Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Google Web Toolkit experiences

I just started toying arround with GWT (Google Web Toolkit). Here's my thoughts so far:

  • [GOOD THING] It makes the building and running on the development environment simple. It doesn't offer the flexibility of a running interpreter, but it provides two commands (scripts), one for compiling and another for running a box (development shell) that is an application container (tomcat based) with a small browser for a quick test.
  • [GOOD THING] An application has to import only a couple of jar's to run
  • [BAD THING] We have the old Template Model problem. We have two source folder structures, one "client" with the java files, and a "public" with the html templates, images, CSS, and other files to be published directly. The HTML templates should contain id's called "slot1", "slot2", and so on, for each object that is placed with Java to be attached to a certain place in the template... Is this horrible or what? The good thing is that google also lets us do (almost) everything without a template, creating defaults!
  • [BAD THING] I just noticed something weird in the demo application, the KitchenSink. a page with a floating dialog box, that warns with the following:
"If you're wondering why there's a list box at the bottom, it's to demonstrate that you can drag the dialog box over it. This is noteworthy because some browsers render lists and combos in a funky way that, if GWT didn't do some magic for you, would normally cause the dialog box to appear to hover underneath the list box. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about it -- just use the GWT DialogBox class." Now this is (1) weird, as it seems we're still dealing with black-magic in order for things to appear right on the screen, and (2) wrong, as the google shell browser still shows the listbox over the dialog box, if we drag it towards the right (oddly enough, a left drag runs ok...)

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