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The Grammar Of Graphics

Leland Wilkinson has written the book on how we should write systems which visualize data:

This book was written for statisticians, computer scientists, geographers, research and applied scientists, and others interested in visualizing data. It presents a unique foundation for producing almost every quantitative graphic found in scientific journals, newspapers, statistical packages, and data visualization systems. This foundation was designed for a distributed computing environment (Internet, Intranet, client-server), with special attention given to conserving computer code and system resources.

There’s no free copy of this book, and it’s a very expensive textbook. For most people, you’ll get more from derivative works, but if you’ve thought about putting together a graphics library, this is a must-read.