Friday, July 27, 2012

Re: GWT future

A few thoughts on the future of GWT.

1. GWT, as we currently know it, will die. It will be replaced by a more "native" way of writing apps for the web. This process will take years. Hopefully, GWT will also adjust, keeping its relevance for a long time. Elemental is the step in that direction.

2. Google wants to kill Java. It started with a lawsuit from Oracle - Google responded by launching Dart and Go. It won't be clear for at least another year if either Dart or Go become viable alternatives to Java. I will not be surprised if both of these efforts will be quietly abandoned by Google now that the threat from Oracle is over. They will most likely make no such decision any time soon, but I would not recommend starting any major projects in Dart for at least another year.

3. Even though GWT is not as enthusiastically supported by Google as it should be (in my opinion), I would certainly recommend against forcing your team to learn a completely new platform. If you are a Java shop, GWT is the best available option for any project starting this year.

4. Web browsers have really matured (i.e. stabilized) over the past couple of years. Unless you are building a cutting-edge 3D game or a web-based replacement for Photoshop, your new GWT app will stay relevant for a decade. It will morph, like all good projects do, but GWT is a very solid foundation for data manipulation, i18n, history management, and page rendering. And you can add as much (or as little) HTML5 and CSS3 on the presentation side as you want - I don't feel like GWT is restricting me in any way.


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