GWT and IDEA, a happy marriage ?
Monday 24 July 2006 @ 4:56 pm
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During the JavaOne, I already blogged about both GWT and IntelliJ. Today, I finally found a bit of time to start playing. While Teamserver has been renamed (renaming is not the right word, they brought it to the market and needed a sounding name) to TeamCity my attention was caught by the upcoming IDEA (their IDE) 6.0 release called Demetra and especially by the included GWT support (which has been available as plugin for a while). I’ve never used their IDE although during the years I’ve heard a lot of good rumours about it.

So, I downloaded the thing, registered for an evaluation license and off I was. And indeed within minutes I had my first GWT application up and running. Well, not actually within minutes, the first hour I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of buttons, menu items and icons shown on screen. But after I found out about some of the basic concepts, everything seemed to go pretty smooth.

What I especially liked is the way IDEA generates service interfaces and implementations for remoting purposes. After starting a new (empty) gwt module, it is pretty straightforward to add entry points and to add remote services. Programming the ping-pong game between client and server is relatively simple. But I must say, it still is a bit primitive (nothing really fancy, just point and shoot so to say) but imho it looks like a good start. Of course it is waiting for graphical orchestration of client-server calls, a good gui builder and even some scaffolding tools for basic operations. And then maybe, while both GWT and IDEA are evolving, within just a few years, we’re developing web applications exactly the way we have been developing fat clients back in the nineties.

By the way, for those who are bound to their eclipse ide (3.2) and are already using the webtools platform (1.5), the exact same functionality can be found in the Googlipse plugin.

By the way, for those who still ask why to use GWT I have a pretty simple answer: It is a very elegant way to write a web application that manages state at the front (the gui) and in the back (your beloved rdbms for example) but can be completely stateless in between. But I agree inmediately, this is nothing but a matter of taste.

— By Okke van 't Verlaat   Comments (0)   PermaLink


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