Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Review: Pragmatic GWT

I recently read Google Web Toolkit from The Pragmatic Bookshelf.  This book is less than 80 pages, so it was a fast read - and probably a great introduction to GWT for those that haven't used it before.  But, after reading this, I again wasn't convinced that a GWT project is the right way to develop Javascript code.  The library just pulls programmers too far away from the language they are actually coding in (which is the point).  Like Rail Scaffolding, it's great when you have a simple project and you are just starting, but integrating with Javascript libraries and maintaining a mixed environment just seems like it wouldn't be worth the effort.

Page 32 has a description of "panels", a very Java-centric layout mechanism.  CSS is a FAR superior layout mechanism, so I'd probably just avoid Panels for plain old DIVs with classes.

Page 38 describes GWT RPC.  Open transmission standards should trump performance or developer usefulness as a default.  I'll likely avoid this if I choose to write a GWT app.

Chapter 7 - JSNI.  GWT is supposed to make my code easier and cleaner than Javascript.  This is a very complex way to drop out of GWT and into JS. 

Chapter 9 - I know that this is kind of an old book at this point, and many of the missing Java features have been added.  This chapter can be avoided.

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