Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Machine Learning , Java IoT

Machine Learning : Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Google's GWT "May Change Web Development Forever"

Google's GWT – The Most Important Announcement At JavaOne?

Time is a brutal enemy of youth and exuberance. Time makes cynics of us all. Time is the universal truth serum that reveals all authenticity. Time will tell, but the announcement yesterday by Google may change the faces of AJAX development, strike that, Google's announcement may change web development for evermore. This cynic heard an announcement yesterday that changed his viewpoint and beliefs on the future of web development.

Certainly, in the recent past, the chances of doing an entire application in AJAX seemed remote for the vast sea of developers. The thought of writing a rich application in JavaScript, for most developers, is total anathema - akin to having one's body shaved and thrust into a pool of warm alcohol.

Please don’t write and plead for a change in my aversion to writing metric tons of JavaScript, for my heart isn't in it  - as most developers' hearts aren't in it. It is not so much the writing of JavaScript as it is the lack for tools...and the horror of debugging it. Sure tools exist but they are a far cry from what you get in the Java world.

Writing JavaScript is like changing a baby’s diaper: you don’t like to do it, but you love your child and you do it anyway. You may not like to write JavaScript, but you want to deliver richer applications for your end users so you may do it anyway. Dare I say the best developers are the ones that love their end-users?

Thus the missing ingredient is the ability for Java developers to develop AJAX applications in Java instead of JavaScript, i.e., to take the smell and rank out of it. This would allow a vast community of developers to develop rich web applications where before a select few script-heads would dare go.

Enter stage left the contender for changing the way, once and for all, the world uses the web: Google!

Google just introduced the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), a free, publicly available Java development framework. This framework allows developers to develop and debug applications in Java and deploy them in AJAX. The Google approach to AJAX development is to avoid JavaScript (for most developers anyway).

You can write all of your AJAX code in plain old Java. You can debug it. Use breakpoints.

They have a plug-in where they allow your code to run in the browser and hook back to your Java code. Then when your code is ready to deploy, you run the translator that converts your Java code into JavaScript code that can run on any browser - or so the vision states. They also have an RPC mechanism to call back to Java objects on the server for data and business rule validation. The Java code looks like AWT, Swing or perhaps SWT code. In other words, it is what most rich GUI app developers are familiar with.

The framework is also extensible, so if your favorite Dojo JavaScript widgets don’t exist you can extend the framework to support them. Most developers won’t have to do this, but you can.

One of the Google examples is an Outlook clone. It doesn't look like a web application. It looks like a rich application. If it all seems too good to be true, you are right. However, if even half of it is true, this changes everything.

Cynicism is good. Without cynicism you will be driven hither and dither, to and fro, back and forth with each new buzzword, and vendor marketing claims. However, cynicism must be balanced with potentially the most disruptive technology. The mantra at JavaOne seems to be JSF, JSF, JSF, NetBeans, NetBeans, NetBeans,. AJAX, AJAX, and AJAX. Never mind that Eclipse is the dominant developer platform by far, and most vendors that have a plug-in seem to target Eclipse first, and certainly Google has followed this model with model with GWT and released with Eclipse plug-ins.

Among the noise, there is this announcement from a company that started the AJAX phenomenon and has the most popular AJAX applications. Is this announcement from Google the most important announcement for AJAX and the most important announcement at JavaOne? It is too soon to tell if this is the most important message at JavaOne 2006 due to how much reality and robustness is in the GWT, but the potential is there. Time will tell.

More Stories By Rick Hightower

Rick Hightower serves as chief technology officer for ArcMind Inc. He is coauthor of the popular book Java Tools for Extreme Programming, which covers applying XP to J2EE development, and also recently co-authored Professional Struts. He has been working with J2EE since the very early days and lately has been working mostly with Maven, Spring, JSF and Hibernate. Rick is a big JSF and Spring fan. Rick has taught several workshops and training courses involving the Spring framework as well as worked on several projects consulting, mentoring and developing with the Spring framework. He blogs at http://jroller.com/page/RickHigh.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected path for IoT innovators to scale globally, and the smartest path to cross-device synergy in an instrumented, connected world.
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of the world’s largest data centers. Click here to schedule a meeting with our experts and executives.
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understanding as the environment changes.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the modern business digitalization solutions. Achieve up to 50% early-stage technological process development cost cutdown with science and R&D-driven investment strategy with Codete's support.