Thursday, May 30, 2019

Re: Is this project active?

I can sympathise with some of what Bob is saying.

From what I can gather there is actually a great flux of activity going on behind the scenes by parts of the community.  The main players in moving GWT forward appear to be half-a-dozen or so companies who use GWT greatly, and some individuals, often doing it on their own personal time.

As Bob says, the site makes it appear that GWT is in limbo.  If a newcomer or existing user puts some time into searching posts in this group and the contributors one, or the occasional blog post somewhere, they start to see a rough roadmap, and some progress is being made towards it by the community.  But as he says, there needs to be some defacto site explaining the roadmap, and make some recommendations on what parts of traditional GWT 2 to keep using or not, and what new stuff is available (elemental2, jsinterop, etc), and some basics on how to use the new stuff.

It was only by searching the newsgroups that I learnt about the existance of jsinterop-base, and only through more searching that I saw a few examples of using it (and also looking at the API).  This is a pretty important/useful package.

Further research uncovers that much of the gwt-user package is being split out into individual packages, org.gwtproject.* , to not depend on JSNI and generators.  Quite a few are done, according to .  They are scattered all around github it seems, not ready for maven central?

A contributor may develop something new or port something, and then announce it to the community that it is available for use, but there is no central site listing/promoting these wares.

Perhaps things are in too much flux to attract new developers to using GWT.  Perhaps the goal should be to retain existing GWT users?  The more users there are, the more contributors there will be, and the better GWT will be for all of us.  Conversely, the fewer users there are, ... .

(It's easy for me (a non-contributor) to list some shortcomings, but am I going to volunteer my personal time to improve things?  Or do I expect Google to do everything, and I just use it and give nothing back?)

On Friday, May 31, 2019 at 5:31:38 AM UTC+10, Bob Lacatena wrote:
GWT is suffering from a very serious publicity debacle.  I'm actively doing GWT development, and regretting every moment of it right now.  Years ago I loved GWT.  Today, I'm dreading it.

My biggest problem for the past year has been the fact that unless one hunts for threads like this, GWT does appear to be dead.  I don't know what the developers are doing.  I just know there were occasional hints that something was coming (a year ago), with not a sound since then.

Update!  Put a few news items on it a month, at least.  Let people know you are working.  No matter how good your work is, more and more developers like me are going to abandon it as time drags on.

Or create a GWT 3.0 blog.  Something.  Anything other than the black hole of silence you have now.

I'm also very concerned that with the rewrite, every bit of code I'm working on now will be useless.  GWT before 3.0, from a developer who uses it, was and still is a nightmare if you don't want to use every widget, as it exists, out of the box, because too many of the classes use private members and methods, making them completely impossible to extend (which, I believe, is sort of the point of a lot of OOP concepts).

With GWT getting old, this is becoming painful, because GWT did cool things, like animation and date pickers and rich text editors, by brute force back when that was necessary.  Now, however, HTML5 and other things have evolved to offer better, cleaner solutions, but often it's difficult to impossible to make GWT work with those solutions, because of the private members.

I've even gotten into vicious cycles; copy the source for class X, to be able to fix it, but that requites a copy of private class Y, which requires a copy of private class Z, and on and on until I give up.

Instead, I have to "roll my own", which takes too much effort that could be spend on more productive pursuits.  I'd rather use a framework with working widgets.

I didn't start out intending this to be a rant, but the bottom line is that I like GWT, I like being able to work exclusively in one language/framework instead of four at one time (Java + Angular + TypeScript + JQuery), but as a professional who is paid to make decisions that will have a decade-long impact on my company, I am very hard-pressed not to advise my company to immediately abandon all efforts using GWT.

Put some effort into communication!  [Which should be tattooed on the backs of every software engineer's hands, because as a species they seem to be oblivious to the concept.]

I am somewhat heartened by the existence of this thread, but I can't wait 6 months for GWT 3.0, only to find out it's not backwards compatible with much of our efforts, and it's lost so much popularity in the wild that it's considered a death-mark on one's resume.

- Bob

On Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 2:58:47 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Hello all!  I am wondering how active this project is?  Don't see much action on the releases and comments. 

Another question I have is if this project is still active, when will Java 11 support be released?

Thanks  in advance,


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