Web 2.0 Development with the Google Web Toolkit

The Google Web Toolkit allows for modern Web development using Java, without ever needing to write a single line of HTML or JavaScript.
A GWT Example

Now, let's turn to a practical example. Creating a new project is done with the command line rather than from inside Eclipse. Create a directory for your project, and cd to it. Then create a project in it, with:

/path/to/GWT/projectCreator -eclipse ProjectName

Next, create a basic empty application, with:

/path/to/GWT/applicationCreator -eclipse ProjectName \
         com.CompanyName.client.ApplicationName

Then, open Eclipse, go to File→Import→General, choose Existing Projects into Workspace, and select the directory in which you created your project. Do not check the Copy Projects into Workspace box so that the project will be left at the directory you created.

After doing this, you will be able to edit both the HTML and Java code, add new classes and test your program in hosted mode, as described earlier. When you are satisfied with the final product, you can compile it (an appropriate script was generated when you created the original project) and deploy it to your Web server.

Let's do an example mashup. We're going to have a text field, the user will type something there, and we will query a server (okay, with only one server, it's not much of a mashup, but the concept can be extended easily) and show the returned data. Of course, for a real-world application, we wouldn't display the raw data, but rather do further processing on it. The example project itself will be called exampleproject, and its entry point will be example, see Listing 1 and Figure 1.

Figure 1. The recently imported project—the code just shows a welcome message.

According to the Getting Started instructions on the Google Web Toolkit site, you should click the Run button to start running your project in hosted mode, but I find it more practical to run it in debugging mode. Go to Run→Debug, and launch your application. Two windows will appear: the development shell and the wrapper HTML window, a special version of the Mozilla browser. If you do any code changes, you won't have to close them and relaunch the application. Simply click Refresh, and you will be running the newer version of your code.

Figure 2. Running the Created Application the First Time, in Hosted Mode

Now, let's get to our changes. Because we're using JSON and HTTP, we need to add a pair of lines:


<inherits name='com.google.gwt.json.JSON'/>

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