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Announcing Pivot 1.1

Posted by gkbrown on April 20, 2009 at 4:50 AM PDT

The Pivot development team is happy to announce the release of Apache Pivot version 1.1! Pivot is an open-source platform for building rich internet applications in Java. It combines the enhanced productivity and usability features of a modern RIA toolkit with the robustness of the industry-standard Java platform.

This is the first official release since Pivot 1.0 was announced last fall, and is also the first release since Pivot joined the Apache Software Foundation as an incubator project this past February.

Major enhancements in Pivot 1.1 include:

  • New/updated components:

    • Accordion - provides navigation capabilities similar to a tab pane, but arranged vertically

    • Calendar - basic date picker; both standalone and drop-down versions are supported

    • Slider - allows a user to select one of a range of values by moving a draggable "thumb"

    • Color Picker - presents a list of selectable color swatches to the user

    • Support for checkboxes in tree and list views, including mixed state checkboxes in tree view

    • Framework support for list, table, and tree view editors

  • Improved drag/drop and clipboard support. Pivot applications can now interact with the desktop just like native apps, with full access to the system clipboard and drag/drop facilities.

  • File browser support. Pivot now provides out-of-the-box support for browsing the local file system. Combined with the new drag/drop support, this makes Pivot an ideal choice for web-based file management applications.

  • Input validation framework. Pivot 1.1 includes an extensible framework for validating user input, allowing applications to provide instant and obvious feedback when invalid data has been entered.

  • Support for scripting languages in WTKX. In addition to Java, the new <wtkx:script> tag allows developers to easily create Pivot applications using a variety of JVM languages including JavaScript, Groovy, and others.

  • Enhanced support for DOM interaction. Pivot now supports bi-directional communication between an application and the web page that contains it. Multiple applications on the same page can also communicate with each other.

  • Additional effects and more pervasive animations. All of Pivot's navigation components now use animated transitions; menus, list button popups, and sheets use a translucent background; and menus and list buttons fade when closed, providing a more enriching user experience.

  • Improved font rendering. Pivot now uses the default system setting for font smoothing, producing more natural-looking user interfaces.

  • Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements.

More information is available on the Pivot home page, Hope to see you there!

-The Pivot Development Team

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ZK seems similar in philosophy to GWT - write in Java, but deploy to JavaScript. The quick answer as to why this is limiting is that you're deploying to JavaScript ;-) This means that you will have scalability issues (I've yet to see a JavaScript deployment of a 100,000 row table that works nicely) and be held back by the lack of a true 2D API (see You also don't really have the full power of Java at your desposal -- what if you want to write a client that uses the Jabber API to communicate in a way not supported by the old XHR (see

I have developed a fairly complex, currently live, application using ZK, and so I do not see the downside of it not being an applet. Could you elaborate?

You hit the nail on the head: "it seems to be similar to ZK except that it runs as an Applet". Pivot (like Swing and JavaFX) runs in a JVM, with all the benefits that entails.

For the browser, it seems to be similar to ZK except that it runs as an Applet, whereas a ZK application can be developed as a bunch of XML files (.zul) with Java code on the server side, as pure Java code using a Richlet, or a combination ot both, without the need for using an applet. Is there any other major difference between your framework and ZK, which apparently is much farther along and has a wide following?