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 Заголовок сообщения: Drakon… From Russia With Love
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Drakon… From Russia With Love

Turn your Wayback Machine to 1983. The Cold War was still going strong, and the Space Race between the US and the USSR was still a thing. The Russians still wanted to display to the world if not their superiority, at least their competence. The vehicle upon which they pinned their hopes for world prestige was named Buran — a deliberate anagram of American rocket expert Werner von Braun’s last name.


Although the Buran looks like a design ripoff of the American Space Shuttle, it’s mostly because form follows function. If Buran had any stolen NASA designs and internal engineering, it was only a small percentage, and may have been an under-the-counter gift in exchange for something the Russians had the we wanted. Besides, the Russians actually were pretty good at designing cheaper clones of Western products.

When the Russians began building their own space shuttle, they developed some interesting tools to help their engineers. Drakon is one of the most interesting... And USEFUL!

Undertaking a project of this scope and magnitude, with billions of Rubles and the lives of famous (in the Eastern world) Cosmonauts on the line with a three-year design to first flight mandate (and the penalty is death… or worse — Siberia!) was a daunting challenge to the teams of Engineers, architects and KGB apparatchiks who did Big Brother’s watching. One area they developed early on was the field of computer tools to make their work easier and more accurate.

Drakon is an interesting piece of flowcharting and computer program generating software they developed. It is a surprisingly modern, rules-based planning tool, which automatically takes care of placement and continuity, allowing the engineers to concentrate on content and process. It turned into a very flexible and intuitive tool for project management, and its use grew far beyond its original software development scope.


Lately, it has found new life, particularly in the healthcare industry as a simple way to produce procedures guides and checklists, and the printed diagrams are extremely useful in ambulances and emergency rooms. The fact that the documents are also available as computer files that can be stored on tablets and other readers (think Kindle™ and Nook™) makes the system very attractive for providing clear instructions for any emergent situation for Public Safety responders such as fire, police and ambulance crews.

If you’re familiar with mind-mapping you can use this software in a similar manner. The main difference is that Drakon is linear and sequential (do this, then do that, and finally do the other thing), whereas mind-mapping is more random, as you put thoughts on paper as they pop into your noggin. When human life is on the line, I think most of us would prefer Drakon’s more structured approach to the catch-as-catch-can haphazard methodology of mind-mapping.

Take a test drive for yourself — visit drakon-editor.com for an online version that is really pretty good. If you want the real deal, you can download it right here, or go the the distribution website at drakon-editor.sourceforge.net for the download files and instructions for installation.


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