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The Google Web Toolkit (GWT), an open source framework to help developers create Ajax applications using Java, graduated from beta testing on Tuesday.
In announcing the official 1.4 release of the software, Google engineers Bruce Johnson and Dan Peterson all but declare desktop application development dead.
"If you've been in the technology industry for a while, you probably remember when enterprises and software vendors had to think pretty hard about whether to develop locally-installed desktop applications or Web-based browser applications," Johnson and Peterson said in a blog post. "These days, whether you're building mashups, gadgets, or full-blown applications, it's a no-brainer: The browser is the delivery platform of choice."
While Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft among others might not be so quick to dismiss desktop apps, writing software for the Web has become the preferred path for many. And GWT deserves some credit for that.
And GWT 1.4 offers significantly better performance than earlier iterations of the software. On the GWT blog, Johnson estimated that recompiling applications with GWT 1.4 can result in software that has 30% less code and can run 20% to 50% faster.