David Chandler's Journal of Java Web and Mobile Development

  • David M. Chandler

    Web app developer since 1994 and Google Cloud Platform Instructor now residing in Colorado. Besides tech, I enjoy landscape photography and share my work at ColoradoPhoto.gallery.

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    July 2012
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The History and Future of Google Web Toolkit

Posted by David Chandler on July 11, 2012

I’ve eagerly anticipated this blog post. There is a lot I have wanted to say about GWT in the past year, and Ray Cromwell says it all in this candid and optimistic Google I/O session.


  • There are over 100k active GWT developers world-wide
  • GWT 2.5 RC1 is now available with many code size improvements and some long-awaited new features (SourceMaps, SuperDevMode, and Elemental)
  • Google is moving from gatekeeper to peer among equals on the newly formed GWT steering committee
  • GWT trunk is now open for commits by external parties (no Googler intervention required)
  • Sencha has released GXT 3, a major refactoring built on true GWT
  • Vaadin will be offering commercial support for GWT
  • Mgwt is awesome (Mobile GWT, works with Phonegap)


  • 12:05 Introducing SourceMaps and SuperDevMode
  • 25:40 Future of GWT
  • 29:45 Michael Mullany, Sencha
  • 39:58 Joonas Lehtinen, Vaadin
  • 49:30 Q&A


I think it’s obvious to everyone that the GWT team at Google has shrunk significantly over the last year; nevertheless, GWT 2.5 demonstrates that GWT is still moving forward at Google as well as in the open source community. I think enterprises will be especially interested in Vaadin’s first-ever commercial support for GWT, and Sencha GXT customers will likewise be glad to see Sencha on the GWT steering committee. As a mature framework, GWT may not attract the attention and resources associated with the Next Big Thing, but at the same time, GWT 2.5 is better than ever for building large-scale rich Web apps and cross-platform mobile apps in the enterprise.

One Response to “The History and Future of Google Web Toolkit”

  1. fxcrypto said

    I am working on a big legacy(?) GWT app. This app among other things interfaces with android as a desk to application. You can’t beat Java for big applications, no other code is as clear and readable, I really like java-script and all the emerging frameworks their exciting, nothing is more tedious and boring than tens of thousands of lines of Java boiler-plate, but it is just that boring predictable nature that makes a huge Java code base readable and maintainable. For me GWT is Java and its strength and future is Java’s strength and future. Having said that I fully expect to be shouted down!

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