As of today the current versions of these libraries can be downloaded from here:
- Ext GWT (GXT) 2.1.0 (2.1.1.beta is available) (showcase)
- SmartGWT 2.0 (showcase)
- GWT-Ext 2.0.5 (no showcase) -- not under-developement anymore!
1. Ext GWT (GXT)
Ext GWT has several licensing options available to fit a variety of needs including open source and commercial licenses. For more information, please visit the license page.
For eclipse IDE there is available a plugin to help developement called Ext GWT Help Plugin. This one can be installed from the http://extjs.com/deploy/gxt-update-site.
Smart GWT is compatible with GWT 1.5.3 , GWT 1.6.4, GWT 1.7.x and GWT 2.0.
There is available also a commercially licensed version of SmartGWT that includes Java Server side functionality, additional tools, and a classic commercial license in lieu of the LGPL. (showcase). An evaluation can be downloaded from here.
Here is presented the comparison between different versions of SmartGWT library.
GWT-Ext does not distribute ExtJS, which you need to include in your project. Note that GWT-Ext only supports ExtJS versions 2.0.2 or lower. You can download Ext 2.0.2 from here. Ext 2.0.2 has a variety of licensing options and LGPL 3.0 is one of them. The license file can be found in its distribution, or you can find it here.
It has also an extension library, called GWT-Ext-UX, developed by users like you :)
Here's a simple graphical representation of what I enumerated above:
4. Personal experience
I've used for developement the GWT-Ext and GXT libraries, so far.
The GWT-Ext is a very good, easy to understand and use. After it was "sacked" we had to find out a replacement.
The GXT is a very good candidate for the migration from GWT-Ext, because lots of APIs are the same or very similar. It uses pure GWT principles making applications more efficient / compact; also, it uses the MVC (not MVP as I said earlier -- my bad!) pattern, but the events manipulation is quite different (Listeners instead of Handlers), though, this is acceptable, and even you have to pay for, it's worth it.
If I'd start from scratch the SmartGWT would be the choice. Only from looking at the SmartGWT showcase, this seems very rich in UI controls, and not only that, the server side has some good tools too. Also, with the latest versions the look and feel has improved a lot, and I would go with it, not only for fun and learning new stuff, but it seems a really good job.
* JVM Web Framework Comparison