GWT version 1.0 RC 1 was released on May 16, 2006. Google announced GWT at the JavaOne conference, 2006.
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In August 2010, Google acquired Instantiations, a company known for its focus on Eclipse Java developer tools, including GWT Designer, which is now bundled with Google Plugin for Eclipse.
With introduction of the Dart programming language, Google has reassured the GWT community that GWT will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future, but also hinted at a possible rapprochement between the two Google solutions for "structured web programming". They've also admitted however that a number of engineers previously working on GWT are now working on Dart.
Several open-source plugins are available for making GWT development easier with other IDEs, including GWT4NB for NetBeans, Cypal Studio for GWT (an Eclipse plugin), and GWT Developer for JDeveloper. The Google Plugin for Eclipse handles most GWT related tasks in the IDE, including creating projects, invoking the GWT compiler, creating GWT launch configurations, validation, and syntax highlighting.
GWT Development Mode
JRE emulation library
GWT Web UI class library
A set of custom interfaces and classes for creating widgets.
Support for using Google APIs in GWT applications (initially, support for Google Gears)
A number of libraries are available for GWT, by Google and third parties. These extend GWT's features.
On Dec 08, 2009 Google launched Google Web Toolkit 2.0 with Speed Tracer.
Version 2.0 of GWT offers a number of new features, including:
In-Browser Development Mode (formerly known as Out Of Process Hosted Mode, OOPHM): prior to version 2.0, hosted mode used to embed a modified browser to allow running the bytecode version of the application during development. With version 2.0, hosted mode, renamed "development mode", allows using any (supported) browser to view the page being debugged, through the use of a browser plugin. The plugin communicates with the development mode shell using TCP/IP, which allows cross platform debugging (for example, debugging in Internet Explorer on Windows from a development mode shell running on a Linux machine).
Declarative User Interface: using an XML format, the new feature known as UiBinder allows the creation of user interfaces through declaration rather than code. This allows clean separation of UI construction and behavior implementation.
Resource bundling: the ClientBundle interface will allow resources of any nature (images, CSS, text, binary) to be bundled together and transferred in one download, resulting in fewer round-trips to the server and hence lower application latency.
Since the new development mode removed most platform-specific code, the new version will be distributed as a unique archive, instead of one per supported platform as was the case with previous versions.
As a general framework for making web apps, GWT is also capable of being used as a framework for making mobile and tablet apps, either by making the needed widgets and animations from scratch, or by using one of the mobile frameworks for GWT. An HTML5 app written in GWT can have separate views for Tablets and Mobile phones.
GWT-Platform, an annotation based Model-View-Presenter framework for GWT
Errai is a GWT-based framework for building rich web applications using next-generation web technologies. Built on-top of ErraiBus, the framework provides a unified federation and RPC infrastructure with true, uniform, asynchronous messaging across the client and server.
SmartGWT, a GWT framework with a comprehensive widget library and server side databinding capabilities
Vaadin, a similar framework, which is based on GWT
Sencha GXT, GWT port of the popular Ext JS UI Framework commonly used in Enterprise applications.