Google Web Toolkit: Develop and Test in Java, Deploy as AJAX

I’m building a pull-down-menu navigation for the rajiv.com site using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and I’m impressed by this Google product.

It allows you to create user interface (UI) widgets and dynamic functionality for your web app using the Java programming language. You develop and debug your app in the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment, just like you do any other Java app. When you are done, GWT translates the Java app into AJAX technologies: JavaScript, HTML, CSS and XML. This gives you the advantages of both worlds: You program and test using the robust Java platform and the final output is in AJAX (no Java applets at all) which works consistently across most modern web browsers.

Developing a web page UI using GWT, Eclipse and Java saves a lot of time over the alternative of coding all the AJAX (JavaScript, HTML, CSS, XML). GWT also takes care of issues like cross-browser compatibility and the AJAX UI not conflicting with the browser’s back button, which would otherwise have to be extra coding and testing work if developed in AJAX.

What’s also great is that the generated HTML pages are clean and nicely documented using comments, all automatically done by GWT.

Java programmers should welcome GWT since it gives them the ability to create rich dynamic HTML functionality in the robust environment they are familiar with. You can view the Java source code here.

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