Tuesday, March 06, 2007

EclipseCon 2007: Day 1

EclipseCon 2007 Banner

EclipseCon 2007 Electronic Banner

So today, I sat next to the person who wrote CVS; met guys from IBM, HP, Compuware, Instantiations, and Google; took photos of Kevin and Scott presenting on Eclipse RCP; walked around Silicon Valley companies like intel, AMD, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo!, EMC², Helio, and WebEx; and met our secret undercover Obtiva developer Patrick (don't tell anyone he exists.)

I also attended the Google Widget Toolkit tutorial with Kelly Norton. It was great as I got many of my questions answered and learned a lot more than I already know about the GWT. For example, how do we re-use an existing javascript control like a fancy slider in GWT? Just wrap it into a Google widget by extending Composite and then use that new widget instead.

The presenter had us use GWT to build an instant messenger; and indeed the end-result was very similar in basic functionality to messengers like AIM, MSN, or Yahoo. The only big difference was that instant message windows showed up within the browser instead of showing up as separate windows outside.

Some other benefits of using GWT that I was not aware of:
  • Support for JUnit (just extend GWTTestCase)
  • Support for debugging (just use Eclipse debugging with your Java code)
  • RPC remoting support that can be used by rich clients on the platform and not just the GWT generated java-script
  • Browser-optimizations that reduce the amount of javascript files people download when accessing a particular page.
  • Theming through CSS just like with regular DHTML
I will begin working on a GWT application very soon to better learn the framework. If anyone has project suggestions, please share.

Stay tuned for day 2 everyone.

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