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GWT is Open-Sourced

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The Google Web Toolkit has been open-sourced. The toolkit was developed internally and can be used to create products like GMail and Google Maps. It allows you to program in Java and let the GWT compiler convert your code to browser-compliant AJAX and HTML (see this page for more information).

This is a smart move by Google and is further show of their efforts to woo developers. It follows their release of a project hosting site on Google Code this summer and their many APIs (the latest of which was for Google Spreadsheets). It’s smart for several reasons. First, Google is well-known for being a huge consumer of OS software and have been criticized in the past for not contributing back — I don’t think anyone could say that now. Second, Google gains from developers using their APIs and building mashups. Tools like GWT and Code assist developers in their efforts. Third, what better way to be able to hire developers that can hit the ground running than by letting them teach your internal tools on their own time?

You can get the code or participate in the project from its page on Google Code.

Update: I originally stated that GWT was used to create Gmail and Google Maps. That was incorrect and I have corrected the copy above.

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  • http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/BillHiggins Bill Higgins

    Are you saying that GWT was used to create GMail and Google Maps? I thought the GWT page was always pretty clever the way it stated (emphasis mine):

    Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a … framework that makes writing AJAX applications like Google Maps and Gmail easy…

    … rather than writing “that Google used to create Ajax applications Google Maps and Gmail”.

    I’ve never hear Google confirm or deny that GWT is used to create their flagship applications, but I’d be interested to know if it is, and if so, how much of these apps is create with GWT vs. native framework/app code.

  • brady

    i am sayin that, but i am no longer certain. that sentence is very cleverly worded.
    I have sent a mail to a google dev contact asking. I am fairly certain that it is correct though. There is a lot of cross-over in people between GMAps and GWT.

  • http://www.google.com/ DeWitt Clinton

    Thanks for the writeup, Brady.

    To clarify, while the Google Web Toolkit is designed for rich user experiences on the scale of Gmail and Google Maps (hence the wording in our announcement), those products predate GWT and were not built exclusively using the toolkit.

    I hope to see everyone over at the Google Web Toolkit homepage!

  • http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/BillHiggins Bill Higgins

    Is there any intent to port Gmail / Google Maps to a GWT-generated base, or at least incorporate *some* GWT code into Gmail/Google Maps? If so, when and how much?

    Just curious.