Wednesday, 29 August 2007 03:55

Google Web Toolkit leaves beta

Google Web Toolkit 1.4 marks the full release of the software designed to speed the creation of AJAX applications.

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) works by converting Java into JavaScript, shielding developers from browser-specific issues and generally allowing them to be more productive through working with their favoured Java tools.

"In addition to making debugging far easier, GWT's unique compilation-based approach to AJAX has the nice property that it rewards developers for good software engineering practices," Bruce Johnson and Dan Peterson of the Google Web Toolkit team wrote in the company's blog.

GWT 1.4 is said to produce applications that are up to 30 percent smaller and between 20 and 50 percent faster.

New features include additional user interface widgets, a benchmarking subsystem, a mechanism for fetching multiple images with a single HTTP request, and support for international number, date and time formats.

Adding GWT modules to an HTML page now merely requires a <script> tag, and modules can be included across domains. You wouldn't want to use the latter feature unless you trusted the other site, but it would be valuable for organisations that operate multiple sites either on their own account or for clients.

The GWT team plans an early start on GWT 1.5, which will feature Java 5.0 support. "We intend to make a wholesale shift to 5.0 syntax for all GWT client code; with luck this won't be problematic, since Java 5.0 syntax is largely backwards compatible," tech lead Scott Blum announced last week in the GWT blog.

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