It’s good to know that the guys from vaadin have good confidence. vaadin is available as version 7. The number suggest that vaadin is matured but from my point of view several parts are not. I have used a couple of IDEs over the past years and now we ended with vaadin because it was a requirement for a web application.

There are plenty of annoyances with vaadin, especially the GUI part (aka GUI editor):

  • The labels of text boxes are by default on top of the box. Before vaadin never see that. And the worst part you can change that easily. Put everything into a FormLayout helps, but where is FormLayout in the GUI editor…
  • Moving components into a grid layout is very painful. You don’t see the exact position, the snap is unpredictable, and the lines of the grid are only partially visible.
  • Undo is not working…I guess you know NullPointerExecptions, never see so many of those.
  • There is only a minimal subset of properties available of a component in the GUI editor.
  •  In the hierarchy of the GUI editor, ever tried to clap the last element? And thanks for saving the storing the state of the hierarchy.
  • Copying elements between open design views, aka from one “Hierarchy” to another, is not possible. This would be much fast to create similar looking views if you don’t want to copy the source code.
  • Entering a wrong value in the “Grid row” text field, a nice explanation marks shows up, over the the mouse over it, and get the full exception output…that’s a really nice way to support the user.
  • Have you guys ever heard about drap-and-drop? Try to drag a panel around inside a grid…adjusting the values in the source is not really the GUI way.
  • 32-bit what the f**k is that. If your application depends on  some crappy piece of software like XULRunner…fix it or kick it.
  • Navigator is a real sweetheart to work with.

Some people may say if you have no idea about writing software, let it be. You can do everything in the “Source” view. Yes, you can but why provides vaadin a GUI editor.

Vaadin seems to be far the best framework for Java based web application. But it raises the question is Java the right language to use on the web. I personally dislike tomcat because that server is very slow compared to others and its resource management is like back in the days (better restart your server instance every 30 min because after a couple of deploys you have to do it anyway)…I really hope that it gets better with vaadin if we get more familiar with it.

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