Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wt versus echo2+GWT

At the Agile AJAX blog, Dietrich Kappe is going to look at how GWT may be merged into Echo2.

Echo2 is comparable to Wt in the sense that it is a server-side library (although they call it a framework) to build web applications. On the other hand, GWT is comparable to Wt in the sense that it allows creating client-side event handling in the Java language. Wt provides this functionality using stateless slot learning, but then naturally starting from C++ code.

Combining Echo2 and GWT thus is a compelling idea, since they are two java-based complementary toolkits for web development.

Interestingly, the choice for a widget to create (which is in the framework world a component), fell on an edit-in-place field. Competitive as we are, and of course determined to show off the nice stuff in Wt, it will be nice to compare their implementation(s) to a Wt-based implementation.

Before comparing different implementations, we need to consider whether we have a comparable feature set, with respect to:
  • Does it work when JavaScript is disabled, or on browser that do not support JavaScript ?
  • Is the server state synchronized with client (does a 'reload' give the same page ?)
And then we will want to look at:
  • Code size and elegance
  • API -- how easy it is to use the widget/component ?
  • Were we really using only one language (C++ or Java) ? Is there any chance of runtime syntax errors (caused by faulty JavaScript or XML) ?
  • Does client-side or server-side event handling look similar ? Can we easily switch ?
  • Bandwidth usage and number of round trips
Of course, I am kind of setting the rules while both competing, rendering the comparision fairly biased.

But as this is a blog, you are welcome to add additional test criteria you might be interested in !

Good luck to the Java camp!

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