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mribbons
20 Feb 2009, 2:49 PM
Hi,
I just stumbled on Ext GWT again. When it was first announced I thought it was just a set of libraries for Java but now I know what GWT is, it's looking a damn sight more attractive.

First question, what are the drawbacks of using ExtGWT as opposed to straight Ext?

Obviously there have to be huge advantages in terms of being able to use a real IDE / compiler - Eclipse just never cut it with .js, and vague typing leads to all sorts of trouble in my opinion.

So second question, why isnt everyone just using ExtGWT now rather than plain old ExtJs?

mribbons
23 Feb 2009, 12:14 AM
Come on,
Someone take a shot.

I just want a general comparison between ExtGWT and ExtJs.

jpnet
23 Feb 2009, 5:52 AM
If you want a "general comparison" between the two, I believe that the ExtJS site should be sufficient. However, if you want another developer's experience with both, I can provide that.

I've used both. I currently use ExtGWT (GXT).

I believe that most people that use GXT already program with Java on the server side. I, however, do not. I started with ExtJS and using Rails to develop a corporate internal application. I felt like I was constantly fighting Javascript. I hated the fact that if I mistyped a property name or method name in Javascript, I wouldn't always catch it, until runtime. I hated the fact that I had to use Firebug to debug. I hated trying to shove an OOP design on a large Javascript application, it felt foreign. I hated worrying about the include order of my Javascript files. I needed something different. Something that I wasn't feeling like I was fighting all of the time.

Then along came GXT. Well, it was previously called MyGWT from a third party (Darryl). ExtJS LLC made some arrangment with Darryl to join their company and rename MyGWT to GXT. At the time when I was seriously considering using it, it was still a bit immature. However, I could see that Darryl was working very hard to continuously improve it. As a bonus, it is open source, so I rationalized that if I did indeed have a problem, I could fix it myself.

I started using GXT around July of 2008. So far, I have been fairly happy. The community is much smaller compared to ExtJS. That is a downside; however, I have noticed that it is indeed growing. GXT was a one-man operation (Darryl), but now, I believe it has expanded to three (please correct me, if I'm wrong).

The thing that I love the most, is that I can design a large enterprise application in a OOP fashion. Plus, I can still use Rails on the backend, as GXT has great support for XML/JSON. It looks amazing too! It's worked out great.



First question, what are the drawbacks of using ExtGWT as opposed to straight Ext?
1) The community is smaller than ExtJS.
2) It could be considered dependent upong the success of GWT. If Google stops maintaining GWT, will the community take up maintaining GWT? Who knows. I doubt Google would do that, as they use it internally.
3) In Javascript, you can make a change in your code, then save the file, and rerun your changes straight in the browser without waiting for the long GWT compile times.

That's about the only drawbacks tha I can seriously think of.



So second question, why isnt everyone just using ExtGWT now rather than plain old ExtJs?
I assume this is because a lot of people don't share the same hatred that I have for Javascript. A lot of people actually like Javascript. I also assume that some people may not like the idea of "compiling" Java to Javascript - many have claimed that they believe it to be hack. Contrary to what many people tell you, I actually perceive ExtJS (Javascript) to be faster than GXT - of course, this is very debatable. But, many javascripters may feel this way as well... they may feel that they are given the freedom to fine tune their Javascript code.

Hopefully this helps.

-JP

jadrake75
23 Feb 2009, 8:02 AM
I don't know if I can add a whole lot to what JP said, although I think I generally agree with his points. I started converting my Swing application (used to manage my stamp collection) to ExtJS in September. It was to be a one month experiment (in the evenings after my daughter was in bed). I too kept running into the javascript-isms, and the lack of strong refactoring tools, and differing syntaxes was driving me batty. After a month, I had a partial working program, but I just didn't "feel" good developing it.

For October, I decided to experiment with GXT and a Restful Java based server - and I have not looked back. I am constantly redesigning/refactoring the tool, and have been very pleased. I only "compile" at the end of the night distribute it to my server and kick off my selenium tests to verify I didn't break something. Darryl and team have been great at providing information, and I have myself tried to build more of a presence in the community.

I do have a innate fear of GWT disappearing (the reason for my conversion in the first place was the self-destruction/stagnation of the JSR-296 "Swing Application Framework"). However, that will probably be many years from now if it ever comes to pass and the more developers (and Java engineers) become engaged in GWT, the less likely it is for it to fade into obscurity.

-Jason

sdc
23 Feb 2009, 10:32 AM
I fully agree with jpnet and I don't have more to say. I think you have here a very good comparison between ExtJS and Ext GWT.

mribbons
23 Feb 2009, 2:12 PM
Thanks guys,
This is what I wanted to hear.

I will experiment with GXT's performance and interoperability with an xml/.net backend - with any luck you should see some questions from me soon.

Actually one more question.

Aside from dealing with Javascript, one thing that bites me with ExtJs is form design.
For me VS.net 2003 is the Meca of GUI design. Does GXT do any better job of absolute positioning and auto resizing components than ExtJs?

I did some Java at uni but I can't cope with "flow layout".

cabster
19 Sep 2009, 7:42 AM
Normely i use Extjs. As i'm starting to program in java i'm looking forward to use GXT.

But something that i don't know jet. While using GXT can i use all the other Java classes without having compile errors?

micgala
20 Sep 2009, 11:40 PM
But something that i don't know jet. While using GXT can i use all the other Java classes without having compile errors?

No, you can only use the ones GWT is emulating (compilint into javascript).
For reference, you can take a look here:

http://code.google.com/webtoolkit/doc/1.6/RefJreEmulation.html

Regards,
Michel.

chalu
17 Oct 2009, 2:46 PM
I have followed this discussion closely and I think the opinions are quite ok, but I am having a hard time still making up my mind to move to GXT, the reason been that 1.) I am very good with Javascript and have done a lot with it, my only issue has to do with building a complex OOP app with it. I also wonder how easy it is to use GXT in Netbeans (really don't like Eclipse) and integrate other APIs (Spring, Hibernate) in your project. I hear that GXT has it's own RPC, does this mean that I won't be needing DWR in a GXT project ??

Another thing that worries me is that the ExtJs community has a lot of cool extensions and plugins, can (how can) these be used in a GXT project :)

Sorry if my questions don't make sense :)

sven
18 Oct 2009, 1:02 AM
I hear that GXT has it's own RPC, does this mean that I won't be needing DWR in a GXT project ?

Yes, this is part of GWT and can be used in GXT