Supercharge your Ajax development with Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

Supercharge your Ajax development with Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

Summary: If you develop web applications and haven't looked at Google Web Toolkit (GWT), this would be a great time to do it. The product is now out of beta, and the latest version adds a ton of new features and performance enhancements.

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TOPICS: Google
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Google Web Toolkit 1.4 now in productionIf you develop web applications and haven't looked at Google Web Toolkit (GWT), this would be a great time to do it. The product is now out of beta, and the latest version (1.4) adds a ton of new features and performance enhancements.

"In addition to making debugging far easier, GWT's unique compilation-based approach to Ajax rewards developers for good software engineering practices," says Bruce Johnson, a member of the GWT team. "Java source code that is clear and organized can be easily optimized by the GWT compiler,"GWT will really save you time in maintenance" which is a nice antidote to the frequent hack-and-slash approach that's all too common in JavaScript development."

Maintaining a complex Ajax application over time without GWT is a major challenge, says Johnson. "If you are currently working on an ambitious Ajax project and haven't yet come to this conclusion, please re-read this post in six months when you're further along!"

[Read: Book review: Google Web Toolkit Solutions]

"GWT will really save you time in maintenance (try and refactor browser dependent javascript if you dare!)," writes GWT user Reinier Zwitserloot, who calls it "a great tool for scaling your server, because it allows you to ship off a lot of state info to the client."

GWT, which has been downloaded over a million times so far, has attracted the interest of numerous developers and writers. The Google Web Toolkit discussion group has nearly 10,000 members and over 35,000 posts. gwtpowered.org lists over 160 articles, widgets, and other resources for GWT developers (BTW, I'm looking for someone to take over that site because I'm having trouble giving it the time that it deserves).

[Read: Google Web Toolkit 1.4: “Have to see it to believe it”]

So before you write another line of Javascript, take a few hours to get to know the Google Web Toolkit. It's free, open source (Apache license), runs on all major systems (Linux, MacOSX, Windows), and it's just waiting there to accelerate your Ajax development times. Here are some resources to get you started:

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Topic: Google

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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