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02 July 2012, 16:37

Google Web Toolkit now under a steering committee

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GWT logo Google has released its grip on the development of the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and moved it under the control of a steering committee comprising developers from Google, Sencha, Red Hat, ArcBees, Vaadin, mgwt and other GWT advocates such as Thomas Broyer, Christian Goudreau and Daniel Kurka. First released as open source in 2006 and controlled by Google, GWT will now be under the control of a committee which will set out a direction for future GWT development, approve new committers, review code, administer releases, adjust the GWT development processes and work as master committers on the GWT project.

GWT is a software development kit that allows developers to write in Java, creating widgets and application code which is then compiled into JavaScript to run on a range of browsers. Ray Cromwell, Google tech lead for GWT, will server as chairperson of the committee. "We have to be responsive," said Cromwell at Google I/O, explaining why the change of governance for GWT has taken place. Activity within the steering committee will mostly happen on a mailing list; a number of meetings have already taken place. Changes planned include a switch from Subversion to Git and two official branches (a master development branch and a beta branch).

The last Google-managed release of GWT, 2.5, has just had a release candidate published. GWT 2.5 offers a preview of a new browser-plugin-free "Super Dev Mode" and a new experimental Elemental library for "to the metal" web programming. "Super Dev Mode" should not only speed up testing with faster refreshes and compilation, but also allow the developer to debug the underlying Java source code. Under the hood, there is better integration with Google's Closure compiler, an improved code splitter, a new full ARIA coverage accessibility library and enhanced Binder and Cell widgets. GWT 2.5 should be released in August and the release candidate and other tools are available to download now.


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