Google releases GWT 2.2
Google releases GWT 2.2
Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Google Web Toolkit reaches version 2.2 - what's new and is it enough to keep us interested?

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is essentially a Java-to-JavaScript compiler. It is a good idea and provides a way of essentially modernising the approach to building web apps by treating JavaScript, HTML and CSS as the underlying machine language. This is all very well but the underlying machine language is a moving target and GWT programmers want to make use of the new features in HTML5.

To keep up and to improve the development environment Google has just released GWT 2.2 and a Google Plugin for Eclipse. The plug-in integrates with GWT Designer which allows the user interface to be constructed by drag-and-dropping components onto a form's surface. The version embedded into Eclipse isn't as full function as the standalone version but it is supposed to be easier to use and can be configured to suit the majority of users. You can still obtain and use the full standalone version if you need it.

GWT

The GWT SDK now supports HTML5 features such as Canvas and Audio/Video tags. Google warns that this is still experimental and there could well be changes in the near future - but isn't this true of all HTML5 support.

There are also some improvements on the way that the CellTable widget works and Java 1.5 support has been deprecated.

It is arguable that the main reason that programmers haven't yet flocked to this way of creating web applications is that the tools aren't well enough developed and also the underlying machine code - the HTML/JavaScript/CSS - hasn't been hidden well enough. Each new version of GWT does seem to be moving in the direction of a better environment and a better implementation of the central idea which is to write in Java deploy in HTML/JavaScript.

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