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GWT and Dart

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GWT’s Bruce Johnson writes about GWT’s future, in light of the recent introduction of Dart.


We view Dart as an ambitious evolution of GWT’s mission to make web apps better for end users ... we anticipate working closely with the GWT developer community to explore Dart.
Key projects within Google rely on GWT every day, and we plan to continue improving (and open-sourcing) GWT based on their real-world needs.
I read three statements:
  1. Dart is better than GWT (or will be, eventually)
  2. Dart will be explored as a replacement for GWT
  3. GWT will continue to be improved
Dart seems like the logical successor to GWT: An improved version of Java that runs on its own virtual machine, but can also be compiled to JavaScript. However, with much legacy GWT code around, Google cannot simply abandon GWT. What I would like to see is a clear message: Is Dart a GWT replacement or not?


From http://www.2ality.com/2011/11/gwt-and-dart.html

Published at DZone with permission of Axel Rauschmayer, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Stephen Lindsey replied on Tue, 2011/11/15 - 6:47am

They didn't say "Dart is the evolution of GWT" they said "Dart as an ambitious evolution of GWT’s mission to make web apps better " this is not the same.

You totally misunderstand Dart, GWT or maybe both.


Axel Rauschmayer replied on Tue, 2011/11/15 - 10:28am in response to: Stephen Lindsey

@Stephen Lindsey: I’ve edited the post to reflect the different reading of “ambitious evolution”. But I don’t see how it can’t be read as Dart doing what GWT does, only better.

 “You totally misunderstand Dart, GWT or maybe both.” Please be more specific. Otherwise, there is no way for me to answer.

Stephen Lindsey replied on Tue, 2011/11/15 - 1:53pm

How can you possibly compare GWT and Dart, You might as well compare Swing with Dart;it just isn't possible. Google's problem is with JavaScript- they don't like it - so what is possible is that GWT in the future compiles into Dart which is then run on the client (Dart is, primarily, a client side solution). Dart can cross-compile into JavaScript, this is necessary because browsers do not currently support Dart. All this supports the idea of a (general) mission to improve the client side; GWT is part of that mission as is Dart.

Axel Rauschmayer replied on Tue, 2011/11/15 - 5:15pm in response to: Stephen Lindsey

According to Google, Dart presently does not target JavaScript. As it stands, Dart runs on its own virtual machine and is cross-compiled to JavaScript so that it runs on web browsers. Quoting Google: “The Dart VM is not currently integrated in Chrome but we plan to explore this option.” So the Dart VM being integrated into Chrome is not a given.

Thus: Dart might end up being different from GWT, but at the moment it is very similar.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2011/11/23 - 6:46am


Frankly, how I see things is that Google *is* targetting JavaScript. There's some ambiguity in Google words, possibly due to the need of keeping diplomacy with the JavaScript community (also in case Dart fails), but I don't see how Dart can't target JavaScript when it's presented just following the heaviest attack to JavaScript I've seen for years (JavaScript doesn't scale both in complexity and performance).

How I see things is a sort of GWT2 written in Dart, for what I can interpret Google's words.

Axel Rauschmayer replied on Wed, 2011/11/23 - 1:42pm in response to: Fabrizio Giudici

@Fabrizio: At the moment, it seems like Dart has not yet found its place inside Google. What was known pre-launch was clearly anti-JavaScript. Since then, the rhetoric and possibly also the plans have changed. As long as there is no Dart VM inside Chrome, Google has not started replacing JavaScript.

Levent Bey replied on Sat, 2011/11/26 - 5:07am

GWT is not impossible to abandon for Google (it is not like analytics) but i dont believe Dart is a replacement for GWT. They can easily replace JavaScript with Dart in the future.

Here is the Google+ discussion about the topic to see more of Bruce Johnson's opinions:

Google+ Bruce Johnson - Post

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