Future of GWT survey

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Joonas Lehtinen

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Sep 19, 2012, 9:23:23 AM9/19/12
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What is your opinion on the future of GWT?
How should GWT develop?
What technologies should it better support?
...

We all would like to get answers to these questions, right? To do so, we created survey with help of Ray Cromwell, Artur Signell, Mike Brock, David Chandler, Daniel Kurka and Bhaskar Janakiraman.

If you want to help finding the best direction for GWT, please fill the survey at: http://bit.ly/GWT2012
(it will take just 10 minutes)

When the results are collected, the will share the information with you.

- Joonas @ Vaadin

Paul Robinson

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Sep 19, 2012, 10:10:57 AM9/19/12
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One question missing from the survey that would have been interesting is the number of people using Maven with GWT.
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Dave Laycock

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Sep 19, 2012, 11:50:05 AM9/19/12
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I wish I could change my responses. I forgot about the single biggest improvement I would like to see on the long term roadmap: support for Java 8 language features

Chris Lercher

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Sep 19, 2012, 1:06:07 PM9/19/12
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Please excuse me for this negative feedback, but in my opinion, the survey is rather suggestive in that it presupposes that GWT should develop into something that better supports other technologies. It asks a series of questions that point in this direction (and it offers some free text questions about new features/extensions etc.), but it forgets to ask, which things should NOT change.

I would have liked to answer, that it should not lose its "core library" character. It doesn't come with bells and whistles, but its enormous flexibility - imposing zero restrictions on what you can do in web development - is essential (like with any successful language).

Focus on reducing compile times even more, fixing all bugs, making it more extendable (e.g. by removing some unnecessary private modifiers, removing static state, ...), improving support of Java core libraries (and things that are close, like Guava, Joda, ...), improving some basic widgets - but don't impose the specialized concepts of Vaadin, GXT, ... (which absolutely do have their place, in their own frameworks!) on GWT itself. That's actually the only worry I currently have about GWT's future (Note: I believe it will turn out well).

Mauro

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Sep 19, 2012, 2:11:13 PM9/19/12
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Please excuse me for this stupid question, but the survey was made in aspx, not in GWT.... It means something?

Joonas Lehtinen

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Sep 19, 2012, 2:17:58 PM9/19/12
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Yes it does - we wanted to be practical by not choosing survey tool based on the technology used to implement it :)

Joonas Lehtinen

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Sep 19, 2012, 3:49:55 PM9/19/12
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Sorry - the intention was to keep the survey as neutral as possible. We definitely did not want to suggest anything with the questions.

I fully agree with your point of keeping GWT a lean focused low core framework with no limitations. Other libraries that build on top of that (like Vaadin and GXT) can take care of adding more features on top of it. But maybe I am biased here being a Vaadin guy. We have been able to build on top of great work of the GWT team for years. Now when we have taken the next step by including whole of GWT in Vaadin and supporting client-side development side by side with server-side development it is even more important for us to keep the focus in the development of the GWT as the technical backbone.

Daniel Kurka

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Sep 19, 2012, 5:00:50 PM9/19/12
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Hi Chris,

I absolutely get your feedback and (at least to me) its a given that we will keep GWT as open and lean as possible. It should not get in your way or impose a special way of developing. It should be a great platform to build on.
Thank you for placing your feedback here, I don`t think that we can get this in at this point, but I will definitely keep it in mind.

-Daniel

2012/9/19 Chris Lercher <cl_for_...@gmx.net>
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Andrei

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Sep 19, 2012, 7:51:53 PM9/19/12
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I hope we can also avoid the other extreme: GWT hijacked by developers of commercial libraries, trying to keep GWT as basic as possible, so that their libraries look even more attractive in comparison. I exaggerate to make a point, I know they are good people :)  

I would love to see a unified marketplace for GWT widgets and extensions, both open-source and commercial, with demos, reviews and ratings. Currently there are a lot of projects that offer useful additions to "core" GWT, but it's hard to see how many people are using each one, and what is their experience. I guess many developers spend a lot of time searching the web and this forum for a TimePicker widget, an improved DatePicker, a good RichTextToolbar, a time zones solution, a grid with spreadsheet-style functionality, a grid with expandable rows, etc. etc.   A single marketplace can really make GWT more attractive, in my opinion, especially to developers who are new to the platform.

Oleg K.

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Sep 20, 2012, 9:58:58 AM9/20/12
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I've post my answers to survey. Here what was not included.

1) I use maven (with gwt-maven-plugin which is very-very good). With that plugin I think meny maven users are happy. The only real problem is that it cant' autoreload dependencies so GWT Dev Mode console should always be restarted when I change the code in the library.

2) I don't think that "Swiss Army knife" is what is really needed. Just make some central repository where gwt extensions and libraries can leave with real usage reports, user comments etc. Now I do not have any way to compare or even know about good gwt library. A site like http://jsfmatrix.net/ could help.

3) I think that GWT is not as modular as it could be. For example, it has widgets that works only in quirks mode or only in standards mode. But thay all are included in one jar file and all can be used in project.

4) There are many good JS libraries. The only way now to include them is wrapping existing JavaScript calls to that library and that's it. Neither optimizations and code reducing can be used nor packaging of that js code into "one_big_html_which_include_all".

5) Current JSON library included into GWT can not be used without tonns of useless code. Custom classes that extends JavaScriptObject helps a bit but that is not enougth.

This points are not supposed to say "GWT is bad". I think that GWT v2.5 is really great. I use it for my current projects and I think that its principles are the best choise for web.

Oleg K.

Ryan Shillington

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Sep 20, 2012, 10:53:10 AM9/20/12
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Crap.  I also forgot about that.  I want to go back.  

Clint Gilbert

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Sep 20, 2012, 2:17:00 PM9/20/12
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We are at my organization. We don't love Maven, but it fits with our
infrastructure here, and we prefer the declarative style to a
scripting-oriented one.
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Clint Gilbert

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Sep 20, 2012, 2:22:26 PM9/20/12
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I would /love/ to be able to use a language other than Java - in
particular, Scala - for GWT development. On my project, we use Scala
for all our other JVM work, and it's been a massive boilerplate
killer, plus easily graspable by curious-but-merely-mortal developers
like me.

The folks here: http://scalagwt.github.com/ have a working prototype,
but the last I heard, they needed to submit a patch upstream to GWT.
(Or maybe their patch needed to be accepted, I don't know.)

I like GWT quite a lot, and would not make a dynamic web UI without
it, but the biggest drag is having to go back to Java.
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RonS

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Sep 20, 2012, 9:54:55 PM9/20/12
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Sounds like you're set with Scala, but another advanced JVM language option is XTend (http://www.eclipse.org/xtend/).

They recently added GWT support:
> google-web-toolkit+unsub...@googlegroups.com. For more options,

Clint Gilbert

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Sep 21, 2012, 2:17:30 PM9/21/12
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Cool, thanks for the pointer. I knew about Xtend, but didn't put see
the implications of its compiling to Java for GWT development.

I'm quite happy with Scala in general, but something statically-typed
and less verbose than Java would be very welcome for GWT work.
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July

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Sep 28, 2012, 4:14:38 AM9/28/12
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Totally agreed with this thread.

João Cavaleiro

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Sep 28, 2012, 9:59:33 AM9/28/12
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I totally agree with Andrei. It is an excellent idea.This will increase developers overall productivity. This is a must. I can offer myself to help building that kind of "marketplace".

Thomas Broyer

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Sep 28, 2012, 10:13:13 AM9/28/12
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On Friday, September 28, 2012 3:59:33 PM UTC+2, João Cavaleiro wrote:
I totally agree with Andrei. It is an excellent idea.This will increase developers overall productivity. This is a must. I can offer myself to help building that kind of "marketplace".


You mean, something like http://gwtgallery.appspot.com/ ? (linked under "Community → App Gallery" on https://developers.google.com/web-toolkit/ ) 
or the various others that people from the community built? such as http://gwtreferencelist.appspot.com/ or http://gwtmarketplace.appspot.com/ (note: I found them by searching this group's archives)

João Cavaleiro

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Sep 28, 2012, 10:48:34 AM9/28/12
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Hum, didn't know about them. Something like Google Play should be very much appreciated.

Alain Ekambi

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Sep 28, 2012, 10:55:56 AM9/28/12
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@Thomas,
Those projects seem to be dead also.

2012/9/28 João Cavaleiro <jmscav...@gmail.com>
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Thomas Broyer

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Sep 28, 2012, 12:31:24 PM9/28/12
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On Friday, September 28, 2012 4:56:21 PM UTC+2, nino wrote:
@Thomas,
Those projects seem to be dead also.

Absolutely.
Which means that I don't think yet another one would succeed where the others failed, *even* on that's "official" and linked from GWT's web site.

Andy Stevko

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Sep 28, 2012, 12:48:14 PM9/28/12
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Am I reading too much into the fact that the GWT survey ends on the Vaadin.com/gwt page?
With Google pushing GWT into the wild, is https://developers.google.com/web-toolkit/ still the most central place for GWT development?



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t.dave

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Oct 26, 2012, 3:20:16 PM10/26/12
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have the results of this survey been posted anywhere?  if not, any ETA on when they might be?

much thanks!

Leung

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Oct 26, 2012, 4:12:37 PM10/26/12
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Hi
 
I am trying to remove all the widgets from a HorizontalPanel. Why the first code segment always have one widget left?
Why I have to remove widgets by iterator like code segment 2?
 
1>
Iterator<Widget> it=this.iterator();
while(it.hasNext())
{
Widget widget=it.next();
this.remove(widget);
}
  
2>
Iterator<Widget> it=this.iterator();
while(it.hasNext())
{
it.next();
it.remove();
}
 
 
 
 Thanks

Sebastián Gurin

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Oct 29, 2012, 5:21:04 AM10/29/12
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Done!, hey ! you don't have Uruguay in you country select box :(

Martin Trummer

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Nov 16, 2012, 9:08:47 AM11/16/12
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where can we see the results?

Joonas Lehtinen

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Nov 30, 2012, 7:30:49 AM11/30/12
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It has takes a bit of time to compile the report. Sorry. The survey results will be published on Dec 4th on vaadin.com/blog

darkflame

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Dec 2, 2012, 8:13:17 AM12/2/12
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Id be interested too.

GWT is so interesting, as a small team it has let us do so much so
much easier.
Its hard to say where to draw the line in regards to features and what
is "core"

Id like too see WebGL support at some point - possibly via a canvas-
esq widget. But how to do this in a lightweight yet expendable way I
have no idea.

Joonas Lehtinen

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Dec 2, 2012, 12:57:24 PM12/2/12
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Results will be published on Tue. Sorry for it taking this long.
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Joonas Lehtinen

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Dec 4, 2012, 6:15:13 AM12/4/12
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The Future of GWT study is now available at https://vaadin.com/gwt/report-2012

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