AFAIK there's nothing like GWT for anything except Java -- if you want to develop a desktop-style UI, then deploy the same code unchanged to a browser, the only other alternative is Flash, which is one more thing to keep up to date on the client side.
Java also gets you the world's second-most-complete git implementation, so you don't need to fork and exec to run one of the git tools from your server software.
And, of course, anyone who wants to write Android apps has to learn Java anyway, so it's one less barrier to contribution from the original user base.
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