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[GWT Java AJAX Programming] Book Comparison

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There have been a steady stream of GWT books coming out in the last few months and there are a number of others that are almost ready to go to press. Could you explain a little bit about your book and what differentiates it from the others? What is your focus or approach to GWT?

Also, I'm particularly interested in integrating GWT with other Java technologies like the the Java Persistence API and web services. Is this something that your book covers?

Joshua Smith
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The focus of my book is to get users up and running with GWT as quickly as possible. It is an immersion approach or learn by doing things with it, as opposed to the analytical approach - learn how it all works in excruciating detail before you try to use it. I find myself always gravitating towards the immersion approach, and this book reflects that :-)

Here is way things flow in this book:
* Install GWT.
* Create a new GWT sample application so you get a good idea of whats involved in building one from scratch.
* Go through several GWT samples that show you different features in GWT, and so you can grasp some of the things that are possible with the framework.
* Create samples that use JSNI (Javascript native interface) so we can integrate javascript libs like moo.fx into a GWT application.
* Create custom GWT widgets that can be reused in other GWT applications.
* Create samples that show how to use i18n and xml support in GWT.
* Learn how to unit test GWT apps using their extension to Junit.
* Learn how to deploy GWT apps.

I go through the samples fairly quickly and by the end of the book you should have a good grasp of this framework and the complete life cycle of development using it. I dont delve deeply into the internals of GWT or how it all works under the proverbial GWT hood. As far as integration goes, I dont not cover integrating with hibernate. The yahoo weather widget uses Yahoo's weather service to get the info on the backend.

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Hi prabhakar,

First of all congrats for the book...Could you please let us know as to what is GWT and by any chance is it related to web services?. would you mind me elaborating on this?

Wish you good luck!!
Joshua Smith
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Thanks for the overview of your book. That gives me a good idea what to expect in it. I also learn better by immersion. I find that I quickly abandon many analytical books in favor of examples that get my feet wet. Thank you and good luck with your book.


You can find a good description of GWT here.

In summary though, the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a way of writing AJAX-enabled web applications using the Java programming language and then compiling that Java code to JavaScript. While that sounds strange, there are many benefits associated with this approach.

1) You're able to use Java tools during development. Generally these are much more robust than JavaScript development tools.

2) Many of the browser incompatability issues that are common with JavaScript, the Document Object Model (DOM), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and the XmlHttpRequest are solved by the GWT compiler. That means that many browser problems are solved once, encapsulated, and forever preserved in the GWT compiler. This also means that the web application developer doesn't need to be an expert in browser bugs and idiosyncrasies.

GWT also does a lot of framwork piping for you. It handles bookmarking, back buttons and a lot more.

As for web services, it can be used with them just like any other web application framework. Content is often obtained through web services and then used to updatedynamic page content.

Hope that helps,
Joshua Smith
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