JavaOne 2006: Google web toolkit takes down the new petstore
Wednesday 17 May 2006 @ 11:09 pm
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The blueprints are back, The Petstore is back and Google smashes them exactly one hour later. What I’m talking about? This morning Sun did a presentation of their new Blueprints for Web 2.0 (sorry, it is not my choice of words) Applications. And to support their technical vision (what else is a generic blueprint) they reincarnated their Petshop. A lot of Dojo based bling bling, a lot of not easy to understand javascript and of course JSF. I also attended a session by Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber, both from Google, who presented their vision and their tool support for AJAX applications. Two complete different visions, two complete different worlds. Sun’s vision is all about their standards (JSF, EJB3), Google’s vision is focused on the regular web developer who do not understand the hairy javascript constructions needed to get a fancy interface. Sun’s vision does not look at the end-user experience at all (that is up to the developer). Google instead gives the developer the right instruments to support seamless end-user practice.

Google’s web toolkit has shown the light only one day ago and the blog-o-sphere is already filled with articles explaining what it is and what it does. So I’m not going into details (yet again standing behind a conference terminal and my back starts hurting) but I was pretty impressed by their innovative approach (They compile Java code into javascript!), their support for browser history aware ajax applications and their support for RPC (not only java based, in theory you can define the UI using Java, compile it to javascript and provide a PHP backend for service calls). The only practical problem I found after a quick scan through their website is the way they licenced the stuff. The javascript widget libraries are open source (apache based) but the actual compiler is as closed as an unlockable safe deposit box.

Of course, I’m writing this down just a few minutes after their marvelous act so the presented material still needs to land down smoothly in my java wasted brain but I’m already under the impression Sun’s blueprints might need a complete refresh.

— By Okke van 't Verlaat     PermaLink

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