intended for generating charts and graphs. It could perhaps be used for this. One might propose extensions to make it more suitable for this. But that is not its current purpose.
Pikchr is not intended to generate CAD/CAM images. The rendered diagrams are close enough to display concepts, but do not have the pixel-perfect precision required for CAD/CAM.
Pikchr is not intended as a replacement for point-and-click diagrams creation software. Pikchr is to point-and-click systems as Markdown is to MS-Word or Google-Docs. Point-and-click interfaces have their place. But so do text-based systems such as Markdown and Pikchr.