Today Duan blew me away by posting this link to a working demonstration of what he calls "MX-GWT".
Duan's demonstration accepts a molfile and calculates the corresponding molecular mass after you click a button.
"Big deal," you might say, but consider:
- The page uses no applets or Flash.
- No Java bytecode is involved.
- No remote call is made to a server.
- MX-GWT builds a highly-functional, in-memory representation of a chemical structure that can be used for a variety of other purposes.
- Duan's code is currently the only way to do this that I'm aware of.
- MX-GWT developers can take full advantage of the awesome array of Java development tools.
There are some technical points to work out. For example, regular expression support is somewhat limited with GWT. As MX-GWT progresses, other areas needing attention will no doubt come to light. After all, GWT only partially implements the Java core API.