Google takes a major step towards assuring GWTs futureWednesday, July 4, 2012
It's really good news for developers using the Google Web Toolkit: the Mountain View giant took steps this week to assure the future of GWT, its popular open-source web-app development tool. While the product has seen a rapid increase in its adoption by developers, and even been credited with a jump in new Java users, there has been uneasiness in the software community about Google's level of commitment to the product. The fact that Google is in the early stages of developing a competing language for web coders, DART, has not made GWT users feel more confidant about the product's future.
But GWT (the language we at Members Only have adopted for all our future web development) is so widely used that it now has a lively aftermarket and numerous large corporate users, all of whom are invested in GWT's continued well-being.
It is these firms that sought, and won, the creation of the new committee that will oversee GWT's development. They include Sencha and Vaadin, the developers of two popular libraries that build on to GWT, as well Linux giant Red Hat and web developers ArcBees. Google will also have a seat on the committee, and Google's current project manager for GWT, Ray Cromwell, will be the initial chair of the group. The steering committee will govern the open-source development of GWT, including determining who can commit code to the project repository, and selecting features for each release. Cromwell pointed out in his announcement that the process is similar to that governing the development of Eclipse, the widely used Java code-editing tool, which was created at IBM but handed over to the Eclipse Foundation.
GWT 2.5, the final release under the old Google-controlled process, is due out in August. Reports at Google I/O are that it produces much smaller code and compiles much faster, both good news for users.