Unfortunately this abstraction is pretty much exactly what I’m getting tired of in ASP.NET. Microsoft went to great lengths to build this huge Web Forms framework to try to make HTML development look exactly the same as Windows Forms development, and I think there’s a growing body of evidence to support the assertion that it was a mistake (hence ASP.NET MVC).
So, not to be outdone, Google built this Web Toolkit to make HTML look like X-Windows widgets. Deja vu.
So setting aside philosophy and getting into practicalities, the first thing I’m noticing about GWT is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to build an interface declaratively. All the examples in the Showcase build things programmatically. That harkens back to the early 90s when it took a thousand lines of code just to make one little gadget on the screen. (Not to mention the inability to separate designers and programmers on the same project.)
(Yeah, I know I was just talking about Silverlight which is all client-side processing, too. But that’s different. :)
Basically I’m not seeing why this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, or why this is better or even as good as ASP.NET. But I guess if already prefer Eclipse and Java, it’s probably worth checking out, so you too can experience the disappoint and frustration that ASP.NET developers have.