Category Archives: conferences

jQuery for GWT without jQuery

gQuery is a purely GWT port of jQuery, this way taking all advantages of the GWT compiler.

The main purpose is to enhance UI elements:

gQuery can also be used to create completely new HTML based widgets, while still providing the full widget component interface.  This allows us to create lightweight widgets and repeat less code by using the core functionality provided by the library. Another very interesting part is that, by being entirely written in  GWT,  the compiled code will include only the pieces that were used.

Further, gQuery offers a set of functions very useful and missing in the core GWT distribution:

Like its counterpart, gQuery provides a plugin system. Existing plugins can be found here.

GSS – Google Closure Stylesheet support for GWT

Surely anyone will agree that GWT badly requires a better CSS report. While the CSS resources introduced in GWT where a major step forward, CSS3 is here and it would really be great to have Closure Stylesheets working with GWT:

Closure Stylesheets is an extension to CSS that adds variables, functions, conditionals, and mixins to standard CSS. The tool also supports minification, linting, RTL flipping, and CSS class renaming.

GSS is a open source project at Github that brings a lot of CSS magic to GWT. It is planned to merge into GWT 3.0, but you can use it right now.

Unlike stated in the Github page, GSS does not require a trunk version of GWT as soon as you start using GWT 2.6…

The future of GWT and web development

Vaadin is actually hosting a purely GWT focussed, not the first one, but it is a long time since we had a GWT conference, and Joonas (from Vaadin) shared some stats: we have 600+ attendees in San Francisco and in Frankfurt together, Frankfurt being sold out.

Ray Cromwell just held the keynote on the gwt.create conference in San Francisco and shared some quite interesting insights on where GWT has come from and how it is moving forward.

While GWT has it’s roots in a time where JavaScript VMs where slow and incompatible, the current state of the browsers and their JVMs is quite different.

chart

So the main challenge in web development changed, and GWT being used so widely at Google, will move forward as well. While speed is going to improve further (Google is still working very hard on the compiler, improving split point generation, fully integration of the closure compiler and much more), the main magic (from my personal view) is happening in the JS inter-operation.

There are really many powerful JS libraries, and modern web development uses them all. The GWT team is working on seamless integration of JS libraries, from lightweight wrappers (say goodbye to JSNI and overlay types) to zero effort JS interop, where the required Java interfaces get generated auto-magically for the JS libraries you drop into your project. And best of all – those libraries should be used un-minified in development and will be parsed by the GWT compiler and get all the optimizations the GWt complier is great at. This means that you can drop the complete jQuery library into you project, but only the JS you use will find its way into your application.

The next major GWT release is expected to come mid 2014 with full Java 8 support and hopefully a bunch of the new magic demoed today.