Definition

GWT (GWT Web Toolkit)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

GWT_logoGWT is a free open source software development kit (SDK) designed to facilitate the creation and maintenance of high-performance Web apps. The SDK enables developers to create complex browser-based Java applications and deploy them as JavaScript, which makes the apps portable across browsers and devices, including mobile.

GWT doesn’t require expert-level knowledge of JavaScript, XMLHttpRequest or browser software and behavior. The toolkit includes Java API libraries and widgets (the basic components of user interfaces). Also included are the compiler, the development server and a plugin for Eclipse, which allows developers to create customized development environments (IDE) from plug-in components built by Eclipse members. Developers can debug in the IDEs and browsers of their choice. The compiler performs optimization tasks such as in-lining methods, removing dead code and optimizing strings. A Chrome extension called Speed Tracer helps diagnose performance issues.

Google announced GWT in 2006 at the JavaOne conference. GWT is pronounced as "gwit." Although GWT is often said to stand for Google Web Toolbox, according to the project documentation it stands for GWT Web Toolkit – a recursive acronym like the one used for GNU (GNU’s not UNIX). GWT is made available under Apache License 2.0.

See an introductory tutorial on GWT:

This was last updated in July 2016

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