A Structured 2D Graphics Framework
Welcome to Piccolo! A revolutionary way to create robust,
full-featured graphical applications in Java and C#, with
striking visual effects such as zooming, animation and
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,
that’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!