Here is a transcript from a tech talk about GWT by Bruce Johnson, who is apparently a tech lead over at Google. It’s from a TheServerSide.com tech talk.  You can view the video as well (I guess–I didn’t). Some very interesting stuff in there, even though it’s about two months old. Here are some excerpts I found interesting.

On why Java was chosen for javascript development:

We want a more mature language [than javascript]. The Java language has a lot of years on it now. We have a lot of developers that know Java. There are a lot of books, other supporting technologies, things like debuggers and JUnit, and there is a tool called ‘FindBugs’ which does static analysis. Have you guys heard of FindBugs? It is fantastic. It is like Lint on steroids. So, you really just point it at your Java source code and it says, ‘Oh, by the way, here is like 200 bugs,’ and actually most of them are really truly bugs. Code coverage, Javadoc, really good things, all available out of the box if you use Java.

FindBugs has an eclipse plugin, by the way.

On integrating GWT into existing applications:

Probably the single biggest thing that we have screwed up so far when telling people about GWT is all these demos are like from scratch demos, and we have worked so hard to make sure that you did not have to write applications from scratch to use GWT. So, I think so far that is the biggest flub. GWT does not require you to start over. So, for example, if you have a wizzy travel service application for example that is say, based on JSP, all you need in order to add GWT logic to a page is to drop a meta tag into your head and then have a DIV or multiple DIVs that act like place holders for where you want to insert GWT behavior, which means that your Java source could not be more loosely coupled with the page. Basically, it is only connection of the page is based on ID and then, however, many assumptions you want to make.

I’ve definitely found the above to be the truth. Using GWT to build standalone components is a low risk way to explore the technology and add value to your website.

All in all, an interesting talk, err, read. (Here’s another talk by Bruce on TSS.)


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