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Announcing Apache Pivot 1.3

Posted by gkbrown on September 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM PDT

The Pivot development team is happy to announce the release of Apache Pivot 1.3. Apache Pivot is a 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. Pivot is currently undergoing incubation at the Apache Software Foundation.

Notable updates in this release include:

  • New FileBrowser component - Pivot now includes out-of-the-box support for navigating the local filesystem. A screen shot is shown below.

  • New FlowPane component - Though Pivot previously included a FlowPane container for laying out components in a horizontal line, the previous version did not support wrapping. Pivot 1.3 includes a new FlowPane which arranges components in a horizontal line and wraps when contents don't fit on a single line (the former FlowPane class is now called BoxPane). See the Flow Panes section of the Pivot tutorial for a live example.

  • Enhanced scripting support - Script code (written in any JVM-compatible scripting language) can now be embedded directly within a WTKX document (previously, it had to be stored in an external file), and event handlers are now much easier to define in WTKX. In fact, it is now possible to construct an entire Pivot application using only script and markup! See the source code for the iTunes Search demo application, which uses JavaScript to define some event handlers, for an example.

  • Platform support for context menus and menu bars - While these components were available in previous releases, they are significantly easier to work with in Pivot 1.3. Callers can now attach a menu handler to any component, and the framework will handle the details of invoking context menus and configuring the menu bar based on where the user right-clicks or which component has the focus, respectively.

  • New card pane transitions - CardPane now supports a number of selection change transitions, allowing developers to easily add visual interest to an application. Transitions include:

    • Crossfade
    • Horizontal/vertical slide
    • Horizontal/vertical flip
    • Zoom in/out

    See the Card Panes section in the Pivot tutorial for some examples.

  • Support for bounded preferred sizes - Callers can now specify minimum and maximum values for preferred width and height, ensuring that a component does not grow or shrink beyond a certain size.

  • Support for resource inheritance - Resource instances can now define parent resources, inheriting resource properties and optionally overriding values set by the parent instance.

  • Charting updates - The JFreeChart provider has been updated to work with the latest release of JFreeChart (version 1.0.13). An example can be seen here.

  • A new logo!

  • All classes in pivot.* renamed to org.apache.pivot.*.

  • Numerous bug fixes, optimizations, and other improvements.

Finally, unlike earlier versions, which required a minimum of Java 5, Pivot 1.3 will require Java 6 update 10 or greater, allowing us to fully take advantage of the improvements Sun has made to the JRE in the new Java Plugin.

Complete release notes for Pivot 1.3 are available here. For more information, please visit the Pivot home page.

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MDI Dialog

Hello sir! How will you create a desktop like MDI (Multiple Document Interface) forms/dialogs in Pivot? Thanks for any pointers. Rey

MDI app

There are a number of ways you might approach building an MDI app in Pivot. Pivot supports a variety of components for navigating between "pages" including CardPane (similar to AWT card layout), TabPane, and Accordion. You can see examples of each of these in the "Navigation" section of the "Kitchen Sink" demo:

Pivot also supports multiple top-level windows, similar to JInternalFrames in Swing. You can see some examples here:

Note that this is a pre-release example - Pivot 1.4 has not yet been officially released.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to post them to the Pivot User list. Instructions for subscribing are located here:


Database Application

Greetings from Philippines! Sir, I hope the Apache Pivot Team could come up with a demo database application which has online/offline capabilities. That would be helpful to a lot of developers who are planning to use Pivot Framework for their projects. Thanks for any reply. Rey

Re: Database Application

I agree that such an application would make a good demo. Not sure when we might have time to get around to it, but just to offer some suggestions in the meantime - you could implement online access using a JSON-based REST API via Pivot's web query classes, and store JSON data in the local file system using JSONSerializer for offline access.

Thanks for the reply

Thanks for the reply sir! Would it be easier to implement Java DB as local storage in Pivot offline App?

Re: Thanks for the reply

Don't know - I've never used Java DB. :-) But I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to do so, if it made sense for your app.

Eclipse Plugin for Pivot WTKX?

Hi Greg, Nice work on Apache Pivot. Thanks

Re: Eclipse Plugin for Pivot WTKX?

We don't currently have such a plugin, but I personally find Eclipse's built-in support for XML editing to be sufficient for most tasks. We have tentative plans to investigate improving IDE support in version 2, though.