I’ve since learnt that I don’t know enough to tell apart the strengths of the frameworks. I spent a day on each of GWT, Vaadin, Pyjamas, jQuery, Cappuccino and SproutCore (distractions!) All of them have enough eye-candy to please, and I have the hunch that probably the feature I need is one that they’ll miss. At the end I made the decision with a combination of learning goals, documentation, aesthetics, and anticipated potential. (And contributing to the imperfect world where the best doesn’t necessarily win.)
GWT/Vaadin wasn’t my thing. Even when there’s Eclipse (IDE), I still find there to be too much baggage (boilerplate and plain heavy package) to deal with. Vast number of library is a plus for the Java world, but other languages have lots of them too.
Pyjamas was the first one I tried out. Being a python coder this sounds great, but then realized that much of what I code with to provide the MVC structure (Enthought Traits) can’t be used. It’s light, and has a possibility for desktop apps, but I’m mildy anxious about it being a sinking ship (small community – and the demos were broken for me).
Edit Mar 31st: I had a look at Coffeescript and loved the syntax. I’ve never realized how eliminating the braces and semi-colons can make code look so much nicer. Of course, it does other things too. Now we just need to learn 2 high-level languages…