Monday, February 7, 2011

More on GWT

I've been using GWT for over a month now at work. It really saves time when it comes to creating AJAX applications because it handles so much for you. For example, it can handle page transition and history very gracefully for you. It also has support for things like RPC and using JSON data.

However, if you are building an application that needs to be heavily styled, GWT might not be your best choice. First, the selection of GWT widgets are quite limited. Last time I checked, they only had 20ish standard widgets. Although there seem to be plenty of 3rd party widgets, I am unimpressed with their general quality and documentation. To make things worse, styling GWT widgets is a more complicated because not everything gets translated to native HTML tags. Some of the widgets are implemented as nested divs, and this certainly seems to make styling much harder. In general, the HTML output of GWT code is less clean than hand-coded HTML. At work, I had to take the style sheets made by the designer and try to apply them to the GWT-generated HTML and it was sort of a pain. I think part of the problem is that I'm not a web designer by any means. I had to basically (re)learn HTML and CSS. :/

In other news, course enrollment is tomorrow. I am currently pre-enrolled in CS 452: Real-time, but I don't know if I want to do it or not. The course load is ridiculous, but you learn a lot. If I do choose to take it, I would be able to take 4 courses that term thanks to Arts 304 this semester. Unfortunately, next semester in the only time I can take it for the rest of my academic career. :/


  1. TRAIIIIIINS.... TRAIIIIIINSS!!!! You'll become an RT Zombie soon enough. It's worth it.

  2. I empathise with the nested divs and uglyish generated HTML after working with Google Maps! However, Google Maps has pretty good documentation, so that was usually very helpful.