Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Re: GWT 2.8.0 RC2 is here!

On Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 3:39:26 PM UTC+2, Philippe Gonze wrote:
"the fact that 2.8 will be maintained in parallel. (Jens)  " !?!

We would certainly appreciate to know more about this fact (announced? published? where?).

One year ago: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iOd8u4YFyKC82GA4M_0suMcUeOLFeDHcEfP1ymclTFs/edit
(and you can read echoes of it many times here since then)
As a matter of fact, if version 3.0 is in line with various statements read here and there on the web (disparition of widget library, disparition of RPC), we would certainly prefer version 2.8.x to any 3.dead versions !
We think the 2.8 branches will continue to attract more developers than the 3.x branches.

But in any case, the first need is a fair vision of the future of GWT. Something like an 'official' statement, or at least a target roadmap.

There's no such thing yet.
If both branches are maintained (hopefully), we suggest a better version naming. Version 3.0 should receive a radically different name, and version 3.0 should succeed to 2.8 on the 'classic' branch...

See also https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/google-web-toolkit-contributors/s_kX17Xs1S4

Reality is that most of the work is done by Google, and Google wants to move on to a new compiler (J2Cl). If Google no longer works on the GWT 2.x compiler, GWT 2.x is going to die, as I can't see anyone putting enough energy to make it live.
Because "GWT 3.0" is going to be based on J2Cl, which removes GWT.create(), this is going to be a breaking change no matter what. This is why it'd been decided that the 2.x branch would be maintained in parallel to the 3.x branch, but it'll likely only remain a "maintenance branch" (understand: bug fixes, but I believe you can kiss goodbye to any JDT upgrade, so no Java 9 for you; and probably no new Java 8 emulated APIs –think java.time et al. unless they come before real work on 3.x has begun), mostly there so that people have time (2 years? maybe more) before switching to GWT 3.0.
That being said, "GWT 3.0" will likely be a "bundle" of various projects (similar to the Eclipse bundles released every year): J2Cl, the Java Runtime Emulation library (unless it comes with J2Cl), Elemental, etc. see also https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/google-web-toolkit-contributors/uhSgR5CWBK8 (as you can see, nothing's clear yet, so no "official statement" or "target roadmap"), and as such Google likely will never use "GWT 3.0" per se, that one really being a community-lead project.
For now, Google needs to make an MVP of their new compiler and make its sources public; then only we can start talking about what GWT 3.0 might look like, built around that new compiler, and start really testing things against it; in the meantime all we can do is handwave, throw FUD, or more constructively prepare for the inevitable demise of GWT.create(), particularly for those features that Google does not use themselves (they will "port" the ones they use), and all third-party projects. Work has begun already for a few of these things.

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