RealTime IT News

Google Opens Up AJAX

Google's AJAX Web tool is going open source nine months after it first hit developers' plates.

The Google AJAX Web toolkit (GWT), beginning with the release candidate for version 1.3, will now entirely be licensed under the open source Apache 2.0 license. Google is also opening up the development of GWT for wider input and participation.

The GWT is a framework that enables the rapid development and use of Java applications as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) applications. A barrier to developing in AJAX has been the JavaScript part. GWT obscures the JavaScript by working in Java and doing the transformation from Java to JavaScript behind the scenes.

The new open environment also provides open access to those who want to track issues for GWT. The GWT Issue Tracker will enable the wider community of users and developers to locate and report bugs, as well as track development progress.

The GWT will be hosted and run on the Google Code project site, which debuted in July.

"Since our primary mission is to help users (as opposed to hoarding proprietary development tools), opening up GWT has always been a no-brainer -- we just had to decide when," Bruce Johnson, tech lead for GWT, wrote in a blog posting.

While GWT is just now going fully open source, one of the most popular AJAX toolkits in use today has been open source almost since day one. The Dojo Framework, which is backed by IBM, provides a native JavaScript AJAX toolkit.

Google's got the momentum now, though, and according to Johnson, there's no time like the present.

"Now that GWT has some serious adoption and a lively user community, open-sourcing is the obvious next step to help GWT evolve more quickly."