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.

Figure 3. The Application, Running in Hosted Mode

After testing the application, it's time to distribute it. Go to the directory where you created the project, run the compile script (in this case, example_script.sh), and copy the resulting files to your server's Web pages directory. In my case, with OpenSUSE, it's /srv/www/htdocs, but with other distributions, it could be /var/www/html (Listing 5). Users could use your application by navigating to http://127.0.0.1/com.kereki.example/example.html, but of course, you probably will select another path.

Conclusion

We have written a Web page without ever writing any HTML or JavaScript code. Moreover, we did our coding in a high-level language, Java, using a modern development environment, Eclipse, full of aids and debugging tools. Finally, our program looks quite different from classic Web pages. It does no full-screen refreshes, and the user experience will be more akin to that of a desktop program.

GWT is a very powerful tool, allowing you to apply current software engineering techniques to an area that is lacking good, solid development tools. Being able to apply Java, a high-level modern language, to solve both client and server problems, and being able to forget about browser quirks and incompatibilities, should be enough to make you want to give GWT a spin.

Federico Kereki is a Uruguayan Systems Engineer, with more than 20 years' experience teaching at universities, doing development and consulting work, and writing articles and course material. He has been using Linux for many years now, having installed it at several different companies. He is particularly interested in the better security and performance of Linux boxes.

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