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Which GWT library would you suggest I used for a project? Could someone tell me a summary of the pros and cons of various libraries around (SmartGWT, Ext-GWT, GWT-Ext etc.). Is there a best-all-around-library basically "everyone" works with or are some libraries more suited for specific applications than others? Thanks!

Possible Duplicate: Best GWT widget library?

2009-06-16 09:08
by Vladimir Prenner


I have worked pretty heavily with both flavors of the GWT Ext libraries, though I've spent more time with GXT recently.

My first general response would be a question back to you, are you building something for deployment to the world at large, or is this to be something for an intranet application?

Onto some pros and cons


  • Lots of nifty widgets, some are very powerful
  • Pretty slick default styling, certainly good enough for lots of internal uses
  • Demo application source is pretty good for getting something going quickly. This is balanced by the con on documentation though...


  • Customizing -> Pain, lots and lots of pain
  • 'MVC' that ships with the thing is not very good and probably should not be used if you value your sanity. (
  • Documentation is pretty lacking, some of the widgets have some rather sophisticated things happening behind the scenes and this is all undocumented.

    To put this into context, we are currently migrating away from GXT as we've found that we're now spending more time working around the library and fixing it's defects than we are saving time by using the library.

    In general, if the widgets look useful to you and the functionality that you see in the GXT demo is EXACTLY what you need, then GXT is a pretty good library to go with. If you want to use the widgets in any mildly unsanctioned way or extend them, I would strongly suggest staying away from the library as you are only setting yourself up for some painful migration in the future.

    2009-06-23 19:10
    by bikesandcode

  • 2

    I have only worked with SmartGWT, so I can't tell something about the other libraries, but maybe this is helpful for you.


    • Datasource concept: The datasource is used to get and send requests. Once it recieves the json or xml data it populates the data to your widgets which are bound to the datasource.

    • Documentation: The documentation is really great, every function is well documented and a lot of classes have example code.

    • Showcase: the Showcase provides sample code to nearly every widget that is in SmartGWT

    • Automatic databound dragging(haven't used it yet): Let's say you have the typical email programm, with a tree and a list of messages, if you drag a message over in a different folder it automatically sends the right request to the server to update the database

    • Forums: The Forums aren't as big as the forums from ExtJS but you get an answer from the developers very quick


    • "Just" a wrapper: SmartGWT is a wrapper of the JvaScript Framework Smartclient, so you have to include a lot of JS code which makes the overall size of your application very big. For internal apps that doesn't matter. The size was the reason I switched away from SmartGWT
    2009-06-16 13:40
    by Chris Boesing


    GXT is my favourite! It contains also a little MVC implementation and many great widgets.

    2009-06-16 09:20
    by Luke


    Please check gwt-jet. We made the library thru 2011 and it's now a must have for us in every GWT project. Basically it autopopulates pojo synching them with a grid and other widgets.

    2012-05-12 05:33
    by Federico Pugnali