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From Sandro Martini <sandro.mart...@gmail.com>
Subject Proposal of a Pivot-related project for an all-HTML5 UI
Date Mon, 03 Sep 2012 15:11:04 GMT
Hi all,
as many of you I need some highly-interactive all-HTML5 UI for some my
projects, and of course I need to target mobile platforms (even for
connected/disconnected pure frontend web apps).

So, during last months I started to think on a Pivot port for this:
an all-HTML 5 client-only framework to make declarative Browser User Interfaces.
Of course I know that there are already dozens of frameworks for this,
but not inside ASF so there could be some space for this (I'm already
discussing this with ASF board).

In an even more HTML5 world I think this could be a good option for us
to have a broader/stronger platform
where to put some of knowledge and experience with Pivot (like ui
construction with bxml, skinnability of components, etc).
Note that I see this as a additional direction for Pivot (useful in
all non-desktop cases), not as a replacement.

Over years we discuss many times on an additional skin based for
example on a GWT backend to reuse some Java code.
But for many reasons I think this is not a practical approach, and
doesn't solve some of these newer needs.

The proposal is to start the project external to ASF, see if there is
some interests (and maybe some Committers interested,
from Pivot or even outside), and later propose it for incubation (or
maybe as a Pivot subproject if possible).
I just created an empty project on GitHUB here:
the name is a little strange, and it's even to play with an Italian
word (to have a starting idea for a logo, but it's only a detail)
now it's near-empty but in few time I should put something, at least
as documentation.

Now some technical detail on the proposal:
instead of being crazy with JavaScript I'm thinking to use Dart as a
language (Google is doing a lot of research on it, trying to fix many
problems both of JavaScript, and of Java), even to break all
constraints of Java (and mainly on the availability/not-availability
of Java Plugin on some plaftorms and in future browsers).
It implements already some features developed in-house for Pivot, so
many things should be simpler to write.
You can find its Home Page here: http://www.dartlang.org/
One of great features of Dart is that you write in a well-designed
(for scale, deploy, etc) language, and compile to JavaScript.
Skinnability here could be done in different ways (like in Pivot):
- using standard HTML5 components, with UI appearance with css
- drawing components in 2D Canvas
- drawing compoments in 3D Canvas via WebGL, Shaders, etc ...
(I still have to verify if/what it's possible to do, but no limit for now).

I need something like this, so I'll start to work on it.
For suggestions, comments and if someone if interested tell me.

Thanks to all.

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