Friday, June 13th, 2008
And now for something a little bit different on a Friday. Greg Brown from VMWare pointed us to the fruition of nearly a year’s worth of R&D: Pivot, a new GUI toolkit for Java.
While traditionally Java Applets and the Web have mixed together about as well as concrete and peanut butter, the upcoming revised Java plug-in might give a window for Java-based GUI toolkits to be of interest to Web folks.
While Pivot’s source code is still forthcoming, a quick glance at its classes shows an architecture with a strong resemblance to Java’s built-in Swing GUI toolkit, but with many of Swing’s rough edges smoothed out. As a long-time Swing developer, I’d characterize it as attempt to create Swing++.
Similarities to Swing include a light-weight rendering model (i.e., it doesn’t wrap native components), a nearly identical component contract, a very similar system of UI delegates, and a very similar event model. Differences include a cleaner API (by virtue of nixing direct interoperability with Java’s ancient AWT toolkit), different approach to layout, fresh implementations of common GUI components, and a new collections framework (inspired by Java’s collections framework but… different).
Thinlet is another, older alternate GUI toolkit for Java that draws its own components and targets Applet developers (though a new version is under development).
Posted by Ben Galbraith at 7:05 am