Why I Like GWT

I’ve recently begun a project with a set of customer-defined technologies. Tons of Angular2, ASP.net Core, Javascript coming out of my ears, half of it in beta. It’s a logical set of choices for this specific customer, given their skill base and overall technology direction.

Don’t like it.

Now, don’t get me wrong - I’m happy playing with the new stuff. I don’t mind bleeding edge. What does irritate me is the amount of junk you need to add to make up for JS’s flakiness. And you’re still left with a project that doesn’t tell you half the problems until you’ve run it and there’s a runtime error.

I’ve always considered GWT’s learning curve to be far too steep for most projects. When asked, I’ll say I enjoy it myself but it’s probably too fiddly for Your Project. Now I’m not so sure. Yup there are gotchas and WTF’s and abstractions that leak, but on the whole it’s a solid platform that offers both flexibility and a coherent set of tools. And I haven’t seen anything near as robust on the Javascript side.

Maybe I’ll change my mind later, but right now I’d rather put in the work to build on rock rather than the shifting sands of the Cool New JS Stack, especially when combined with MS’ newfound love of Maximum Architecture With Patterns and Layers. They’ve moved far from the simpleton horrors of ASP and VB6 to embrace a hundred open source projects, inserting their own layers of complexity.

Yup, maybe I’ll change my mind later.