Pro Web 2.0 Application Development with GWT Paperback – 2 Jun 2010
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About the Author
Jeff Dwyer is a developer and entrepreneur who is the founder of ToCollege.net and MyHippocampus.com. His background is in medical software, where he has published research on aneurysm stress and endovascular repair and has patented techniques in anatomical visualization. As a developer, Jeff likes nothing better than to leverage high-quality open source code so he can focus on the core elements of his projects. He believes that Google Web Toolkit has fundamentally altered the feasibility of large Web 2.0 applications.
Top customer reviews
Even allowing for that I used this as a way to understand the basics and did not get on well. The sample code is hard to navigate. Instead of several examples with increasing complexity, it is in one big mass. The walkthrough jumps around all over the place. It has the feel of someone making it up as they go along.
It also avoids mentioning JEE.
as a GWT developer with 7 years experience a found only 30 pages of useful information for me.
A big joke, that this site ToCollege dot net which this book was building from bottom and describing - does not exist any more :)
I would recommend this book to young GWT developers, not advanced.
This book does not spend its time discussing things you will figure out just by playing with GWT. There's no long discussion of the button widget. It discusses, via an extended example, how to integrate GWT into a real web site and make it work seamlessly with other technologies. The example in the book combines GWT with Spring, Freemarker, Hibernate and Spring Security but the ideas would translate to others as well.
Here's a few things you will learn that are not at all obvious:
How to use GWT to create a grab-bag of widgets you can use from a templating solution like Freemarker or Velocity. You even get a Freemarker template to do so which you can use in your own code. This alone is well worth the price of the book. It allows you to have one GWT app which can be used on two different pages of your site. In the book he uses it for a forum on one page and a configurable user status page someplace else. This avoid having the user download duplicate code multiple times. And as a byproduct you get the full source code for the forum :)
How to make your ajax site indexable by search engines.
How to integrate GWT into a robust security system and to secure the callbacks from the client.
And many more...
The author developed a full app using GWT and this shines through in the book. For example, most GWT books will explain how to program drag and drop, which is great. But in this book he simply points you to a best in breed drag and drop library and explains how to integrate it into the site. Both approaches are useful. But the approach taken in this book is not to be missed - you learn a lot about the problems that arise as you integrate the various technologies.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
He covers his decision making process for the full stack and gives outlines of Maven, Acegi, Compass, Hibernate, Spring MVC, SiteMesh, FreeMarker as well as GWT and Gears. That's a lot to cover in around 400 pages. In fact I have 2 books on my desk that cover just Hibernate and Spring that weigh in at over 700 pages each, so obviously he doesn't go into much depth, but he does point you to online resources to dig deeper.
Jeff does a decent job of covering some of the key pinch points and offers some good advice which is why I'm not giving this book 1 star.
For developers like myself who have worked with small-scale GWT projects, this book directly answers many of the issues that one encounters when scaling up the project. Examples of these issues are: the most effective way to pass Hibernate classes back to the client using GWT, and how to most efficiently handle a large project through either single (or multiple) modules.
Please note that this book will not teach you GWT; if you are not familiar with GWT, other books (or even the GWT website) would be superior resources.
The only two issues I had with this book were:
* It would be nice if there was chapter-by-chapter source code available so you could more easily mimic the steps in creating the application. Matching the chapter-by-chapter progress to the final source code was a little tedious.
* The author's choice of technologies for the back-end is great (Spring, Hibernate, FreeMarker templates), but if you are an EJB/JBoss/Seam/Wicket shop, you will be doing a lot of translation from the Spring-domain to your particular choice of technology.
Overall, this book is highly recommended and will make deploying GWT much easier on medium and large-scale projects. The author has done a great job in solving common GWT problems; issues that an enterprise architect will surely encounter when using GWT.
This book's strength is its comprehensive view into process of building a complex, interactive site using GWT as a tool. As a professional web developer, I'm less concerned with having someone teach me the syntax (because I can google for most of it) and more concerned with getting real-world advice about how to construct my application. Having an authoritative source to not only offer solutions for security (Acegi), builds (Maven) and persistence (Spring) but also show me how all of those things come together is an invaluable resource.
Anyways, if you don't have much web development experience and are interested in GWT, you will probably find books out there that more focus on a comprehensive technology-driven learning experience. On the other hand, if you are ready to learn about how a GWT application comes together from start to finish, if you want to know how to overcome specific challenges, I'd have no qualms about recommending this book to you.
Specifically, I found the sections on hibernate and google maps integration to be particularly valuable. I really only want to learn the aspect of those technologies that are relevant to GWT, and having the salient information handed to me on a platter saved me a lot of time. As a professional developer, the most valuable information I get is from asking my colleagues how they go about solving problems, and this reading this book was a lot like listening to some of the better answers I've gotten over the years.
Bottom line: If you'd like to sit down with an expert in GWT and get taught the nuances of the language from beginning to end, there are other books that specialize in that. If you wish you could sit down with an articulate, intelligent web developer and ask "How did you deal with X?", then this is the book for you.
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