Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Vista / OS X Mash-up Created with GWT on PHP

Category: GWT, PHP, Showcase

Here’s an interesting link for a Friday. Viktor Zeman on Quality Unit sent us a link to “PostAffiliateXpress“, some boring IT application with an interesting interface and an even more intriguing back-end.

The UI combines a Vista-like “Start” menu along with an OS X-like dock (using everyone’s favorite fish-eye widget). It also has a built-in widget system that leverages Google Widgets. Overall, it’s a pretty nice implementation of a desktop and windowing in Ajax.

The framework itself is “GwtPHP” which attempts to take all the advantages of GWT and deploy them to PHP backends in an attempt to solve the problem of limited Java-friendly hosting services. Unfortunately, the framework isn’t available for use until sometime in early November.


The developers intend to use the familiar “free for hobbyists, pay up for commercial use” licensing model (what their licensing page calls a “what for what” model).

Give some feedback

Viktor says that they are quite keen to get feedback from folks on the project, so interested folks should get in touch, let them know what you think about the licensing model, and perhaps get early access, etc.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 10:51 am

3.3 rating from 59 votes


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This is actually a pretty cool implementation. I have no clue what it’s use is, but it’s pretty darn neat!

Comment by fredclown — October 3, 2008

Hot dang, a webos..

Comment by Mikael Bergkvist — October 3, 2008

This thing runs like cr@p on both Firefox and IE. Sure, it’s cool- but only if you’re a user with way-above-average patience. Ajaxian should know better. Ajax isn’t exclusively about eye candy- it’s about innovative use of JavaScript to _improve_ the user experience. This is anything but that.

Comment by krancour — October 3, 2008

To krancour: Thx. for your feedback. Also this type of feedback is valuable for us. First in-house version of GwtPHP Framework was finished just in September 2008. Now we plan to test all features and performance in real life.

Post Affiliate Express application is first application, which will show us quality of this framework. We will tune this framework in couple of next weeks to reach maximum performance. This was just first step and we plan to improve this framework with a lot of new ideas (we have long queue of tasks, some of the tasks are connected to performance tuning already).
Our development resources are limited, so all tasks could not be implemented in first release.

One of the reasons why framework can look slow is, that we uploaded it to Mosso servers, because we were afraid, that our current server will be overpowered if thousands of Ajaxian visitors will view it at once. Mosso grid server is fine to distribute huge traffic over more server, but the performance of servers is quite low. Our measurements showed us, that on Mosso server is every application about 30% slower as on normal dedicated server.

Comment by unitminer — October 4, 2008

Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine and Firefox’s Tracemonkey will allow to slowly move desktop applications into browser. Microsoft MUST do something with its IE too.
Of course it is possible to improve performance and we are working on it, also we expect better Java-Javascript optimization in GWT in next versions.

Comment by alfa — October 4, 2008

We know, that without community of good developers this framework will not be able to compete with frameworks like Zend+Dojo.

Are here any skilled developers, which would like to contribute on this framework ? Until now whole framework was done just in Quality Unit, but we have just limited human resources.

But we are thinking about opening of our source code repository to some skilled developers. If there are interested developers, they can contact us at

Comment by unitminer — October 4, 2008

The look of the application is awesome. I like the fact that you can enjoy ready made templates to create a nice looking business application. I’m looking for such a framework but would prefer it to be in Java. Although I have a long programming experience in PHP I still think Java offers much more in terms of robustness, speed, code refactoring and testing. I’d be interested to know if there is an equivalent framework in Java, offering ready made business templates.
I don’t think GWT offers such nice templates.

Comment by stephaneeybert — October 7, 2008

PHP we used for server part because on most of servers offered by hosting companies is just php installed. There are just few hosting companies offering servers with tomcat.

Our framework we developed because we want to use it for our applications, which we sell like bread to thousands of customers. It means, it has to be supported by 99% of all hosting types – PHP fits this requirement.

Client part is written in java and I agree, e.g. refactoring is much easier as in PHP.

Comment by unitminer — October 7, 2008

i was looking for a gwt php framework when i found this page. having some difficulties in viewing the sample because of my slow connection, but was really amazed when finnaly be able to view your sample. looking forward to the publication of GPF.

Comment by kepitingmerah — November 5, 2008

Sample page is not working but pisture seems awesome

Comment by kaberdey — February 2, 2010

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