The Future of GWT

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a popular framework for building Java-based AJAX applications. GWT was realeased in May 2006 and I’ve personally used GWT since 2009 with much success.

However, there has been some concern over GWT’s future. In Oct 2011, Google announced the Dart language and toolset. At first blush, Dart is very similar to GWT. It allows a developer to create AJAX based web apps using an OO programming language. The main difference between GWT and Dart is that Dart has it’s own OO programming, whereas GWT makes use of the Java programming language. Other than that, there is a lot of overlap in functionality between the technologies. This overlap makes you wonder if Dart is a replacement for GWT. According to the folks at Google, GWT is still available and will be maintained but the new focus is on Dart. The future of GWT does not depend on Google’s support since there is already a thriving GWT community. A GWT steering committee has been formed that is composed of key community participants.

The GWT steering committee recently published a report: Future of GWT 2012. The report is based on a survey of 1300 GWT developers worldwide.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • 46% of survey respondents have enterprise apps that contain 20+ UI screens
  • 98% of the apps are targeted at web users
  • 36% of the apps are targeted for tablets
  • 26% of the apps are targeted to mobile phones

You can download the report here.

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