Google Web Toolkit, once highly touted as a development technology, may be poised to re-emerge from the shadows.
GWT, which was originally developed at Google, has been maintained by a steering committee since Google handed over the reins in June 2012. The committee published a release candidate at the tail end of July, following a beta version offered last December.
But recent efforts by InfoWorld to contact Google and steering committee members about GWT's status and trajectory have yielded near silence.
“Perhaps we can wait a bit until GWT 2.8 is final,” Google’s Bhaskar Janakiraman said. “We've just released the release candidate with a whole host of new features that will provide context for the next generation of GWT-related products.”
Steering committee members we contacted either deferred to others or did not respond.
GWT, which was the subject of its own technical conference, GWT.create, as recently as January 2015, still has numerous advocates, an ongoing Google Groups discussion forum shows. Proponents have expressed frustration with delays in the 2.8 release.
“I’m a dedicated GWT user,” one developer wrote. “I have substantial projects soon to be released. I don't see GWT going anywhere as there is nothing that provides what GWT does, which is to be able to write powerful Web clients using code written in a popular language with great tool support."
Of course, Java remains a language of choice in the business world, making the enterprise the most plausible wheelhouse for GWT in the future.
As for that future, a recent presentation by mobile tools developer Sencha at the QCon conference in New York cited the Java-to-Closure (J2CL) compiler as the “future of GWT.”
Suffice to say, GWT is at a crossroads. Whether GWT’s time has come and gone could be known soon for certain, when the 2.8.0 release arrives and developers either start downloading or dismissing it.