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Visualizing instances of objects and their relationship  RSS feed

Mark Vilrokx
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I am trying to draw a picture of the relationships between different libraries. I created a library class, each instance represents a library I found in the code tree. The Library class has a hashmap which holds references to the other libraries. I have my Universe of Libraries created and I can run crude reports (System.out.println) but I would really like to visualize this information, draw each library as a rectangle, each references as a line between 2 rectangles. I have been looking at Java graphics2d but I have come to the conclusion that this is easier said than done.

My first question is if anybody has ever done something similar and if there are frameworks or design patterns for this sort of requirement out there. I have never really worked with graphics so I do not even know where to start.

One of my big worries is how am I going to lay out these potentially hundreds of rectangles (and even more connections) in such a way that it stays readable and useful.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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