Tag Archives: Google Web Toolkit

Lots of cool Java news this week!

JavaFX plugin, GoogleGears, and GWT

I just ran across this article, which tells how to use Eclipse for building JavaFX.

And, GoogleGears is all the rage today too.  GoogleGears is a browser extension that lets developers create web applications that can run offline.  VERY cool.  It was rolled out at the Google Developer Days (today, but sadly not offered in Ann Arbor).

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Google Web Toolkit (GWT) version 1.4 beta was released too.

Here's Bruce Johnson's (he's the tech lead) blog on the changes:


All in all, a pretty good week to be a Java developer, I think.

Friday in Crested Butte

Web Frameworks Jam, continued

This was the last day of the workshop (Friday). We finished up what we could and then recorded a podcast describing what we had done and detailing our experience.

In general, we all found that one of the barriers is installation and setup of the framework (from a development standpoint). All of us battled installation and configuration issues. Spring is simply complicated. Google Web Toolkit is immature in terms of packaging issues. TurboGears is still in alpha and we were definitely chasing a moving target (versions a6, a7, and a8 were released during our one week stay in Crested Butte). We didn’t battle deployment issues (yet), but these hold concern for all of us as well.

As for my personal feeling? I still want to get some more airtime with Google Web Toolkit. I’ve done a little with it at home, but would like to get into it in more depth and look forward to its maturation. And I’m totally smitten with TurboGears. I’m going to use it for some small projects and see what I think. I have some customers that I think might benefit from it, once version 1.0 is released and things are a bit more stable. Spring? Well, I’m still unsure about that. I think that the question in all of our minds is where IS the limit where the lightweight frameworks break down and more complicated frameworks like Spring (or even Struts) become necessary?

The TurboGears team is hot on doing a TurboGears Jam at some point (and several of the other attendees from the jam expressed interest in doing that as well). Of course, logistically, it’s a bit complicated, so I’m not sure if/when it will happen, but it would be great.

As for the hike, on Friday, we hiked the 401. This is an absolutely beautiful trail, also up by Gothic. We were surprised by a huge tent that someone had dragged up the mountain. It was an out and back, and the wildflowers were gorgeous.

Hike on the 401 photos

Thursday in Crested Butte

Web Frameworks Jam, continued

The TurboGears team finally is all working with the 0.9 release, and we made a lot of progress today. I was able to get the things working that didn’t work yesterday (i.e., the JSON support), and we moved forward, exploring the TurboTunes tutorial and more of the supporting code.

The TurboTunes tutorial is a lot of Javascript, so not as much in terms of kid and pure TurboGears, but it’s a nice looking demo. Here are some of our notes about that tutorial:

TurboTunes Tutorial Feedback

1.tutorial refers to prod.cfg, which doesn’t exist. Assuming should copy sampleprod.cfg to prod.cfg. No big deal, since we were in development mode anyhow (using dev.cfg)
2.In 0.9.a7, sqlite is assumed in dev.cfg … needs to be commented out. This is kind of annoying.
3.Tutorial uses old start command: python turboTunes-start.py, while new version uses start-turboTunes.py
4.Use tg-admin toolbox to start toolbox to access Catwalk. We were able to leave out all mounting of CatWalk, but still need to import model.

The Google Web Toolkit team seems to be doing well with their exploration, and the Spring team is making progress too. During the hiking breaks (and at dinner), we all discuss what people are doing. Ah, it would have been nice to have had more time, so that each group could have looked at another framework as well. Ah, sigh, but realistically, we likely would have just gone into more depth with what we were doing.

This afternoon, we all took a hike to Copper Creek. It’s up by Gothic, which is an old town now used by biologists. The waterfalls were gorgeous and the hike had more elevation (and length) than the previous days.

In the evening, a few of us went to see “An Inconvenient Truth”, which was (IMO) both fascinating and disturbing. In any case, it was great to see someone handing out flyers about how to convert to using wind power in Colorado after the movie.

Ah, tomorrow is our last day here, and I’m hoping that we can look at some more TurboGears in detail.

Copper Creek Hike

Web Frameworks Jam: Wednesday

Another Day in Crested Butte

First, work stuff:

We continued our TurboGears quest yesterday (Wednesday). The “out of the box” tutorial experience isn’t really there yet, but we’re still hopeful about the package. Mainly, if I had been working on my own, I’m just not sure I would have been this motivated to continue working with the package, after encountering the roadblocks that we’ve hit. None of them have been insurmountable, but “real” work would have probably drawn me away from it when I did get temporarily stuck and I’m not sure I would have gone back.

The idea of using Best of Breed Components to put together a framework is compelling, and I’m enjoying getting my feet wet with a little Python as well. The “gotchas” seem to be package installs, at this point, further complicated by the fact that we don’t have a live internet connection at the conference location (which really just inspires us to visit the coffee shop next door quite frequently).

We’ve been making notes, mainly about the tutorial and this “out of the box” experience that I just mentioned. Bruce is going to post them, and I’ll add a link here when he’s done that.

The Spring/Hibernate team is plugging along (mainly focusing on Spring at this point, I think). The Google Web Toolkit team is making progress as well. One of the guys has extensive knowledge of the toolkit (has been using it for a while) while the other 2 have great interest. I’ve seen notes from them as well (extensive!), and I’m hoping that they post those as well. I’m looking forward to reading them in more detail, and I’ll post a link if they get blogged. Pretty sure they will …

In any case, we’ll be getting back to TurboGears this morning. Barry finally has everything working on Debian and Bruce has upgraded to 0.9 from the default install of 0.8.9. We’ve learned a lot about the package, and I’m looking forward to getting through the tutorial and onto new things now that (hopefully) the wrinkles have been ironed out.

And now, the recreation report:

We went for another hike (Slate River) yesterday afternoon, hiking to a waterfall. An old mine is nearby. It was a very nice hike, more elevation than yesterday.

And we had lunch at a great little outdoor Tibetan restaurant (Mo Mo’s). I had curried beef with lentils and rice and some chai. It was fantastic and the outdoor garden setting is amazing.

Last night, one of the other attendees and I attended a community forum at the local school. Ambassador Ed Peck, former chief mission to Baghdad, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd about unrest in the Middle East. Pretty timely. He’s an amazing speaker and probably makes a great diplomat. He really stressed the importance of listening to what people (in other countries, especially) are saying and thinking. Imagine that. This isn’t a political blog, so I won’t go into more detail, but suffice it to say that I’m really glad that I attended. I wish that I were going to be here next week, when Sandra Day O’Connor will be speaking. Wow!

Crested Butte is simply a wonderful place. Costly, but lovely. It’s definitely a great place to visit. Some local tidbits:

·I talked to a woman at Camp4Coffee yesterday morning who had ridden her bike there with her 6 month old baby. We were talking about bike trailers. She said that she bought that trailer when some visitors came to town for a week, bought a brand new bike trailer, and sold it for $70 when they left. Nice deal!
·I spoke to a man in the hotel lobby this morning who is a rancher from Texas who has been coming to this town every year for 30 years. He’s here with his grandson this week.

Web Frameworks Jam, Day 1

Greetings from Crested Butte!

I’m here, at Bruce Eckel’s Web Framework Jam, and (as expected) learning a lot already. We’ve broken up into 3 groups, each working on a different framework. Initial task is to become familiar with the framework. My group is working on TurboGears (the preview version, 0.9), and we’re not just working through the tutorial but also inspecting a lot of code along the way. A second group is working with Hibernate/Swing, and the third is using the Google Web Toolkit.

Each day, there’s time set aside for recreation (hey, if you’re in a beautiful place like this, you really SHOULD get out and do something!). Yesterday, we went on a nice, flat hike at Lake Irwin (flat is good, since we’re all still acclimating to the altitude, 9300 ft). Later in the week, I’m hoping to do some mountain biking. But … as we saw with the Programming the New Web conference here last March, the “breaks” really serve as a way for the groups to interact about what they’re learning as well. A lot (most) of the conversation centers around what we’re doing, something that most people who hang around with computer geeks probably don’t find surprising.

Wildflowers at Lake Irwin

Web Frameworks Jam

Heading off to Crested Butte

I couldn’t stay away. Bruce Eckel is offering an Open Spaces Web Framework Jam in Crested Butte next week, and I am really looking forward to it. Yes, I was just in Crested Butte in March (for Programming the New Web), but this is a hands-on experience and I think that it’s going to be a great learning experience and incredibly fun too.

In addition to meeting new people, I’m looking forward to hanging out with some familiar faces from the last conference as well (three of us are returning). I hope to post some updates from the web framework jam here.

A Plethora of Web Development Tools

TurboGears, Ruby on Rails, Atlas, Google Web Toolkit: Embarking on a journey with Web Application Development Tools

I’ve got to get my mind around all of these tools. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Who competes with whom? Where’s the overlap? What are the differences?

TurboGears and Ruby on Rails seem to meet the needs of the same audience. They both provide the means for Rapid Web Application development. Atlas lets .NET programmers use the language and environment that they are comfortable with to develop web applications, while the Google Web Toolkit enables Java programmers to continue to use Java to develop web applications.

But … the big question is … do we NEED all of these things? Can we do what we need to do with TurboGears and/or Ruby on Rails? It’s fairly well accepted that TurboGears and Ruby offer us productivity advantages, but do Atlas and the GWT offer us something functionally that TurboGears and Ruby do not?

So, I embark on my journey to play with software. I like this part!