Google Takes AJAX Debugger Out of Beta

    August 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Google has long maintained that AJAX is the future (and the now) of the Web, and even refers to the click-and-wait method as "the yesterweb." But for developers, AJAX is a pain, especially when debugging for browser quirks. Those struggling, then, may be happy to know that the Google Web Toolkit is now out of beta with version 1.4.

And it’s true, the Web has evolved well beyond basic HTML and is full-on Web 2.0, where sites like Facebook allow developers to develop applications, mashups, and gadgets for its users.

The roadblocks are the various browsers out there and creating an application that works on all of them is not just difficult but time consuming. So it’s rather nice of Google to offer up an open source solution like GWT that aims to speed up the debugging process.

Once the front-end Java programming language is written, the GWT compiler converts Java classes to browser-compliant JavaScript and HTML.

Bruce Johnson and Dan Peterson of the Google Web Toolkit Team write:

In addition to making debugging far easier, GWT’s unique compilation-based approach to AJAX has the nice property that it rewards developers for good software engineering practices. Java source code that is clear and organized can be easily optimized by the GWT compiler, which is a nice antidote to the frequent hack-and-slash approach that’s all too common in JavaScript development. As your application grows, the GWT compiler begins to pay off in even bigger ways.

Unused code is automatically removed so that scripts are smaller and pages load faster. Complex code can be automatically coalesced and simplified. Most importantly, because the Java language is statically typed, many common errors can be caught during development rather than production.

Google’s Web Toolkit Version 1.4 for Windows can be downloaded at the company’s code website, and is licesensed under the Apache 2.0 open source license.