Google Web Toolkit
What is it?
However, there will be limits to what you can do with the built-in components, since Google says it has concentrated on "ensuring that the basics of GWT work very well rather than adding dozens of special-purpose widgets". Having open-sourced GWT, Google expects the user community to build most of the libraries. GWT can be used royalty-free for commercial applications.
Where did it originate?
GWT was previewed at JavaOne in 2006.
What's it for?
What makes it special?
How difficult is it to master?
GWT builds on existing Java skills. The GWT Developer Guide should make it possible to begin to be productive within a few hours.
Where is it used?
Google claims millions of GWT downloads, but hasn't published any figures. The flagship applications are still Google's own, such as Maps and Gmail.
What systems does it run on?
Google says applications should run similarly on "most recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. (Opera, too, most of the time.) DHTML user interfaces are remarkably quirky, though, so make sure to test your applications thoroughly on every browser." GWT needs recent versions of Windows, MacOSX and Linux.
What's coming up?
GWT 1.5 is due any time now.
Rates of pay
Java front-end developers with Ajax can look for £30k-40k.
Many other sites also offer GWT tutorials.