Some Recipes to Improve Your Google Web Toolkit Development

Experiences, tips and techniques to assist you in creating GWT Web applications.

According to Google's announcements on the GWT home page, GWT makes writing AJAX applications easy for developers "who don't speak browser quirks as a second language". Starting with version 1.3.RC in December 2006, GWT is 100% open source under the Apache 2.0 license; at the time of this writing we have version 1.3.3 as a stable release. The heart of the toolkit is its GUI library with the Java-to-JavaScript compiler, the asynchronous remote procedure call (RPC) and object serialization mechanisms, and the full debugging support for client and server-side code when working with an IDE like Eclipse or IntelliJ's IDEA.

Lots of introductory material has been published about GWT since its early days - primarily as world-wide web articles and tutorials (e.g., Jeff Hanson's JavaWorld article, see Resources) - we can now read whole books about it. Therefore, in this article I will not discuss subjects like what GWT is all about or how to write a currency converter with GWT. But rather by looking not only at the UI client-side aspects of GWT, I will try to give you some tips, sometimes some tricks, and also some issues to think about when you start coding -- even before you start creating your project structure and environment. I hope you can profit by my experiences implementing a GWT web application from scratch, and then doing a lot of refactoring, redesign and restructuring to make my life simpler and the application user feel better.

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