My GWT Experience

What is wrong with the GWT Eco-System?

I recently started a new GWT project. As stated in the previous post, I need a small application to mainly edit data in a database. Since my excursion into the swing world was not so successful, I decided to give GWT a try.

Plain GWT or Library

GWT is not a full featured web aplication framework. It is a web framework with some widgets and utils. The main thing which is missing is a decent form based editor framework.

So the first question is if one should use a library or plain GWT. Libraries are EXT-GWT/GWT-EXT/GXT (they are somehow related, don’t remember the histroy), smartGWT, mosaic, acris and some more.

GWT-EXT is not free for commercial apps and I don’t want to pay for something I am not convinced. Skipped.

SmartGWT (former EXT-GWT) was used in my last project and was just buggy. Additionally I don’t like the internal architecture (it is a gwt based wrapper arount extJs). Skipped.

I tried acris, but it lacks documentation and had problems with newer GWT versions.

I tried mosaic, but the author is currently reworking the whole library (some parts are obsolete with newer gwt versions). Since the old version does not work with the actual GWT 2.4.0 and the new version does not contain the heavily needed FormLayout, I had to skip it. I would really like to use it!!!

Result was that no widget library was usable!

Coming back to plain GWT :-(. Started then to write my own utility classes to get some form based layouts. Layout is not so bright, but that was expected since I am not a designer (nor GUI developer :-).