GraphiC- by Dr. Dirk Terrell

GraphiC is a very powerful multi-platform scientific and technical graphics library by Scientific Endeavors Corporation. Unlike scientific graphics programs such as SigmaPlot and Xact, GraphiC is a library of routines written in C that can be customized to fit your needs because the source code is included. This flexibility comes at the expense of having to write C/C++ code to produce plots, but the included sample files make it very easy to pick up on the library's functions even if you have only modest experience with these languages. If you want total control over the way your data are presented, GraphiC is a tool you should consider. The multi-platform nature of GraphiC may also appeal to some users. Versions of the library also exist for DOS, Windows 3.1, and Windows NT.

The installation program is well-done, enabling the user to specify the locations of all files as well as the C compiler to be used. I tested GraphiC with the IBM VisualAge C++ compiler, but the Borland and Watcom compilers are also supported, as is the older IBM CSet++. The on-line help for the installation program explains all of the options clearly. Once the installation is completed, you can choose to have the installation program compile the library or you can do it manually, but makefiles are supplied, making this a relatively effortless task. The library can be compiled into a DLL or the routines can be statically linked to an executable.

But Why?

You might wonder why someone would want to use a library of graphics routines when there are scientific graphics programs. It certainly takes more work to use something like GraphiC, but there are definite advantages in certain situations. In the graphic programs I have used, there are always annoying limitations that prevent me from doing something I need to do. Another advantage to GraphiC is that plotting can be done in the midst of very time consuming calculations. In my own work, for example, I do simulations of gas flow in binary star systems and these simulations can run for several hours or even days. With GraphiC I can call a quick plotting routine at each iteration to see how the simulation is doing.


The library comes with a wide variety of plot types. Of course, the basic types such as 2-D and 3-D scatter plots, surface plots, bar charts, pie charts, vector plots and contour plots are included. There are also some less common plot types for 4-D functions, Smith charts, patch plots, triangle plots, and many others. GraphiC/OS2
Scientific Endeavours Corp.
MSRP: US$495
Dr. Dirk Terrell is an astronomer at the University of Florida specializing in interacting binary stars. His hobbies include cave diving, martial arts, painting and writing OS/2 software such as HTML Wizard.

Send a letter to the editor.

Our Sponsors: [Mt. Baker Software] [SPG] [BMT Micro] [DeScribe] [EmTec]

Contents | Previous Article | Next Article

This page is maintained by Falcon Networking. We welcome your suggestions.

Copyright © 1996 - Falcon Networking