For an experience core Java programmer with no AJAX and very little Javascript experience, the GWT is attractive. But, what will I be missing if I just use GWT?

  • Knowledge of how to fix problems if the abstraction leaks. Oh and being lean. GWT is bloated. – Raynos Aug 26 '11 at 5:21
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    @Raynos, Why didn't you make that an answer instead of a comment? – Tom Jones Aug 26 '11 at 7:15
  • because answering questions is effort. One line comments stating the heart of the issue is easy. – Raynos Aug 26 '11 at 7:28
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    @Raynos, what effort? – Tom Jones Aug 26 '11 at 7:48

GWT creates a powerful abstraction: the illusion that even though you are technically running javascript and ajax, you appear to be coding a local desktop application in plain old Java.

The abstraction frequently leaks, though - ajax calls are not in fact the same as local function calls, there is a network involved with finite bandwidth, latency, network errors, and security issues. GWT does a great job abstracting them away, but as with any abstraction, you need to know what happens underneath to use it efficiently.

You're also missing out on things that could be simple and easy with plain ajax (possibly aided by something like jquery), but are incredibly hard in GWT because they don't fit GWT's model. If you're writing something that's supposed to look and behave like a desktop application, GWT is a good choice, but many things on the web don't lend themselves to this approach.

  • Since I really don't like working with Hibernate (another abstracting framework) I suspect that I may prefer to use JS directly. Thx. – Tom Jones Aug 27 '11 at 0:44

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