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    Default Considering Ext-GWT

    Considering Ext-GWT


    Hello,

    We are looking to use ExtJS to add some RIA feel to our webapps. However, our current web framework, Wicket is proving hard to integrate with Ext because Ext and Wicket both want to be in the driver seat. We started writing a Wicket component extension library until we realized that Ext-GWT was very similar. I was wondering if i could get some feedback on just what ExtGWT is like.
    1. When is ExtGWT 3 due out?
    2. It seems like GWT uses base code form ExtJS? If so, can we write ExtJS code to enhance or customize things?
    3. Does 3 use the base code from ExtJS4?
    4. How well does ExtGWT perform?
    5. I heard that there isn't much support for ExtGWT, it's not a risk to go away or anything is it? What support is available?
    6. ExtGWT 2 uses flash it seems. That might be a dealbreaker to us. Will 3 use flash?
    7. How is data marshalled from our data layer into the GWT components. I saw an example that seemed to do alot of manual set() methods

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    *bump* Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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    This is what i know so faar.

    1) Only the Sencha folks can tell. There is no release date until now. But i think a beta will be out soon.

    2) ExtGWT does not use ExtJs code base. Well it does use some DomQuery. But nothing widgets related. Meaning you cant write ExtJS code in ExtGWT. Well actually you could but most of the time you are better off using GXT code in a GXT project

    3) Same as 2

    4) Pretty good for my experience. We have build some pretty complex apps with GXT and performance was good. Darrel Meyer had a presentaition about GXT performance. I dont remember the link but that pretty usefull.You should also be aware of overall GWT performance pattern. There are some interesting videos from Google IO. You should find them on YouTube

    5) Now well i have the feeling the JS fraction @Sencha has a bit more resource then the Java one but Sven is all over the forum. Could be better but it s ok . Also i dont think GXT will go away anytime soon.

    6) No Flash in GXT 3. Are you targeting mobile devices ? Otherwise why is Flash a problem ?

    7) The Data package has been reenigineered in GXT3 and looks pretty good. But i dont know the internal myself. I have tried GXT3 yet.

    Hope this could help.
    Someone @Sencha should be answering this. Not me

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    Ekambos,

    Thanks for the answer. We're desperate for input! Can you tell me, generally speaking, do you LIKE ExtGWT? If you had a friend considering starting a new app, would you recommend it? What other frameworks have you used that you would say it is better than and why? These are questions that make it cool to talk to a non-sencha person. Send me a PM if you don't feel comfortable being blunt on a public forum.

    2) ExtGWT does not use ExtJs code base. Well it does use some DomQuery. But nothing widgets related. Meaning you cant write ExtJS code in ExtGWT. Well actually you could but most of the time you are better off using GXT code in a GXT project
    Really? I thought GWT looked like just a java library that generated ExtJS code behind the scenes. This kind of topples my mental apple cart of what GWT is. If that is not what it is, do you have a better quick description?

    Also, does GWT work with the same theming type things that ExtJS offers like SASS/Compass and Sencha Slice? We have an ironclad requirement to support back through IE 6, so any theming we might do has to apply to that.

    5) Now well i have the feeling the JS fraction @Sencha has a bit more resource then the Java one but Sven is all over the forum. Could be better but it s ok . Also i dont think GXT will go away anytime soon.
    Do you get good support? Support is important to some of the decision makers on our project. If it has less resources, one always worried about support and whether it will go away in the future.

    6) No Flash in GXT 3. Are you targeting mobile devices ? Otherwise why is Flash a problem ?
    Well, first of all, I feel Flash is a dying technology, but that's not really germaine.

    Our app(s) will be consumed by a variety of government agencies, many of whom will be working under security officers with ridiculously strict rules. You've no idea how arbitrary some of them can be, and our apps have never required flash or any plugin other than Adobe Acrobat (and even that isn't really a requirement...they can just download and open in something else). Asking to require Flash all of the sudden would be a big hassle politically.

    We do have long term plans to move towards mobile apps, but that's not the short term impetus.

    7) The Data package has been reenigineered in GXT3 and looks pretty good. But i dont know the internal myself. I have tried GXT3 yet.
    How about in 2? Is it as rudimentary as just calling a million setters?

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    1) Do I like ExtGwt ?

    To me ExtGwt is the best GWT based toolkit in the market. Untill we come up with our own .
    Naahh seriously they have done a pretty good Job with. And with ExtGWT 3 things are even getting better.
    Now would i recomment it for a new project ? Like always it depends. It depends of the type of application your a building and the knowledge of the people building that app. Pluging ? No Plugins ? How will the users interact with the app ? Client side file generation ? etc...
    What we tell to our customers is :
    Java Devs + No plugin => ExtGWT,
    JS Devs + No plugin => ExtJS,
    Pluging allowed => FLEX


    2) GWT and ExtGWT

    There is a difference between GWT and ExtGWT. GWT is the toolkit created by Google on top of wich ExtGWT is based. Meaning you can use GWT without needing ExtGWT. The thing is that the core GWT widgets are kind of ugly so ExtGWT takes it to another leve.
    Also ExtGWT do NOT generate any ExtJS code. The only thing ExtJs and ExtGWT share is the look and feel (CSS). And like i said before ExtGWT does load a small part of ExtJS DOM Query API. Besided that they are 2 different products

    3) ExtGWT Support

    We are not support customers. We do build tools on top of some sencha's tools. But what we have heard from our customers that support is pretty good @Sencha. I dont know the pricing but i think it s worth it.

    4) To Flash or Not ?

    If you never usedd Flash in your app then it s better not starting doing so
    But do not listen to those "Flash is dead" talks. We build some tools around the Flash platform and i can tell that the numbers are increasing every day. Also if you building stuff like web based games nothing will beat flash anytime soon.

    5) DataPackage in ExtGWT 2.xxxxx

    If you ask me that s a big mess . You can see that they just tried to mimic ExtJs API in there.
    But looking at GWT at the time it was probably the best way to do it. Still ugly though but u get used to it

    Feel free to ask i ll try to answer the best way i can then send the bill to Sencha

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    We like it when users of our library stand up and offer the good (and bad!) points they see in GXT - thanks to Ekambos for his insights (and other posts made on the forums too! The community is nothing without its members).
    1. When is ExtGWT 3 due out? Developer Previews are already available, from maven (com.sencha.gxt:gxt:3.0.0-SNAPSHOT from the https://oss.sonatype.org/content/rep...ies/snapshots/ repo) or from the downloads page http://www.sencha.com/products/extgwt/download/. Beta will be available before the end of the year, and final 3.0 will be available in Q1 2011.
    2. It seems like [GXT] uses base code form ExtJS? If so, can we write ExtJS code to enhance or customize things? GXT components are all written in Java, to make debugging as easy as possible, and to allow the compiler the most latitude when making optimizations. As a result, you cannot easily use ExtJS code in GXT or vice versa. That being said, there is a class called Ext which includes some handwritten javascript from the ExtJS team that GXT continues to use.
    3. Does 3 use the base code from ExtJS4? The Ext class still exists, but the template code has been removed from it, so it is only responsible for some simple string replacement (not very optimizable) as well as a dom query mechanism
    4. How well does ExtGWT perform? As a customer and now as a GXT developer, I think GXT makes the right trade-offs between usability and performance. That is to say, there are aspects of GXT that could be more efficient, but doing so would make the library more difficult to use, such as mandating developers work directly with html and css for creating and laying out components.
    5. I heard that there isn't much support for ExtGWT, it's not a risk to go away or anything is it? What support is available? We're here! We're not a huge team, but we aren't going anywhere, not with 3.0 so close to a release. You happened to post your questions just as I went on vacation, and I think it is safe to assume that most of the other US-based developers were busy last week (thanksgiving holiday).
    6. ExtGWT 2 uses flash it seems. That might be a dealbreaker to us. Will 3 use flash? Ext GWT 2 uses flash for charting components only. Ext GWT 3 will have a pure GWT/Java approach for charting and drawing, using either VML or SVG, depending on the browser being used.
    7. How is data marshalled from our data layer into the GWT components. I saw an example that seemed to do alot of manual set() methods Ext GWT 2 used a sort of psuedo-reflection to allow access to data - instead of beans having fields, they would usually extend BaseModelData and call get/set on BaseModelData's implementations. This allowed bean-like structures, with reflection to do data binding in a generic way. Ext GWT 3 has totally removed this in favor of working with any bean-like POJO. If you use RPC, then you can declare your beans however you want, provided GWT can compile them. If you use RequestFactory or AutoBeans, then Ext GWT will be able to interact with the getter/setter methods declared on those interfaces.
    Check out the slides from SenchaCon 2011 for more info on a number of these topics. http://www.slideshare.net/senchainc/tag/extgwt
    Last edited by Colin Alworth; 28 Nov 2011 at 11:34 AM. Reason: added missing downloads link

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    @Entropy

    I am not allowed to disclose much at the moment, but we, the company I work for, are preparing to release a proper Wicket ExtJS integration library. That means server side Wicket components that render as client side ExtJS. So keep an eye on the ExtJS forum if you are interested

    Dimitris