GWT 2.0 rocks

GWT 2.0 was just released ushering in some much-awaited changes like development mode in a real browser, code splitting, declarative UI, resource bundles, and HtmlUnit-based testing. My team just upgraded from 1.7.1 and the process couldn’t have been easier.

Unlike the massive type and project config changes in 1.6 there is very little that requires tweaking for 2.0. We simply swapped in the new gwt-user, gwt-servlet, and gwt-dev jars (just a config change since we finally use ivy), tweaked our Eclipse run configurations to add some new parameters for dev mode, and were off in running in IE 8, Firefox, and Chrome. Dev mode is a relief and way faster than the old IE-6-based hosted mode (best experienced in Chrome or Firefox but still an improvement in IE 8), and Speed Tracer provides an easy way to figure out what’s going on in the UI similar to Firebug Net mode. It’s also convenient to have everything the compiler needs on any OS wrapped into the single gwt-dev jar now, so no more gwt-dev-${os}.jar parameters in our build across different environments. We haven’t had a chance to play with the declarative UI but I can’t wait to see what it’s capable of.

But all the great new features aside, the most surprising aspect of the upgrade was that our entire codebase was already 100% compatible. Not only did this make “upgrading” the project a non-event, but the project can now go forward building on both GWT 2.0 and GWT 1.7. This includes not only our massive amounts of homegrown GWT code but also GWT incubator, GWT math, GXT, and a handful of other libraries we’re using. This is extremely powerful for us because we also export a client source jar with a limited set of widgets used by other projects, and they’re now free to upgrade GWT at their leisure. Even better, a GWT 1.7-compiled client can perform RPC calls seamlessly with a GWT 2.0 server using the existing 1.7 serialization policies, so all sorts of combinations of legacy clients hitting our latest and greatest server are possible. Long-term I’m sure everyone will want to be on 2.0 but it sure makes getting there easier!

Hats of to the team at Google for all their hard work and such a solid delivery.

  1. #1 by  Melatonin on August 16, 2010 - 7:30 am

    IE8 has some bugs too although it is more stable than IE7 and IE6,:,

  2. #2 by rakesh on September 18, 2010 - 7:39 am

    i want to upgrade my gwt project from 1.5 to can i upgrade this?can anyone help me?


  3. #3 by Laundry Sorter on October 19, 2010 - 7:22 am

    the best thing about IE8 is that it is quite stable than previous releases of Internet Explorer*;`

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