Thursday, February 14, 2008

Google Web Toolkit

Ajax, Asynchrone Java And Xml, already for sometime now a promising buzzword which also have gained some momentum in developers communities. Web2.0 is mostly powered by AJAX and AJAX like applications and enables us to have a lot more fun on the web. However, how to work with it is still for some a little mystery and I have no intentions to clear that up in this blogpost. I do intend to give some more insight in some tools and ways you can play with AJAX and I might give some start pointers away. To be honest AJAX is quite simple and can be learned by example from the web. Recently I was asked to code a little web tool and this gave me the opportunity to get some more knowledge to AJAX and after a very little effort I was able to put in to use.

First, Google Web Toolkit, google claims the following on the website:
Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is an open source Java software development framework that makes writing AJAX applications like Google Maps and Gmail easy for developers who don't speak browser quirks as a second language. Writing dynamic web applications today is a tedious and error-prone process; you spend 90% of your time working around subtle incompatibilities between web browsers and platforms, and JavaScript's lack of modularity makes sharing, testing, and reusing AJAX components difficult and fragile.

GWT lets you avoid many of these headaches while offering your users the same dynamic, standards-compliant experience. You write your front end in the Java programming language, and the GWT compiler converts your Java classes to browser-compliant JavaScript and HTML.

And I think this is completely accurate. On the google website you can find a lot of examples, books and articles to get you started. What Google offers is a quite good set of pre developed solutions you can put to work for you. You want HTML / AJAX tabs on your website, just issue the command and you have your tabs. You want,...... issue the command and you have it. There is quite a big library of nice "things" you can use and this can speed up your development in a big way.

Secondly a nice thing to explore is the Oracle Berkeley DB Java Edition as a Persistence Manager for the Google Web Toolkit. Oracle has written a whitepaper about this subject and gives away some very nice coding examples for you to use. You can find the document on the oracle website.

I also found a nice video from Google Developers you might want to watch.

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