Today, I had to create a few simple graphs to be included in a LaTeX document. As they were really simple I thought, I could probably produce them directly with LaTeX and would not have to switch back and forth between e.g. OpenOffice Draw (that I use for everything else, by the way). After some time I stumbled upon the combination of Graphviz, an extremly powerful graph generation toolkit and an apropriate way to plug it into LaTeX with the help of a simple macro
It takes a graphviz description, writes it to an output file and includes the generated postscript file. Unfortunately, it ceased to work after processing 15 files. This is due to creating a new latex write channel for every file operation. While I have not found out yet how to free such a write channel (it remains active even after closing the file), I have changed the macro so it reuses the channel. Here is the Modified Graphviz Macro. Be cautious however, as the original macro does not state a license so I am not sure wheter I may change and redistribute it.
This macro provides a really powerfull and elegang combination of two outstanding pieces of open-source software. Now I can create simple graph descriptions right inside the LaTeX document that includes the rest of the Text.