The Conference has run about as they usually do. Out of a day, there was one very good presentation and the rest were so so. Seems to be about the norm.
The one great presentation was about GWT. It was a use case presentation. The presenters were the developers of the Lombardi Blueprint.
This is an on-line diagramming application specifically geared to diagramming business processes. The production site is the third crack at the app. Their first production release was in Flash and HTML, the second iteration was written with the Dojo framework and never reached production and the third is written in GWT. As you look at it you will see that the functionality is pretty substantial and is on the order of things Matt and I have been writing in Flex.
These two guys were super sharp. It was nice to see some of their design decisions and ideas because they somewhat mirror my design for FlexScheduler. I didn’t carry some of the ideas as far as they have because I wasn’t positive I wanted to go that way, but their presentation validated it.
One of the constraints on their application was that their main client is users in large corporations who don’t have control over there desktops and often don’t have Flash and often have only IE 6. That is the reason they moved off Flash. The application is made for IE 6 as a baseline.
They actually pushed the GWT framework to it’s limits in terms of performance. And needed to discard the framework in some places, but GWT gave them the tools to be able to implement a new framework. That to me is a major plus for me. GWT is powerfull enough to be able to build stuff specially.
I can talk about it more later, but I actually would like to take a crack at FlexScheduler in GWT. FlexScheduler would be totally doable.
Well, if you get a chance take a look at their product. There is a free option. I think you will be impressed.
GWT 1.5 was released this week. It now compiles Java 5 code including Generics, annotation, etc.