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Hi Kevin. I think Gene is on the money - trying to do this with a combination of text and static diagrams is probably doomed.
Flash might work for showing the dependencies in a generic way. But what about an applet? You could get the user to enter some timeout values (e.g. 60 secs for component D) then let them step through the key startup events to see what happens in that scenario. Picture a component diagram with a timeline control beneath it. The user can click D on the timeline and select its state (starting up; started; failed; timed out). The component diagram changes to reflect the state of the other components at this point. For example, component F is greyed out because it tried to start up before D came back.
Your company might think this too elaborate and expensive a solution, but it should make configuration much more reliable. And it would be fun to do!
> ...people trying to set up things they find under their
. Xmas trees often go into a fugue state when confronted
> with flow charts. We used Flash animations instead.
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