Google is yielding control of its GWT (Google Web Toolkit) for browser application development to a multiparty steering committee, a Google official said on Friday. The company also introduced a release candidate of GWT 2.5, featuring compiler optimizations.
With the GWT steering committee, Google goes from being a gatekeeper to a peer among equals, with the committee controlling the road map of GWT. "It will no longer be Google as a dictator," said Ray Cromwell, Google tech lead for GWT. He will serve as committee chairperson for the time being. Other companies represented on the committee include Vaadin, Sencha, and Red Hat, and other members include GWT advocates Thomas Broyer, Christian Goudreau, and Daniel Kurka. "We have to be responsive, and we have to think more about what other people [support]," in GWT, Cromwell said at the Google IO conference in San Francisco.
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Google's handing over control of GWT to the committee is similar to when IBM relinquished control of the Eclipse open source tools project, which is now under the jurisdiction of the Eclipse Foundation, Cromwell acknowledged. "Eclipse is now more of a vibrant community than it was when only IBM controlled it."
GWT 2.5, the last Google-directed release of the toolkit, boasts a host of improvements. "Out of the box, with no changes to your code, you can just compile your application. You're going to get substantial code-size reduction," Cromwell said.
In addition to maintaining GWT, Google has been developing its Dart language, which shares a GWT goal of enabling structured Web programming, but Google is not replacing GWT with Dart anytime soon, Cromwell explained. Support for GWT will continue and developers should continue to use it, he said. He expects the GWT steering committee to ensure GWT has a healthy future. GWT was first released in 2006.
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