One of Google Web Toolkit‘s greatest strengths, and also one of it’s greatest weaknesses, are the Web Developer plugins for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Explorer. During development, these plugins allow you to preview your changes without needing to stop and compile. When it works, it is simply wonderful.
Unfortunately, the GWT team is having a hard time keeping up with recent changes in browsers. The plugin is broken in Safari v5.1. The plugin is significantly slower in Firefox v5 (and now v6 is in beta). And, the plugin is unusably slow in Google’s own Chrome (at least on the Mac platform). Since Mac users do not have access to a modern incarnation of a native version of Explorer, this has hit them pretty hard. Many mac users are downgrading Firefox (and turning off upgrade notifications) or finding ways to hack an out of date copy of Safari onto their machines as a work around.
There is a much simpler and more elegant solution – OmniWeb.
OmniWeb – the grand daddy of all OSX web browsers is based on WebKit but still runs the WebKit core that ran Safari v5.05. So, it still works against the Safari version of the plugin. And, OmniWeb’s concept of Workspaces allows me to organize my projects in a clean and simple way.
I am not sure if anyone on the GWT team or over at the Omnigroup knows just how amazingly well GWT and Omniweb work together. If you find them as useful as I do, help me spread the word.