First I must admit that I don't buy GWT's approach. There is a reason why we don't write HTML code from servlets anymore. Programmers usually are bad UI designers (look at my website for something to back my claim ;-) and great UI designers usually don't want to write Java code. With the GWT model you write your UI in Java and automatically translate it to HTML. This means layout changes require the Java coder to perform it, which is bad. Maybe you can get around most problems with the help of CSS, but I doubt that.

Anyway, I downloaded the toolkit and played with it last night, and found it to be a bit cumbersome to work with. Scripts that generate scripts and no integration with Ant to speak of.

I stopped after my first few steps and started to put together a little Ant library that makes using GWT a bit less cumbersome - at least to me. This is very rough alpha level code, but it works for me. I'm not sure I'll take this any further, but if anybody is interested in it, feel free to use the code - the license is pretty permissive. Source and binaries are available here.

There is no documentation right now. A quick rundown:

Reading this a second time, it is a bit confusing, I guess.

You must provide a class name to Google's applicationCreator script, let's say you've chosen de.samaflost.client.Dummy (the .client. piece is recommended by Google), then gwt:compile's classBase would be de.samaflost.Dummy and 's startPage would be de.samaflost.Dummy/Dummy.html.

Putting the stuff together. To seed a new GWT application you'd use

  <target name="applicationCreate">
    <mkdir dir="project"/>
    <gwt:applicationCreator dir="project"

This will generate the initial directory structure in the project subdirectory and will also generate an Ant build file that contains (among other things)

  <target name="gwt-compile" depends="compile">
    <gwt:compile outDir="www" gwtHome="C:\OSS\gwt-windows-1.0.20"

  <target name="gwt-shell" depends="compile">
    <gwt:shell outDir="www" gwtHome="C:\OSS\gwt-windows-1.0.20"

This means you don't need to worry about classBase or startPage at all. It also means you now have the Java -> JavaScript step as part of your Ant build process and available to your continuous integration runs.

I haven't found the time for an actual RPC example yet, but expect it will lead me to a special gwt:war task that knows what to package where.

Finally, it may be worth noting that three of the four tasks are implemented in Ant, not Java (i.e. they are <macrodef>'s hidden in the antlib descriptor.

path: /en/Java/GWT | # has a tutorial with the subject The Nature of Lisp that introduces some concepts of Lisp by building on the more widely known concepts of XML and Ant's usage of it. via John Lam

I really enjoyed reading the tutorial, it takes a different approach that may be more accessible than many others. Since I've been into Lisp (the Emacs dialect, mostly) before, I can't say whether the tutorial can convince a developer to learn Lisp - go and read it to find out.

The story of Ant's inception is a year late, I guess. Given James' take on Ant using XML today[1] he'd probably disagree with the assertion that using XML was one of the reasons for Ant's success. I think it's a question of having an extensible syntax, not of the syntax itself - which makes me happily agree with the tutorial.

One nit:

In Almost Lisp the author introduces what would be the <macrodef> task with "If Ant supported ...". I'd probably rewrite the section with

<macrodef name="Test">
    <echo message="Hello World!"/>
and in fact I've suggested just that via email.

[1] I can't find it online anymore, this seems to be the best alternative

path: /en/Lisp | #