Google has changed the way composing new messages works in Gmail. Now when clicking compose, Gmail opens a new window layered on top of the inbox instead of switching to another widow as it used to be.
I like it a lot. Now I can write several email messages without the need to switch between browser window. Gmail was always rapidly fast, but with this new behavior it is feels even faster than before.
Gmail also changed the reply button behavior. This is something I don’t really get nor like. It feels confusing an improper, but I’m not sure why it gets me such ‘messy’ feeling.
I’m sure that this rollout of new features is highly monitored by Google Gmail analytics capabilities, and within few days Google will conclude their A/B testing and come up with the winning model for the reply button behavior.
This is yet another proof to the power of single page applications (SPA) in modern web development. Now it’s easier to do with frameworks like Ember.js (which we use and love at Totango), Angular and others.
Although Google is investing a lot in it’s developer support, GWT was never a true open source project. Even now, the direction of the project is not communicated to it’s community. Google can decide not to support the project anymore and do something else, but not communicating with people who have adopted their technology is a wrong thing to do. Personally, I don’t trust Google open source technologies anymore and prefer now to work with pure open source projects.
We have collectively learned since, that it is much easier to get a grip of the modern web techniques, best practices and tools, rather than overcoming those with the GWT abstraction layer. The best practices of the GWT framework are good, however, those could be easily replicated in other technologies as well.
GWT promise was – “Productivity for developers, performance for users”. I have found that pure HTML5 and jQuery when needed are way more productive and better performing.