I played around with Google Web Toolkit last night for a while and so far it’s pretty fun. I was really floored by the whole download, installation, getting started experience. I’ve worked on this kind of “out of the box” impression for software in the past and when it’s done right, it’s the kind of thing you probably won’t notice. But, if you have a) had horrifying experiences as a first-time user or b) tried to work through those issues on your own software, it should be noticeable that the GWT experience is atypical.
It’s clear to me that some Googlers spent a lot of time constructing this experience and making it work flawlessly, and it did! From download to examples to getting started docs to the Eclipse integration, everything “just worked” in a way that is all too rare these days in the software world. So, kudos to Google for all the effort that went into this, as I know from experience how hard that is.
I’m working on a little purely client-side app that seems like it might be a perfect candidate for GWT so I’ll let you know how it goes. So far, I suspect that I will be most hampered by my pathetic CSS skills.