Thursday, June 7th, 2007
A little over a year ago, we published an editorial entitled Google Web Toolkit: The correct level of abstraction? In it, Dion raised some important questions about GWT:
- Where is all of the cool stuff, like effects libraries, etc.?
Now that a year has passed and people have had a chance to experiment and develop with GWT, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit these questions. I interviewed GWT practitioners Dr. Adam Tacy and Robert Hanson, who — aside from working on commercial projects featuring GWT — have just finish their first book on the subject, GWT in Action: Easy Ajax with the Google Web Toolkit. They were kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
Q: Has debugging with GWT been a nightmare akin to the early C++ compilers (or RJS), or has hosted mode solved most of those problems?
Debugging GWT code is as easy as debugging any other Java application. Just open up the Eclipse IDE, and launch the application in debug mode – the key is to really harness the power of the Java IDE and tooling to ease debugging. There may be some quirks here and there, but in general it is a very pleasant experience.
At another level, GWT has a powerful concept called Generators, which effectively auto-generates code for you (GWT itself uses them for its RPC, i18n, and JUnit integration approaches). Generators do get a hook into Log4J style log levels, and when running hosted mode or compiling for web mode you can follow the compiler decisions that led to the generation of code you are using – this leads to an easy way of debugging that, for example, could detect that GWT hasn’t picked up the latest locale you added.
Posted by Dietrich Kappe at 9:03 am