Joel forecasts the SDK of the future...

Joel Spolsky is generally a great writer, but he didn't do his research for today's post. He claims that with the web, JavaScript is the new assembly language: it's capable but not portable:
[...] build a programming language, like C, that’s portable and efficient. It should compile down to “native” code (native code being JavaScript and DOMs) with different backends for different target platforms

So far, so good. But then he goes on to describe how this strategy will take Google by surprise, leading the giant to its demise:
Imagine, for example, that you’re Google with GMail, and you’re feeling rather smug. But then somebody you’ve never heard of, some bratty Y Combinator startup, maybe, is gaining ridiculous traction selling NewSDK, which combines a great portable programming language that compiles to JavaScript, and even better, a huge Ajaxy library that includes all kinds of clever interop features.

Joel clearly hasn't heard of GWT. It's a complete implementation of his genius idea, and it was first released in May 2006. And its creator? Google.
It seems that the large number of people have pointed out GWT and similar frameworks to Joel. Honestly, he's pretty in touch, I would have been really surprised if he had never heard of GWT, or at least some other similar tool. My faith in Joel remains. :)

He replied I've copied the relevant paragraph here:

Indeed countless people have already emailed me to say that “NewSDK is here, it’s (choose one) Flex Builder, Google Web Toolkit, Java Web Start, Silverlight, JavaFX, Flash, ActionScript, MORFIK, OpenLaszlo, … (many omitted)” Ahem. These are not HERE until your TAXI DRIVER has heard of them, because I assure you he’s heard of Microsoft Windows. Many of these technologies are developed by smart people who understand the world the way I talked about in the strategy letter, and are hoping to win the next platform war. But GWT is no more the NewSDK than Digital Research GEM, or IBM TopView, or Quarterdeck DESQView, or Concurrent DOS, or Microsoft Windows 1.0 was the OldSDK. They’re just horses at the starting gate.