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The Google Web Toolkit's AJAX Recipe: Less JavaScript, More Speed : Page 2

The co-creator of the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) explains how his team plans to release a GWT version that compiles faster AJAX code than a JavaScript expert could write by hand.


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The Need for Speed
When asked to differentiate GWT from other freely available AJAX toolkits and frameworks such as Dojo, Prototype, and jQuery, Johnson emphasized Google's commitment to making AJAX faster and smaller (i.e., containing less JavaScript code). The GWT team uses a benchmarking subsystem to measure the performance of its compiled code for any given browser permutation, which enables them to "optimize like crazy." The result is an application like GWT mail sample, which Johnson cited for its speed. And for GWT development occurring outside of Google, he pointed to the process-mapping software Lombardi Blueprint as a showcase of GWT functionality.

The ultimate goal, said Johnson, is for GWT to produce faster and smaller compiled AJAX code than a JavaScript expert could write by hand, which could happen as soon as Q1 of 2008 when version 1.5 is due for release. As to how GWT compares with the other AJAX toolkits, Johnson said he and his team try to make GWT compatible with them all but also jabbed that, "I can use my wrist watch to time [the responsiveness of] some of the widget toolkits out there." He wouldn't name the particular toolkits he was referencing.

When GWT 1.5 arrives, Johnson said it will also offer full language support for Java 1.5 (Generics, etc.). This feature would enhance the current 1.4 version's features, notably AJAX internationalization, which uses message templates to enable developers to compile code for 400 locales from one code base, and browser history support.



Glen Kunene is the Managing Editor for DevX.
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