Graphs and Charts in Java
Java is a programming language and a platform. As a programming language, it is high-level, fully object oriented, dynamic, and portable. A Java program is simply a plain text file ending with the .java extension. This file is then compiled by the javac compiler into bytecode form. This can then be run on any machine or operating system, which is made possible by the Java platform. Part of this platform is the Java Virtual Machine or JVM which is available on almost all machines. This virtual machine is the one responsible for running the bytecode file and translating it into the machines native language.
This portability, as well as the software ecosystem that has developed around it, has made Java an attractive language to many programmers worldwide. In fact, Java is used everywhere, from computer science courses to mission-critical systems, and even games! Most people, however, will be familiar with Java either through the servers that they maintain or through web applications that they have encountered.
One way in which Java is used is in creating graphs and charts based on certain variables or inputs, such as database usage or network traffic. While most people would present such figures using spreadsheets and slideshow presentations, using Java allows the user to automatically and programmatically generate the graphs, and possibly in real time. And since Java follows a “write once, run anywhere” philosophy, the code used to create a monitoring program can also be run and used remotely from within a web browser.
Java itself, however, does not provide any built-in graphing features. But because of the language’s extensibility, quite a number of add-on libraries have grown to provide such functionality. Some of these libraries are free while others are commercial. Some also offer only basic 2D graphs, though most also have 3D graphs available. Using these libraries, one can create visually appealing but functional, and possibly even interactive, graphs with just a few lines of code.