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09 December 2009, 11:35

Google Web Toolkit 2.0 released with an eye on performance

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Google have updated the Google Web Toolkit, the Java centric system for creating Ajax web applications. Use of GWT for Google internal projects is on the increase and that, in part, explains why the focus of version 2.0 of GWT is performance. One element of the update, Speed Tracer, is a Chrome extension for analysing performance problems with applications. To help improve performance, developers can now select the non-essential elements of an Ajax application and have those downloaded on an as-needed basis, leading to faster application start up.

To improve the development work flow, a new component, UIBinder allows designers to create declarative user interfaces in XML and give that file to developers. The developer can then get their application to load the XML file at runtime and display the user interface. This, Google hopes, will make it faster for web designers to create mock-ups and for developers to turn them into functioning applications.

Another developer oriented enhancement in GWT2.0 is the increased flexibility in development mode, losing the "hosted browser" mode of previous versions and working with Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome directly. Other changes include new JavaScript compiler optimisations, layout panels, generalised resource bundling and a switch to HtmlUnit for testing. The release notes go into more detail on the changes in the Apache 2.0 licensed framework and the framework can be downloaded from the project's site.


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