Google Web Toolkit: A Brief ReviewBy Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Java technologies offer a productive development plaform, and with GWT, they can instantly become the basis of your AJAX development platform as well. Here are some of the benefits of developing with GWT:
- You can use all of your favorite Java development tools (Eclipse, IntelliJ, JProfiler, JUnit) for AJAX development.
- Static type checking in the Java language boosts productivity while reducing errors.
- Code prompting/completion is widely available.
- Automated Java refactoring is pretty snazzy these days.
- Java-based OO designs are easier to communicate and understand, thus making your AJAX code base more comprehensible with less documentation.
There are several good reasons why GWT is an irrelevant technology.
Google assumes developing AJAX applications are “difficult and error prone”. That is far from reality. There are several high quality toolkits available for developing AJAX applications today like DWR (for Java), SAJAX (for PHP, Ruby etc.), prototype.js (JS Toolkit), Dojo (for effects) and dozen others.
GWT doesn’t really simplify the development life-cycle. What may be gained in developing in pure Java (assuming there is a significant gain after offsetting the learning curve, at least initially) is very likely to be offset during integration testing (post-compilation).
The somewhat good news is GWT ships with the complete source code for the library under an open source license. However considering the nature of the beast I doubt you will gain much from going under the hood of the generator. I wish you best of luck on that.
For some strange reason the following makes me very uncomfortable:
And then the privacy issue:
When you use the Google Web Toolkit’s hosted web browser, the application sends a request back to Google’s servers to check to see if you are using the most recent version of the product. As a part of this request, Google will log usage data including a timestamp of the date and time you downloaded the Google Web Toolkit and the IP address for your computer.
In conclusion I think it is a decent attempt to simplify web development and they deserve kudos for that. However I don’t think it will make much impact in web application development landscape. On a different note I am happy to see Google commitment to Java and acknowledging Java technologies offer a productive development plaform.
Tags: eclipse, Open Source, Web application