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You will definitely be very slow in building stuff initially, if you have not used GWT before. Much slower than using RoR. Unless maybe you've done lots of SWT/Swing programming, then you will at least have a general understanding on how to layout stuff graphically and use event listeners.

Everything in GWT is treated as AJAX app, in that all RPC's are asynchronous. But all GWT apps dont have to be "100% full screen". You have the freedom to do whatever you want visually, including wrapping JS libraries for animation, drag drop, etc (which I've done with my current project).

In theory, you could write everything in native javascript and then just wrap it using GWT's JSNI functionality. Then you can use GWT for debugging and reliable RPC's. Or if you have your own server side JSON XML parsing for an existing Ajax framework, simply adapt your client side XML parsing to use GWT's XML libraries. Then everything is type safe and can be debugged and unit tested. You can also refactor your JS more easily this way, and everything is more modular. Bottom line is GWT is very flexible. It is designed this way so it can be integrated with existing JS projects.

That being said, I agree with your comment about not everything fits the mold of an Ajax app. Like if you are not building a web application. Rails will be faster and more immediately gratifying in most situations.




"Unless maybe you've done lots of SWT/Swing programming, then you will at least have a general understanding on how to layout stuff graphically and use event listeners."

Now I DEFINITELY don't want to use GWT.

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