Feeds

Getting Google’s Web Toolkit going

If Google can, you can too

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Developers looking to build Ajax-style rich internet applications (RIA) are pretty much spoilt for choice at the moment. There are dozens of RIA tools and frameworks littering the development landscape, from those providing minimal sets of JavaScript libraries to heavyweight contenders such as Adobe’s Flex, Microsoft’s Silverlight and Google’s Web Toolkit (GWT). The Google offering, released under an Open Source licence, has quickly picked up a following by combining a wide range of useful and functional browser widgets and by using Java to drive the whole thing. Yep, that’s Java, not Javascript…

Basically GWT shields the Java programmer from the complexities of browser differences and having to learn Javascript. It means Java developers can use their existing server side or desktop development skills to create flexible, functional and rich Ajax applications (of the type popularised to a large extent by Google’s Gmail and Google Maps).

GWT In Action aims to explain to the GWT beginner how this magic is achieved and to show just what the framework is capable of. The first and most obvious point to make is that the book assumes a basic knowledge of Java. Despite what the authors would like to think, this isn’t really a book (or framework come to that), which would help if you don’t have a clue about Java. What it doesn’t assume, however, is a knowledge of GUI programming in Java, so there’s no need to sweat if you’ve never used Swing or SWT as these play no part in GWT.

The book is broadly structured into four parts, with the first part being an extended introduction that walks the reader through installation and running a sample app to creating, running and deploying your own simple application. It also discusses the Java to Javascript compiler that makes the whole thing possible, as well as touching on unit testing, debugging and IDE support in Eclipse. The next section focuses on building user interfaces, and has detailed chapters on the different widget and panels that are included in GWT, along with chapters on rolling your own. There is also a chapter on the JavaScript Native Interface (JSNI), which is the interface between Java and JavaScript and enables you to call code in one from the other.

The third part of the book moves on to more advanced topics, including RPC, interacting with JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), internationalisation and more. The final two chapters, which make up part four, look again at unit testing with Junit, deployment and a more detailed look at how GWT works under the covers. The latter chapter would have been more useful earlier in the book, but that’s a minor quibble really.

The core part of the book, which looks at building the UI, is structured around the building of a sample application – a Dashboard application which shows off both the built-in widgets and the custom widgets designed in the text. Certainly for a new developer this approach works well enough, though for those who’ve already mastered the basics there’s probably not much to be gained from this part of the book.

On the whole the book is fairly well written, though perhaps some pages could have been saved if the authors had assumed they were writing for Java developers rather than a broader audience.

GWT in Action

Verdict: A good introduction to GWT

Author: Robert Hanson and Adam Tacy

Publisher: Manning

ISBN: 1933988231

Media: Book

List Price: £35.99

Buy this book at Register Books at Reg Developer's special discounted price!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?