New GWT Designer in beta

New GWT Designer in beta

Summary: Instantiations demonstrated their new GWT Designer at a BOF last night at Eclipse World. The new designer includes a number of features to simplify development of GWT applications including bi-directional code generation and wizards for things like remote procedure calls.


Instantiations demonstrated their new GWT Designer at a BOF last night at Eclipse World. According to Eric Clayberg, Sr. VP of Product Development, the response was very enthusiastic.

GWT Designer 

GWT Designer will integrate with Eclipse and include a number of features to simplify development of GWT applications, including:

  • Bi-directional code generation -  Directly generates Java code which can be changed in the graphical editor or directly in source. All changes made directly to the source code will be reflected in the graphical designer.
  • True WYSIWYG -  Design view shows real GWT/HTML controls (not fake mockups) so all properties are reflected graphically.
  • CSS Support - GWT Designer can apply CSS to Design view, so you can see an exact rendering of how your screen will look in the browser.
  • Speed -  GWT Designer opens a design in a couple seconds - several times faster than launching the GWT application itself (mostly due to their proprietary technique of using ASM for fast bytecode modification). All subsequent edit actions update the Design view in just 300-400 milliseconds.
  • Rich GUI editing - Support for all panel types with convenient and appropriate layout edit policies. AbsolutePanels provide Matisse-like widget snapping and alignment.
  • Wizards and builders - Wizards for creating new PopupPanels and DialogBoxs. Wizards for creating new GWT projects and RemoteServices. A Builder for the automatic creation of the "async" parts of a service is also included.
  • GWT application launching - Supports a new GWT Application launch configuration including a launch shortcut for fast launching using a popup menu or a hot key in the editor.

GWT Designer is being developed by Konstantin Scheglov ("Kosta"), the same brilliant programmer who created WindowBulder Pro and the EclipseColorer Profiler. A beta of GWT Designer will be available for public download soon, possibly next week. The final product will likely be licensed under an inexpensive subscription model similar to that used by MyEclipseIDE. 

Topic: Software Development

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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