Tuesday, November 20, 2012

GWT critics

During the last three years, I was involved in many GWT based applications development.
I should admit that it was funny and really challenging tasks. But, after three years doing the same things, I feel the need to make some critics about the GWT:

  • It isn't the ideal technology choice to do prototyping : making even sample application working take time and effort (if we want to follow GWT development best practices). 
  • Slow development cycle:
    • even with using a all the possible build optimization(draft compilation, generate less code permutation, .. ) the build still very slow for a small application : around one minute.
    • even when using the development mode facilities(using embedded Jetty), testing a small change of the source code take long time(very common in case of junior developer) 
  • The learning curve is really important for juniors developers. In fact, lot of design patterns used to build an industrialized large scale application(MVP, Activity and Place ..), which isn't sample for a junior JAVA or web developer.
  • The biggest added value of GWT is to develop one time and use for all the web browser, BUT it's really romantic vision. In the reality the generated java script is not really cross browser compatible (as promised).
  • Documentation isn't the biggest advantage of GWT, the official documentation still poor (compared to the maturity of the project 2.5 version out..). 

Finally, I'll be happy to receive your comments!


Steve Webb said...

Im using ExtGWT and yes compilation takes a time, 20 mins for our application, however when running in Eclipse I just run in Debug and hotspot any changes on the fly so testing changes takes seconds.

I come from a Swing background and actually find that it is very quick to prototype an app or new dialog or screen. I don't use a GUI builder, just hand craft the code. It took a while to figure out layouts so they worked as expected but I think I have got to the bottom of it.

As for the documentation, well it sucks.

Kamel Mahdi said...

Thank you for sharing experience, I'm GWT lover ;)

I'm ok with you GXT make the GWT developer easier.
With GWT, the hello world is pretty sample (compared to other web framework) but bringing it to production is really difficult(performance tuning and to cross browser compatibility then.. the issue start to appear).

vitaly goji said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BM said...

It depends on what you're aiming at. I'm developing currently Germanium an opensource web testing tool, and I found GWT to be (by far) the best solution out there.

Kamel Mahdi said...

I'm totally OK with you,GWT is the best for creating very complex web desktop application.

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