Google open sources Web Toolkit

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Mountain View (CA) - Google is open sourcing the same software that helped to produce popular sites like Google Maps and Gmail. The company has released the Google Web Toolkit under the Apache 2.0 open source license. Independent developers can now use the toolkit to make and debug their own Java applications.

The Google Web Toolkit includes a compiler that converts native Java code and classes into JavaScript and HTML pages. The pages can then be debugged through GWT's debugging web browser.

Google hopes the toolkit will help developers fix browser incompatibility problems and create dynamic websites. The Java language was originally designed to be cross-platform, but browser differences have slowed its adoption.

Users of the toolkit will need to submit to usage terms that require the application to send usage data including timestamps and IP addresses to Google. This only happens if you use GWT's hosted web browser.

Version 1.2 of the Google Web Toolkit is currently available and weighs in as a 13 MB download. The source code can be compiled for a variety of platforms.