Google IO 2010 day 2


Plenty more fun on day 2! There was lots of general iPhone and iPad killing with Android 2.2 demos during the keynote, along with the announcement of Google TV. The keynote is up here.

More on GWT from the sessions:

Widgets
There is lots of client-side performance improvement to be had using LayoutPanels, UIBinder, and ClientBundle. Another great workaround, which does have some risk and complexity for “maximum performance”, is innerHtml. The new components in 2.1+ help abstract that out so as consumers we don’t have to dip into innerHtml directly as often to get the benefits. There are also some good organization and code clarity benefits to UIBinder, like declarative views and replacing the monolithic app css file with bite-sized package files where possible.

Testing
This session made me happy because the testing best practices at Google seem to align really well with what my team is already doing. They stressed heavily using MVP to create unit-testable code and then test in a JVM as much as possible, keeping views so simple that there is very little which can break. They also use Selenium/WebDriver for high-level integration tests that walk through the app as a sanity check. There was a little bit of discussion about GWT unit tests (the compiled ones), by for the most part everyone agreed that they are too slow for the value they provide so it’s an intermediary step for special cases where not a whole lot of testing occurs. Most importantly teams should just acknowledge up front that there are multiple scopes of GWT tests and try to use them all correctly. Another good idea out of this was developing UI test harnesses for complex UI views, especially anything browser-specific or with performance constraints, so that it’s possible to write “Selenium unit tests” that bring up just the harness page with the widget and hit them really hard in a tightly controlled scenario rather than in the larger application (even a mock application).

GWT in Production Applications
This was Ray Ryan’s (of the infamous 2009 MVP session) architecture talk this year. The overall theme around MVP was the same, with some focus on broader topics like supporting bookmarkable/crawlable pages. However it was interesting to learn that GWT core is finally going to bring in some version of GWTLog that implements the Java logging API. The main tool used for demoing these was Spring Roo with GWT which in a nutshell is “Grails for GWT” – really cool to run a few commands and auto-generate your whole project, JPA entities, service endpoints, etc. but not something I’ll use on an existing, well-established product. For brand new products or teams just learning GWT it could be cool, and for the community overall certainly lowers the barrier of entry to get a full-stack Java/GWT project running quickly. Finally, in addition to logging there’s some new support in 2.1 for manipulating headers and some SafeHtml utils for using innerHtml in a way that doesn’t introduce security holes.

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