My boss came back with a counter proposal – why don’t I investigate GWT, produce a small prototype, and he’ll evaluate it side by side with the Flash project. Of course, the person doing the Flash project has a 3 month lead on me, but hey, I’m up to a challenge.
I watched some of the videos that Google has on their site, and in spite of a slight cringe when some of the developers started calling it “gwit”, it seemed great. And then I read the docs. And joined the Google Groups group. And joined the IRC channel. And installed Eclipse and GWT on my Powerbook.
The tricky thing I did today was I got a pseudo-server-push going. Calls to the server require a callback function which is called with the results when the server is ready. So the client calls a server method that blocks until there is an event to report, and then calls the client’s callback which processes the event and then does another call to the server method. In a real environment, the server would need to implement some sort of queue of events, but right now I’m just doing it with a simple Producer/Consumer right out of the Sun Java examples.
This GWT is exceedingly cool. I’m thinking of redoing my navaid.com interfaces to use it. And I’ve started to call it “gwit”.