Java Ajax Programming using Google Web Toolkit (GWT) – Book Review

Google Web Toolkit - GWT - AjaxGoogle Web Toolkit (GWT) Java AJAX Programming by
Prabhakar Chaganti is an excellent book for GWT beginners. The language
is straightforward and
easy to follow. The book starts with a short introduction to Ajax. It
then talks about the steps to follow for getting started with GWT
1.3.3. The first chapter essentially familiarizes you with the GWT
extract – the folders and their contents. It also talks about the
sample applications that come with the download.

The second chapter moves on to building your first application and the
simplicity of the task will surprise you. The book moves on to show you how to
create your first Ajaxed application. The LiveSearch, Password
Strength, Flickr Editable Label, the Monalisa Puzzle and lots of
interesting examples make it really easy for you.

The book follows a standard pattern of a “Time For Action” section
followed by “What just happened?” section for every task or example.
The first section walks you through how to complete and run a task and
the second section explains how it was done.

The book does have some errors/typos that need cleaning up but nothing
that will distract or mislead the serious reader. The place
where I believe the book could do with some changes is in the
second chapter where the author takes the user through the task of
running an application in the web mode. Typically, a technical book reading is different from novel reading
where you read each fine line to follow the plot. Thus, if you skip reading all the lines, you might miss some important details. The heading of the section is
“Running the Application in Web Mode” in bold letters followed by the
“Time for Action” and then the “What just happened” sections.
The “Time for Action” explains what is to be done to compile the application from Java to Javascript so you can run it in the web mode. However, the part which tells
you  that ” the steps required to deploy the server code on a server
are explained at the end of the book” is
mentioned deep down in the passages that follow. So it’s easy
to miss that bit and then struggle to run the app in the web

The book uses a lot of the GWT API classes to create a layout similar
to the GWT Demo app. But it would have been good if there was a chapter
with a diagram or two about all the layouts and other frequently
required GWT API classes. 

The chapters that follow take on more complex examples. One chapter
focuses on JSNI and explains how to use the Rico, Moo.fx and libraries with your GWT application. The next chapter
shows the by now comfortable-with-GWT reader how to create widgets. The
author has demonstrated how to create a Calendar widget and the Weather
widget which uses the Yahoo Weather Really Simple Syndication(RSS)
service. This is all detailed out in chapter 7.

The next chapter is all about creating and running unit tests for
testing GWT applications and RPC services.The GWT creators essentialy
wanted to give the user the complete Java development cycle experience
and have thus incorporated unit testing by providing the GWTTestCase
class which extends from the TestCase in the JUnit testing library.
Chapter 8 shows you how to leverage just that.

A chapter is also dedicated to taking the reader through
internationalizing a GWT app. And finally the last chapter
takes you through the deployment of your RPC service. The author has
used the Tomcat server and Ant for automated deployment.

All in all, highly recommended if you want to know what the creature
called GWT is. Very readable and full of apps that are easy to follow
and try out. Again, the book is meant for those starting on GWT. So you
are not going to find any of theory stuff (for eg how GWT uses deferred
binding) that an intermediate level user might want.

If you wish to get a closer look at the book, the first chapter is
freely available right here on Visit –
Creating a new Google Web Toolkit
(GWT) application

Google Web Toolkit GWT Java AJAX Programming
Paperback 240 pages [191mm x 235mm]
Release date February 2007
ISBN 1847191002
ISBN 13 978-1-847191-00-7
Author – Prabhakar Chaganti
Cover price – $44.99

Sangeeta Oak


* Indichreads-DevSquare
Java Code Contest

* Conference On Java
Technology, Pune – India

Creating a new Google Web Toolkit
(GWT) application

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0 thoughts on “Java Ajax Programming using Google Web Toolkit (GWT) – Book Review

  • November 16, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    I want to test my self, But not find how to proceed?
    Please suggest how to proceed?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Dinesh Gupta

  • June 12, 2007 at 9:44 am


    There is going to be a Blogcamp in India on 16th of June. Around 250 bloggers will be taking part in the event.

    This is what they say on their blog: ‘The way unconferences work is that, you don’t have an agenda, rather we will put up a white board, where participants will themselves add the topics they are interested to speak upon. Depending upon the number of speakers we will go for multiple threads. There will be some intense discussions, we will have a lot of fun and yes there will be blogging, video blogging, photo blogging, podcasting … everything under the blogger sun.’

    The registrations have started. We are planning to have 250 participants from all over the country. There are some people taking part virtually, using youtube, slideshare, skype etc. if you are interested please add your name to the wiki.

    Check the:
    official blog:


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