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Google Web Toolkit Solutions: More Cool & Useful Stuff Paperback – November 17, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0132344814 ISBN-10: 0132344815 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (November 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132344815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132344814
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Geary is the author of eight books on Java technology, including the bestselling Graphic Java 2 Series, Advanced JavaServer Pages, and Core JavaServer Faces (all from Prentice-Hall). David was a member of Sun’s Expert Groups for the JavaServer Pages Standard Template Library (JSTL), and JavaServer Faces (JSF) 1.0. He also was the second Apache Struts committer and the inventor of the Struts Template Library, the precursor to the popular Tiles open-source framework for composing web pages from JSP fragments. David wrote questions for Sun’s Web Developer Certification Exam and is the president of Clarity Training Inc., a training and consulting company focusing on server-side Java technology.

 

Rob Gordon is an independent consultant specializing in the design and implementation of enterprise systems. He is a former Sun developer and author of Essential JNI and coauthor of Essential JMF.

 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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Preface

There are what, six million Java developers? And the majority of those have used a desktop application framework such as Swing. I speak about Google Web Toolkit (GWT) regularly on the No Fluff Just Stuff (nofluffjuststuff.com) tour, at Java Users Groups, and at other conferences, and one of the first things I do is ask how many of the attendees have used either the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT), Swing, or SWT. The response is always about 95 percent.

What do AWT, Swing, and SWT have to do with Google Web Toolkit? In many respects, GWT is Swing for web applications that do not require an enabling technology like Web Start. GWT lets you develop applications that run in a browser using familiar idioms from AWT, Swing, and SWT. After asking attendees if they've used Swing, AWT, or SWT, the next thing I tell them is, "For those of you who raised your hands, intuitively you already know how to use GWT." Of course, they must learn a new framework and API (and for that, they undoubtedly will need a good book), but the point is that instinctively, they already know how to implement Ajax-enabled applications that run in a browser. If you've used AWT, Swing, or SWT, and I tell you that you typically write event handlers by implementing event handler interfaces in anonymous inner classes with GWT, you know exactly what I mean. And if I tell you that GWT provides adapter classes with no-op implementations of those interfaces so you can selectively override only the methods that you are interested in, you should feel like you've finally arrived home after a long and arduous journey coaxing simple Ajax functionality out of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and XMLHttpRequest objects. The fact that GWT is so immediately accessible to so many developers is one of its greatest selling points.

When Rob and I realized what GWT was and what it could do, we were very excited about its potential. In fact, we were so excited that we decided to write this book. I've written seven Java books over the past ten years, and it seems that no matter how many books I write, it's still a great deal of work to write another one, so I don't commit to a book unless I believe the topic has the potential to be the "next big thing." GWT was compelling enough for me to put my money on, and to spend six months of my life to get this book in your hands.

But GWT is not just about building Ajax-enabled web applications. It's about building desktop-like applications that run in a browser. In this book, Rob and I show you how to implement an application that lets you open multiple windows inside your browser, where each window contains a map of an address you supply to the Yahoo! Maps web service. You can drag the windows around inside the browser, resize the windows, and drag the maps around inside their windows. Not only that, but you can zoom in and out of the maps by manipulating a GWT widget that floats above the map inside the window. You can also initiate animated scrolling, very similar to Apple's animated scrolling of contact lists on the iPhone, by quickly dragging a map. When you drag the map for less than half a second, the application initiates animated scrolling of the map in the direction of the drag and at a speed relative to the amount of pixels the drag covered. That sort of functionality is simply not possible in other web application frameworks such as Struts—and yes, even Ruby on Rails—without writing a good deal of JavaScript code and integrating it into the framework.

So, GWT differentiates itself from other web application frameworks by providing support for desktop-like applications that run in a browser. It's a mistake to think of GWT as simply a web application framework with Ajax baked in. GWT, like Flash or Flex, empowers developers to implement all of the rich features you would find in a desktop application.

This book is not an introduction to GWT. If you are not familiar with GWT, we cover some basics in the first solution, but from then on out, we leave the basics behind and dive into the good stuff. We assume that you can get the basics from the web, or from other books that cover such banal ground. We want to show you the cool stuff and teach you how to kick ass with GWT. So turn that page, and let's commence with the asskicking!



More About the Author

A long-time best-selling author with the utmost respect for his readers' time, David's books all have a single purpose: To help you master a technology as quickly and efficiently as possible. He writes books like he writes software by constantly iterating over material and refining examples until they reveal the essence of a particular technique. David also iterates obsessively over his writing until discussions are succinct and crystal clear.

David worked full-time for nearly two years on his most recent book, Core HTML5 Canvas, published in full color with syntax highlighted code throughout by Prentice-Hall in May 2012.

After graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, David spent eight years at Boeing as a software engineer, and for six of those years he taught off-hour courses in C, C++, and Object-Oriented Design.

In 1994 David moved to Colorado to work for Sun Microsystems. After working on a Smalltalk prototype for his first year, he switched to Java, and soon began working on his first book, Graphic Java, which covered Java's Abstract Window Toolkit and turned out to be one of the best-selling Java books of all time.

David left Sun in 1997 and has since made a living writing books, consulting and training, and speaking at conferences. He has written a total of nine books in the past 15 years, several of which were best-sellers in their respective categories, including the best-selling books on both Java component frameworks: Swing and JavaServer Faces.

In 2011, David co-founded the HTML5 Denver Users Group -- http://www.meetup.com/HTML5-Denver-Users-Group -- which has become one of the most popular meetup groups in Denver with over 1,000 members.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Norris on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've tried at length to obtain the source code used in the book. Geary leaves it to the user to acquire the addons that he uses in his examples. Yes I've tried going the Safari route. Without signing up for a "90 day free then we charge you big" trial, you won't have any luck. I also read the previous post where he mentioned that he obtained the code from the website. If you go there now, the code has been pulled so I'm back to being forced to sign up for Safari which I won't do. I did read through the examples and do what I could. Instead of this book, I'd recommend "Google Web Toolkit Applications" by Dewsbury. The examples may not be as advanced as these, but at least you can run them.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Przemyslaw Drochomirecki on January 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You can easily find most of its content on the internet, but you may feel more confident having it somewhere near.
Chapters 8 & 9 (Flex table & File uploads) were very helpful for me. I used that solution in my small project and it worked like a charm.
Anyway, I give 5-stars only for books I consider outstanding. I'd give 4.5 if I could.
My advice: read very carefully what is covered in the book, if you need at least 3-4 solutions (or you believe you might need it in the future) buy it if not try Dewsbury's book.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fresno on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I posted a review (back in January, this updated review is posted in late May 2008) that slammed Prentice Hall for not making the code samples available from anywhere except through a 90 day free trail thru Safari (an online subscription based service).

The editor and one author responded and let me know that the site was incorrectly missing in the book, but that a site (called coolandusefulgwt with the obvious ending.) was available and has all material easily downloadable. I have checked out this site and confirmed that the code is indeed available. It is a very cool site in that it the entire site (or most of it) is a GWT application!

I applaud the editor and authors efforts to inform me and other purchasers of the book... and they also explained that the susbscription based service is not going to be the sole method to get code from Prentice Hall books...which is even better news.

I am giving this book 5 stars as it is a very good book for GWT beginners and intermediate programmers... escpecially those looking for info on custom widgets/controls. The authors did a splendid job of presenting the material in a well layed out manner, The book takes the GWT (sparsely documented by Google) and make it alot more accessible to the programming community.

Now that the source code (and more) are available on the new site, there is no reason why anyone interested in studying GWT would not want this book in their personal library.

In fact, if you are looking to buy this book, and are on the fence, go check out the website and you will get a good idea of what this book will do for you and I think it will help you make an informed decision to buy this great resource.
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