I’ve been looking and reading around the Apache Pivot project in the past 48 hours and an I must say, without having written a single line of code, I’m totally impressed with the direction of the project. I have a few gripes with certain API calls but that aside the project direction puts it at par with (or quite close to) Adobe Flex and Microsoft Silverlight developments.
Reading around through the documentation, I realised the use of BXML (Bean XML) was quite extensive and could be even more extensive if the application was large and this brought to mind the potential of having a designer tool akin to Adobe’s Flash Builder or Dreamweaver to help generate the BXML Content and make the developer’s work a bit easier. Such as designer might be a tad easier to construct than even a pure Java Swing Designer (e.g. Netbeans’ Matisse) but I’m no expert there, just that in my mind, the logic for the outputted code seems simpler – do correct me if I’m wrong.
With regards to the IDE for this project, I believe there are two options:
- Building one from Scratch using Java and use Apache Pivot as the UI library (the developers might fancy this)
- Build one on top of the Netbeans or Eclipse platform either from scratch or as extension, similar to what was done for JavaFX Script in late 2009
In any case, a good UI designer will help spur users onto adoption, if the demos alone are not enough (they certainly got me interested).
I plan on potentially picking up Apache Pivot one of these days if a client project gives me the opportunity because currently I dabble in more PHP/JS than anything Java, but I see great potential in the project and I think Oracle might either need to take a leaf from their book perhaps in Java 9, if client side Java development is still vibrant then.
UPDATE: Tom Parker has posted a nice link in the comments below to some work which has already been done to get Pivot running in the context of Netbeans. Do check it out.