What is GWT?
What’s new in GWT 2.0?
Yesterday Google released Google Web Toolkit 2.0. GWT 2.0 provides a number of improvements but the most important one is the ability to define your UI using markup instead of code. You could always create good old fashion html with GWT, but if you wanted to use the native UI widgets, you’d have to do all the creational work in code. With 2.0 you are now able to use a feature called uiBinder to build your own native GWT widgets (the equivalent of UserControls) all in markup. The cool part is, you can mix html with your GWT markup if you want to.
The product that GWT allows a developer to create will always only be as good as the browser running it and will be held back by the older browsers that it needs to support. In the near term, in order for the GWT feature set to progress, 2 things have to happen: 1) browsers have to natively start supporting new features (can anyone say HTML5?), and 2) certain features in your GWT app won’t support older browsers. While this is a reasonable way to compete with ASP.NET Webforms, jQuery, and Ruby on Rails, this is not a sustainable path to compete with Flash, Silverlight, or Java FX. Hence…
My opinion on GWT’s long term strategy:
Either GWT will ultimately be positioned as a technology suited for catering to lowest common denominator scenarios or…
Personally, I say unless you need a plugin independent app, why wait? Silverlight, Flash, and Java FX give you today everything that GWT will provide tomorrow.