Tuesday, December 8, 2009

GWT Exporter 2.09 released

Improvements since last version:

Support for runtime method overloading.
Methods on the same class with identical names can be exported as a single Javascript method using run-time type-detection and dispatch. You pay a price in the form of a dispatch table encoded as a JSON object, but only for methods with overloads.
Feeling lazy? exportAll() will export every single exportable type in your classpath so that you don't have to invoke GWT.create() manually.
All exports compiled to a separate JS fragment, loaded asynchronously, and invokes window.onexport() when done.
Exporter.export() deprecrated
Now simply invoking GWT.create(SomeClass.class) is sufficient for export.
Supports GWT 2.0 $entry function
$entry preserves Java exception handler behavior as well as the correct event-loop entry/exit, like running scheduleFinally commands on exit.
Requires GWT 2.0 RC2 or higher
Because $entry and code-splitting are now integrated features.

Structural Typing

I'm also about 90% done implementing Structural Types for exports, which allows idiomatic interoperability between JS and exported APIs. Structural Typing will be available in an upcoming 2.10 release real soon now.

The future

GWT Exporter was originally written for some dire needs I had, and the codebase is now over 2 years old. The latest additions have been difficult, as the codebase is getting messier. The 2.10 release will be the last release, afterwards, I will use the knowledge gained from the library to work on a rewrite for GWT core that may or may not make it into a future SDK distribution.

The goals for the future releases will be (1) Never pay for what you don't use, that is, exports should only bloat code if they absolutely must. 2) Provide flexible way to customize output for various idiomatic Javascript styles. You should be able to generate APIs that look like they were designed by hand. 3) Look at ways to process JSDocs and provide additional ways to automatically bridge JS and Java objects. 4) Improve error checking, diagnostic messages, and quality of auto generated JS docs.

GWT Exporter is available at http://code.google.com/p/gwt-exporter

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