On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 10:43:57 PM UTC+1, sannysan...@gmail.com
> Hello, GWT people.
> GWT got its popularity because it allowed DevMode in the browser (run java
> in VM in browser, manipulate DOM, use your IDE!). In fact, the GWT project
> appeared as clever hack on hack on hack to stretch limits of possible, to
> be ahead of its time, and that was cool. Nobody did that before. Now GWT
> turns into much like... i don't know, more like typescript compiler. No,
> really, with announcements like those "Let’s examine
> the parts of GWT doomed to extinction: generators, Widgets, GWT-RPC,
> UiBinder …" it's just another typescript. Typescript also looks like
> Java! Its transpiler is and will always be faster than GWT. There's no
> reason for GWT to be anymore.
You're right, GWT turns more and more into a TypeScript/Dart-like, with one
major difference: the input is Java.
This means it can run in a JVM, i.e. be shared with your server-side code
and/or your Android native app, and possibly transpiled to ObjectiveC for
use on iOS (which is exactly what Google does: sharing 70% of code between
all versions of Inbox, sharing Google Sheets formulas' parsing –and
execution?– between client and server –and Android?–, etc.)
With Dart or TypeScript you need to bring a DartVM or JS Engine to run the
And that's without talking about the tooling you get with Java too, that
has to be rebuilt for all those newer languages (linting, refactoring, code
generation by analyzing the AST –annotation processing– etc.)
> And there's no GWT events, reddit comments on its announcement are like
> "oh, it's still alive?".
> So while GWT is essentially already dead for me with removal of DevMode (I
> understand this removal happens because of browsers architectural changes,
> not because the idea failed), I still think about various workarounds.
> I remember, in GWT 1.0 special mozilla-based internal browser was shipped
> with GWT. It was long before GWT DevMode plugins for all browsers. And
> nobody thought it's bad option, although it didn't support SVG which was
> already in firefox, canvas, etc. It was the way to go. IT WAS the cool part.
> With removal of NPAPI and devmode plugins, maybe it would be feasible to
> take chromium, maintain one (1) patchset that allows it to run alongside
> with JVM (maybe even same process!) on all platforms, allowing DevMode via
> direct calls, and distribute it on manner they do it with dartium?
> You ask "what about other browsers"? You don't need other browsers. Citing
> same source: "modern browsers are now more standard and compatible
> <http://blog.lteconsulting.fr/gwt/2016/2016/04/10/gwt-2016-en.html>, and
> we no longer need to have the homogenization layer that GWT gives", and
> this is in fact true. For other browsers, use SuperDevMode, it's useful
> enough to catch browser-related issues. But main program logic should be
> allowed to be developed (and debugged!) in Java. Because GWT is... Java.
> By introducing more strong ties and even sharing process with JVM it would
> be possible to speed up roundtrips java<->browser due to absence of TCP
> connection and serialization, so it will be even noticeably faster than
> finally won?</rant>
It makes total sense, but as Jens said, it's unlikely to happen unless
people organize and make it happen (FWIW, JavaFX, if it ships with a
recent/decent-enough version of WebKit, is probably the way to go here).
There are hitches though: Google no longer maintains the DevMode code and
JsInterop doesn't work there; they actually already deleted that code
internally and have been pushing for more than a year now to delete it from
GWT proper too. This means that for DevMode to be "resurrected", someone
would have to step up and actively maintain the DevMode code
(CompilingClassLoader, with its special logic for super-source and JSNI)
and enhance it so it supports JsInterop. So it's not just a
(note that in GWT 2.8, GWTTestCases now run in "prod" mode by default, that
was one step towards deleting DevMode entirely from the codebase)
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