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  • GWT and HTML5 Canvas, the future of the web?

    August 25th, 2011

    The future of computing lies in mobile computing, more and more devices come on the market, tablets and phones that will connect through the Internet as technology is getting cheaper and wifi and 3g more common. That means our software will also need to run on these handheld devices, because our clients will want their services on all platforms. This is what Java set out to do 15 years ago, so that we have the ability to write software once and run it everywhere. The problem is these new platforms, that I believe will make up a large part of the future have, until now, no Java. It would be great if we can find something that will give us the ability to write our software only once.

    I believe that the technology that is going to deliver us this promise is called HTML5. More and more applications will run inside you browser. I’m typing this article in google docs, which is a perfect example of how applications will evolve. No need to install anything or maintain up to date versions, even an operating system could be very minimalistic (google chrome). So Google is obviously sharing this vision, but also Microsoft is building it’s next version of office on something that is based on their web-browser.

    Sadly the development language of HTML5 Javascript and not Java. Java has been around a long time and there are a lot of libraries that people have made. Would be cool if we can still use these, the answer is Googles Web Toolkit. GWT provides a way to code in Java and then translate that code into Javascript. This way we can still use all that great stuff that others made.

    A good example of this future is Angry Birds, you have probably heard of this game. To create this game they have taken the java implementation of box2d called jbox2d and created a javascript version of that with the help of GWT. Once that is done you can use HTML5 Canvas to draw the Birds and calculate their positions if they are falling. Now because they have build it this way with HTML5 this game could also work on an iPhone, but even better because android is based on java you could create from this source a android version with only one line of code.

    Have a look at some of the great things people are building with the HTML5, be sure that your browser supports it.

    1. Drawing program deviantART
    2. Old style game with new technology area5
    3. Quake GWT HTML5 port
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