Ryan Dewsbury is a developer, architect, and consultant who started working in C++ and Java in 1998 and has used GWT since its first release. His recent projects include developing software applications with GWT (most notably gpokr.com and kdice.com). As a consultant, Ryan helps companies develop great online user experiences using cutting-edge software.
I’ve always had an interest in the nontechnical side of software development: the user experience. It started back when I was working on teams building the core of application servers in C++. We admired the beauty of the C++ language and its expressiveness. We made large, complex systems run seamlessly with elegant code. We marveled at our templating techniques, which made the C++ compiler churn out code just like a code generator would. Then I would leave work and was not able to mention a word of it without receiving blank stares in return.
I decided to find time to write a client-side application that would be as elegant to the user as well-written code can be for a developer. I chose to build an instant messenger application, mostly with C++, that combined the four major networks into one interface. At the time, instant messengers were becoming bloated with features—there were too many buttons distracting users from sending a simple text message. The instant messenger application I developed resulted in a much better user experience for instant messaging: instead of users downloading a 10MB application with a five-step installation process, I optimized the messenger to be 200K with a clean interface (much like the Google Talk messenger is today). As a result, it was downloaded over a million times.
While developing interfaces in C++ I was always impressed by the ease of creating a nice-looking interface on a web page. If you compare the code required to set a font in C++ to cascading style sheets, you’ll see what I mean. Then Ajax started to become popular, producing web interface behavior similar to desktop interface behavior. Combine this with the ease of making things look better with CSS, and you have a much better platform for interface development.
After GWT’s initial release, I found that its great abilities weren’t clear to many and that it would take a book with several real examples to illustrate this. I had never written a book before, and to write one on a technology that was not my specialty didn’t seem quite right. But then again, nobody specialized in GWT at this point. I believed enough in the technology to give it a shot. To make up for my lack of experience and before writing any of the chapters, I spent several months exclusively developing GWT applications to explore every part of GWT as well as every part of web technology that GWT could touch. Part II of this book presents five of these applications.
This book is about writing nontrivial Ajax applications to create great user experiences using web technologies and Java development tools, with GWT bridging the two. The book focuses primarily on the Google Web Toolkit, with an in-depth look at its library and tools. As a secondary focus, it covers software development techniques and patterns using Java, and how to apply Ajax application development with GWT. A terciary focus is on web technologies, including web standards and other Ajax libraries and APIs.
I’m a developer who wrote this book for other developers. Software developers who need to create user-facing applications should read this book. Most of the code in the book is based on Java, but care is taken so that the book is accessible to a beginner with the language. If you don’t know Java, you should familiarize yourself with the language before starting this book. Sun has great tutorials to get you started: http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/java/index.html.
This book has two parts. Part I gives you an in-depth introduction to using the Google Web Toolkit. You can use it as a reference for the GWT library or as a guide to using effective development techniques with GWT. Part II provides a thorough look at five nontrivial applications built with GWT. In this part you’ll find development patterns, techniques, and subtleties used through application design and development. Each application in this part is designed to be a balance of GWT library usage, web service and technology interoperation, application design and architecture, and user interface design. As you read through these chapters, you can follow along and construct the applications on your machine. The chapters include most of the code, but you’ll need to refer to the source code at www.gwtapps.com in certain instances that are identified.
The web site for this book is located at www.gwtapps.com. It contains the source code and live demos for the sample applications, a forum for questions and error reports, and other useful reference material.
As a total newbie with regards to GWT, this book covers all of the bases.
As I'm new to web development in general, I had to look outside this book to answer questions... Read more
I bought this book 4 years ago because I was interested in developing thick client browser UI. I like the event model in Smalltalk and Java, and never has a chance to learn Java... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mom
The book is generally OK, but the "Free Online Edition with purchase of this book" is deceptive. In reality it is just a "free trial" and should say that on the back cover instead... Read morePublished on January 13, 2011 by Greenkiwi
If you feel uncomfortable to read through the Google site about GWT, get this book. If you want some tiny tips with GWT, get this book. Read morePublished on December 6, 2010 by raycheung
This book is a very good resource for a GWT developer. It covers the basics well and goes on to develop usable real world examples. Read morePublished on August 24, 2010 by mcfar
This is one of the better books I have read to learn about a new IT technology. This would still be true, even if the other books did not set the bar so low. Read morePublished on October 24, 2009 by J. B. Smathers
This book didn't have anything spectacular that couldn't be found through a quick search for gwt on the internet. Online samples are easier to follow than the book's examples.Published on March 13, 2009 by Jon T. Anderson
What makes this book great is that it sets the tone for beginners and makes it easy to step to the next levels. Read morePublished on September 28, 2008 by N. Decapia
The source code examples on the book are incompatable with GWT version 1.5 because of the use of the GWT gears project in the examples. Read morePublished on August 26, 2008 by Franklin