GWT 2.0

Google has released GWT 2.0. Some of the new features and improvements look exciting, in particular, Development Mode, Draft Compile, and Layout Panels.

Development Mode is the new “Hosted Mode”. What’s exciting is that it allows one to use a standard web browser during development and debugging. It used to be a real pain in the ass to debug javascript and UI problems because Hosted Mode only hooks you into the Java code running on the server. The custom browser was based on the IE engine with absolutely no tool support.

Draft Compile will use the GWT compiler’s new -draftCompile flag, which speeds up compiles by skipping optimizations.

Layout Panels create a predictable constraint-based layout system on top of standard CSS. Because it works with CSS, rather than in spite of it, layout panels continue to work predictably in the presence of custom CSS styles that you might need to include. And because CSS-based layout is handled natively inside the browser’s rendering engine, no JavaScript needs to run during layout. As a result, layout is fast and fluid — you can especially notice the speed when resizing the browser window.

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