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Essencery - a Not-yet-tool-conformant Essence Practice Editor

Live version at (unless it's dead).

Essencery is a tool to make and edit Essence practice graphs with ease. Since Essencery is specialized for that purpose, it should hopefully be better (for some value of better) at editing said graphs than generic graph editing software.

Essence is a (the?) product of the SEMAT initiative. If you think searching for a one-development-method-to-rule-them-all is a bit silly, you might like it.

The Essencery tool is a thin wafer of Ruby on Rails (RoR) on the back-end and a biscuit of straight-up JS on the front-end. Some eight hundred lines of it!

The focus of development so far has been on how to interact effectively with a graph. Long-term, if there's interest in the tool, supporting a 'card' view of different practices rather than the simple graph node would be swell.

If you're interested in participating in this project, don't hesitate to contact us!



  1. Less barebones prototype (more fullbones?)
    • Add an account system (rails probably makes this fairly trivial)
    • Add support for exporting to file/image (high-level tool conformance calls for XML, but any format would be useful at this point)
    • Improve saving functionality (current method made as a quick placeholder)
    • Wrap 'new method' and 'method index' functionality in confirmation menus
    • Prettify the landing page and related pages
    • Add support for sharing of graphs between different accounts?
  2. Tool conformance
    • Essence kernel utilized and available somehow. (As bare starting graph w/ undeletable nodes? As a special node? Level of detail considerations... Represent as naturally part of graph, or as somehow separate?)
  3. Graph interactivity
    • Multi-actions, eg. multi-move, multi-delete, etc.
    • Restore earlier renaming tool for consistent interface rather than use current less-quick 'shortcut' of moving tool automatically entering renaming mode?
    • Improve input functionality for naming nodes
    • Probably a hundred bug-fixes
    • Now that there's a basic method of graph interactivity, writing tests may be appropriate.
  4. Long-term
    • Card support atop the graph support


An Essence method graphical editor



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