About 3 years ago, I moved from teaching to programming for a living. During that time, I have worked in 4GL languages like Genero from 4js, and more traditional languages like PHP, HTML, CSS, sqlite, mySQL, FileMaker, and now… Java.

Java was an incredible change for me. It was my first real Object-Oriented language (yes, I know that it is possible to write PHP in an OO style, but that is not quite the same thing).

So, why did I decide to learn Java? Simple. Google came out with something they call Google Web Toolkit. GWT allows developers to write in Java and allow their compiler to create browser-optimized Javascript.

Why is this so amazing? Well, Javascript is incredibly powerful and it is also loosely-typed. The powerful part I like. The loosely typed part… not so much. Small typos on my part create whole new objects and can be a bear for a relatively inexperienced OO programmer (like me) to debug.

GWT gives me strongly typed Java, and all the tools that have been written for it over the years, to ease the development cycle. The GWT team has even written their own plug-in for Eclipse that offers unparalleled help in editing my code. (Yes, there are plug-ins for other IDEs like NetBeans and IntelliJ, but the support in the plug-in from Google is head and shoulders above what the much smaller volunteer teams for the other IDEs can provide.)

Now, instead of me telling you all about the new features in GWT 2.0. I’m going to let Bruce Johnson and the rest of the Googlers tell you all that in the video embedded below.

Happy coding!