Piccolo create robust, full-featured graphical
applications in Java and C#, with striking visual effects
such as zooming, animation and multiple representations.
Piccolo is a toolkit that supports the development of 2D structured
graphics programs, in general, and Zoomable User Interfaces
(ZUIs), in particular. A ZUI is a new kind of interface that
presents a huge canvas of information on a traditional computer
display by letting the user smoothly zoom in, to get more detailed
information, and zoom out for an overview. We use a "scene-graph" model
that is common to 3D environments. Basically, this means that
Piccolo maintains a hierarchal structure of objects and cameras,
allowing the application developer to orient, group and manipulate
objects in meaningful ways.
Why use Piccolo? It will allow you to build structured graphical applications
without worrying so much about the low level details. The infrastructure provides
efficient repainting of the screen, bounds management, event handling and dispatch,
picking (determining which visual object the mouse is over), animation, layout,
and more. Normally, you would have to write all of this code from scratch.
Additionally, if you want to build an application with zooming, thatí»s built
right into the framework too.
What exactly is it? Piccolo is a layer built on top of a lower
level graphics API. There are currently three versions of the
toolkit: Piccolo.Java, Piccolo.NET and PocketPiccolo.NET (for
the .NET Compact Framework). The java version is built on Java
2 and relies on the Java2D API to do its graphics rendering.
The .NET version is built on the .NET Framework and relies
on the GDI+ API to do its graphics rendering. This makes it
easy for Java and C# programmers, even those targeting PDAs,
to build their own animated graphical applications. And best
of all, Piccolo is free and open source!