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Jack Woehr

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

GWT Down the Road

March 24, 2009

A couple of months' experience with GWT later, what do I think, the blogger asks himself? Google Web Toolkit is brillant and unrefined.

For the past three years, running from startup to startup working on essentially the same or very similar web applications, the thought certainly occurred that there must be a simpler way to write user interfaces than hand-coded Javascript . "Why isn't there a language for this?" is a pretty obvious question.

GWT is that language and will dominate for years, for better or for worse. GWT is a full generation advanced over anything else both commonly available and well-supported. Java code using a web interface class library based aesthetically on Swing compiles to optimized Javascript. Conceptually it is perfect.

GWT is unrefined in several aspects.

Firstly, documentation. You had better be prepared to read GWT source. As is fully right and proper, the creativity of the core development team is outstripping the documentation.

Even the GWT team's creativity is outstripped by their creativity. Event models are changing as we write. Steer carefully down the middle of the road and prepare for lane changes on the GWT highway.

GWT will grow out of its baby feathers and mature. What really is needed is for the community at large to adopt and for Google to learn how to run an open source project on the scale at which such a powerful and staffed-up organization can immediately conjure into existence. It's a challenging task, and I'm betting my latest web gui on their success.




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