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Keywords: GWT, Ajax, RIA, Java, web applicatiions
Title: GWT In Action
Author: Robert Hanson and Adam Tacy
Level: Introductory - some Java required
Verdict: A good introduction to GWT
'GWT In Action' aims to explain to the GWT beginner how this magic is achieved and to show just what the framework is capable of. The first and most obvious point to make is that the book assumes a basic knowledge of Java. Despite what the authors would like to think, this isn't really a book (or framework come to that), that would help if you don't have a clue about Java. What it doesn't assume however, is a knowledge of GUI programming in Java, so there's no need to sweat if you've never used Swing or SWT as these play no part in GWT.
The core part of the book, which looks at building the UI, is structured around the building of a sample application - a Dashboard application which shows off both the built-in widgets and the custom widgets designed in the text. Certainly for a new developer this approach works well enough, though for those who've already mastered the basics there's probably not much to be gained from this part of the book.
On the whole the book is fairly well written, though perhaps some pages could have been saved if the authors had assumed they were writing for Java developers rather than a broader audience.