PopChart Xpress is a new utility from CORDA Technologies, a company that specializes in interactive charting and graphing solutions for the Web.
The Java-based app is designed for all Java environments, including Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.x, as well as Windows, Solaris, and Linux. It lets users copy data from spreadsheet applications such as Excel and “quickly and easily” create Web-ready charts and graphs, according to Dave Thorup, software engineer at CORDA.
“Designed with the Mac user in mind, Xpress’ design allows it to take advantage of Mac OS X’s excellent Java environment and to run natively on both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9,” Thorup said. “Xpress will capitalize on new functionality in the Mac OS X 10.1 update in September. PopChart Xpress will automatically access the new graphics acceleration feature that will make it run much faster. In addition to Flash and SVG images, PopChart Xpress for Mac OS X creates anti-aliased GIF images that make your GIF images look sharp and smooth. This feature is currently only available in the Mac OS X version.”
Charts and graphs created with PopChart Xpress are compliant with section 508 of the Federal Government accessibility requirements (which is designed to make sure that Web sites are accessible by just about everyone). It eliminates the process of manually writing a description for each chart by automatically generating the descriptive text that explains the image in text form, said Neal Williams, CORDA CEO. A screen reader then converts the generated text to speech so that a visually impaired person can access the information displayed in the chart. Plus, the charts and graphs have the interactive features of drilldown and popup text that provide chart viewers instant access to additional information.
“The performance and features of Java on Mac OS X make it the premier platform for PopChart Xpress,” Williams said. “I have long been a fan of the Mac OS, and am pleased to offer our Mac OS X users the best solution for creating Web-ready interactive charts and graphs from their spreadsheet data.”
PopChart Xpress has a retail price of US$795. Government purchases can get it for $755.
The application requires Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X (the latter of which is recommended). With Mac OS 9, you’ll need 23 MB of available disk space, 64 MB of RAM, and a Power Mac G3 (or better) with CD-ROM drive. Supported browsers include Netscape 4.0.6 or higher and Internet Explorer 4.5 or higher. For Mac OS 10.0.4 or higher, you’ll need, 18 MB of available disk space and 128 MB of RAM. Supported Mac OS X browsers include Internet Explorer 5.1 or higher and OmniWeb 4.0 or higher.