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December 12, 2006

Google Web Toolkit is Open Source

Google Web Toolkit, a development framework that lets you develop AJAX applications, is now open source (Apache 2 license). "GWT's mission is to radically improve the web experience for users by enabling developers to use existing Java tools to build no-compromise AJAX for any modern browser."

GWT's advantages are well enumerated in a Slashdot comment:
* You get to write your logic in a language other than Javascript --- that is, one with type safety, compile time checking, sane syntax, and a reasonably consistent implementation.

* You get to use the same form verification logic on the client and on the server, which means you don't have to implement it twice, which makes it much harder to get it wrong.

* You completely avoid the horrific browser inconsistencies.

* You get a real debugger.

* For most tasks, the pain of connecting your front end to your back end is done for you.

Google also uses the framework internally, for services like Google Base, Image Labeler and more. Google says GWT is much more successful than they expected to be, and that's one of the reasons why Google decided to open source it.

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