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here\'s the link: http://www.gwtproject.org/?csw=1

Well I\'ve been developing using PHP, Javascript and MySQL. My uncle (Java Developer) referred me to Google Web Toolkit to check out what it\'s about. I soon found out that it\'s for Java developers who seem to have \"lack of developing in Javascript AJAX\" to build web applications.

GWT has this compiler that converts Java code to Javascript and HTML. I was surprised to see that it only does that. I\'m currently learning the Java language but since I already know Javascript, HTML and with Ajax, why not just skip the whole GWT thing and just go right into it instead of coding it in Java.

So my question is, should I learn Java and code there or should I just go right into Javascript and HTML (which I know a lot about) and start developing web applications there?

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Sicne you are already into a sever side language - PHP.. it would not be wise to learn java first..and anyway, there would be times when you actually have to handle the ajax code no matter what tool you are using.. be it GWT or anything.. so, its better to learn javascript and ajax..and start creating your own miracles.. without the use of any tool..so, man.. juz do it.. (Nike.. please dont sue me for using it).. hehe..

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I used GWT one year ago. At that time, I knew very few about client-side programming in Javascript, CSS, HTML, etc, but was quite experienced in Java. This is mainly what triggered my decision to go for it (beyond mere curiosity).

I thought the concept very interesting. The main good points I see are :

- you do not need to know client-side programming at all to have quickly a working program

- the client-server interaction is made really easy : you just call Java methods in Java ! Then the compiler will compile these client-side method calls into Javascript that will marshall data, send it over the wire with an XHR, unmarshall it into Java, call the right object at the right place, and marshall it back, all with handling exceptions... Now that I program in AJAX, I can tell you this is something I regret...

- the generated Javascript is highly efficient, and handles browser compatibility issues. Just to know, Google Docs & Spreadsheet application, using the same compiler, has its whole client-side in 6kB of HTML, 6kB of CSS and 100 kB of Javascript (plus +100kB of images) ! What's more, it is terribly obfuscated, which is good if you are not developing open-source apps


Now, the main drawbacks I saw :

- quite tedious to debug, because of obfuscation. You can only debug in GWT's browser emulator, and of course there are some bugs which occur in Firefox but not in this emulator, and then you are a bit stuck...

- hard to do things not already part of the GWT framework. If you want a tree view to have some custom behaviour, well you can't (actually you can, but it is a huge amount of work compared with doing that in a standard Javascript library)

- it is compatible with nothing else. If you started your app using GWT, you are bound to it till you rewrite completely your application.

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