Google Web Toolkit


Google Web Toolkit is an open source set of techniques that permits web developers to design and maintain complex JavaScript front-end applications in Java. Apart from a few local libraries, everything is Java source that can be created on any supported platform with the included GWT ant build files. It has the license under the apache License version 2.0. GWT emphasizes reusable, accurate approaches to common web development tasks, history management, bookmarking, namely asynchronous remote procedure calls, UI abstraction, internationalization, and cross-browser portability. Development with GWT GWT does not revolve only around user interface programming; it is a general set of tools for building any sort of high-performance client-side JavaScript functionality. Indeed, many key architectural decisions are left completely to the developer. The GWT mission statement clarifies the philosophical breakdown of GWT’s role versus the developer’s role. History is an example of such: although GWT manages history tokens as users click Back or Forward in the browser, it does not prescribe how to map history tokens to an application state. Several open-source plugins are available for making GWT development easier with other IDEs, including GWT4NB for NetBeans, Cypal Studio for GWT (an Eclipse plugin), and GWT Developer for JDeveloper. The Google Plugin for Eclipse handles most GWT related tasks in the IDE, including creating projects, invoking the GWT compiler, creating GWT launch configurations, validation, and syntax highlighting. Using GWT, developers can develop and debug ajax applications in the Java language using the Java development tools of their choice. When the application is deployed, the GWT cross-compiler translates the Java application to standalone JavaScript files that are optionally obfuscated and deeply optimized. When needed, JavaScript can also be embedded directly into Java code, using Java comments. GWT applications can be run in two modes: Development mode (formerly Hosted mode): The application is run as Java bytecode within the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This mode is typically used for development, supporting hot swapping of code and debugging. Production mode (formerly Web mode): The application is run as pure JavaScript and HTML, compiled from the Java source. This mode is typically used for deployment. Components The major GWT elements include: GWT Development Mode allows the developers to run and execute GWT applications in development mode (the app runs as Java in the JVM without compiling to JavaScript). Prior to 2.0, GWT hosted mode provided a special-purpose “hosted browser” to debug your GWT code. In 2.0, the web page being debugged is viewed within a regular browser. Development mode is supported through the use of a native-code plugin called the Google Web Toolkit Developer Plugin for many popular browsers. GWT Java-to-JavaScript Compiler Translates the Java programming language to the JavaScript programming language. GWT Web UI class library a set of custom interfaces and classes for creating widgets. JRE emulation library JavaScript implementations of the commonly used classes in the Java standard class library (such as most of the Java.lang package classes and a subset of the Java.util package classes). Features Browser history management Support for full-featured Java debugging Support for using Google aPIs in GWT applications (initially, support for Google Gears) Open-source Dynamic and reusable UI components: programmers can use pre-designed classes to implement otherwise time-consuming dynamic behaviors, such as drag-and-drop or sophisticated visual tree structures. Simple RPC mechanism The developers can design and develop their application in a pure object-oriented fashion, since they’re using Java (instead of JavaScript). Common JavaScript errors, such as typos and type mismatches, are caught at compile time. The JavaScript that the GWT compiler generates can be tailored to be either unobfuscated and easier to understand or obfuscated and smaller to download. a number of libraries are available for GWT, by Google and third parties. These extend GWT’s features. GWT handles some cross-browser issues for the developer. Unit testing integration Support for Internationalization and localization HTML Canvas support (subject to aPI changes) The developers can mix handwritten JavaScript in the Java source code using the JavaScript Native Interface (JSNI).

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