Welcome!

Python Authors: Pat Romanski, Matt Davis, AppDynamics Blog, Donald Meyer, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Python, Machine Learning

Python: Article

Google Web Toolkit: Finally Java Has Been Put into JavaScript!

GWT has given the Enterprise market the confidence and creditability to start harnessing the browser

For many years, Java and web developers alike have had to explain to the unwitting that JavaScript had absolutely nothing to do with Java. It was one of the great marketing gaffes of the mid-90s. They were no more alike than chalk and cheese. But in the last six months, I've had to lay down my placard and walk away from the picket line with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Finally Java has been put into JavaScript.

I have a great respect for Mother Nature. No matter what you throw at her, she has a wonderful way of always balancing the books and our world's favourite accountant is at it again.

For many years, Java and web developers alike have had to explain to the unwitting that JavaScript had absolutely nothing to do with Java. It was one of the great marketing gaffes of the mid-90s. They were no more alike than chalk and cheese.

For years I fought this fight, standing at the frontline with placards denouncing any JavaScript wannabe as a charlatan demanding they find their own name. We had Java first and goddamn it we weren't going to have it plastered just any-old-where (that said, let us skip neatly past the fact that Sun has tried to apply Java to absolutely everything from Linux distributions that didn't have Java to their now infamous JAVA stock symbol).

But in the last six months, I have had to lay down my placard and walk away from the picket line with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Finally Java has been put into JavaScript. Now when we say those words 'Java'-Script, we can actually say the Java part with true conviction.

Of course I am talking about Google's GWT framework, which is now about to enter its 1.5 release. My hat is truly off to Google for taking this rather bold approach and providing a world class framework within which to code scalable and manageable JavaScript applications, without actually having to use JavaScript! Genius!

Naturally it would be easy for me to churn through some words here and detail all the great features of GWT. But I won't. The real power that GWT has brought to the world of RIA is opening up the door to a whole legion of Java developers that wouldn't historically dare touch JavaScript due to its complete lack of structure, object orientation and type checking.

In many respects the world of Java has a lot to teach the JavaScript community. We've faced (and solved) the same problems that JavaScript is facing. For example, Java's cross-platform issues are JavaScript's cross-browser issues. The problems of rendering JavaScript within IE and Firefox is not dissimilar to Java's issues with, say, Windows and Linux. We solved the problem by developing abstractions, and worrying about the fine detail at a later stage.

This is how GWT operates. Peek inside their JAR file and you'll discover a whole host of different class implementations depending on the browser runtime the JavaScript will be running. No more do we have to worry about Safari vs Firefox vs IE, we just get on with the business of developing our solutions and leave the logistics to GWT.

But GWT is more than just a framework - it's John Wayne's, Rooster Cogburn US Marshall, riding the Wild West trying to bring a modicum of law and order to a structureless land. GWT has given the Enterprise market the confidence and creditability to start harnessing the browser as a proper alternative user interface.

There is a subtle irony in all of this. The Java community wants to get back into the browser space again and eat at Flash and Silverlight by introducing JavaFX. It wants Java developers to get back to developing browser apps. But has Google's GWT maybe made JavaFX somewhat redundant? JavaScript once more bites Java in the bum.

Back to the placards I go!

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

Comments (5)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...