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7-series

A bit over a year ago we released Vaadin 7 renewing the framework inside out. Then came push support with 7.1. Now what?

Let’s take a look into the future. First off, we do not see C# coming up (who is this Nutella guy anyway?). With Java 8 and lambdas already well supported, we have a solid foundation that welds Java and HTML5 platforms together in the most elegant way in the industry. So let’s start building new exciting features on that hybrid platform.

Vaadin 7 series will iteratively add features to the platform while maintaining backwards compatibility with 7.0. We guarantee to support the 7-series for the foreseeable future, but at the latest until 2018, both commercially and open source.

Vaadin 7.2 - Responsive tune-up

Next up in the pipeline will be a minor release that continues building the infrastructure. Features include:

  • Responsive layouts for components (currently available as add-on)
  • Improved push channel with support for long polling, Tomcat 8, Wildfly 8, Glassfish 4, Jetty 9.1
  • Font icons that look great on high DPI displays and are lightweight
  • Native support for Internet Explorer 11 and Windows Phone 8.1. (Including pointer events)
  • Lots of performance optimizations and API improvements

The beta version of this 7.2 will be available later this month. The final version should follow in May 2014.

Vaadin 7.3 - Let there be light

The next big feature is called Valo. It means light in Finnish. Just like light, Valo will define what you see, how it feels and tune your mood. This is the next theme for Vaadin. It will be beautiful.

How should it look like? Metro? iOS7? Adobe CS? IntelliJ? How much negative space? Which fonts? Dark or light? Rounded or sharp? Flat or shadowy? You tell us. Even better, you tell Valo.

The SASS compiler built in Vaadin 7 enabled us to make it modular. You can choose the pieces you like, vary their styles, color the overall theme as you choose, define how flat or rounded it is, etc. In short, you can parametrize Valo to look like almost anything you want.


Some of the defaults for Valo

The first Alpha version should be available later this month. Beta should be available in May or June 2014 and the final release should follow in June.

Vaadin 7.4 - Son of the Table

Table has been the key component in Vaadin since day 1. While it has served Vaadin extremely well, we must raise the bar. Welcome Grid.

Grid should fix everything that you feel is missing or wrong in Table. We looked at all the requests we have got during the years for what Table should do, peeked in some scary memories of how far people have stretched the component and concluded that all of this should be doable. Grid should either have the feature OR be flexible enough to allow easily to add the feature.

Simply put, we want Grid to be the best data grid for web. Par none. This sets the bar really high for performance, scalability, features and customizability. We are confident that we can make it, but it will not happen overnight.

This release will include the core of the grid. Some may call it MVP. We are looking at features like

  • Super fast hw-accelerated Escalator rendering engine
  • Unlimited number of rows
  • Fully functional API for both server-side and client-side use. Yes, we are looking at you GWT-folks.
  • Easy to extend - both in client and in server
  • Editor rows for powerful lightweight cell editors
  • Frozen columns
  • Hierarchical headers
  • Customizable widgets and components in headers
  • Customizable renderers for drawing anything inside cells

Strictly speaking, we do not know when we are ready with this release. Sorry. First we though last Dec, then Feb, June looks like it. One thing we do know is that we'll start shipping alpha builds later this month. And after that every two weeks until we are confident enough to call it beta.

Vaadin 7.5 - Grid strikes back

7.5 = 7.4 + 0.1. It is that simple.

In this case the 0.1 is planned include the rest of the features we want to get in Grid. At the moment we anticipate the list to be:

  • Hierarchy support (should contain all features in TreeTable)
  • Variable row height
  • Using parent scrollbars to simulate long pages
  • Supporting undefined sized data-sources by loading rows when scrolling to end
  • Components and widgets in cells
  • Detail rows

The schedule for 7.5 is clear: it comes after 7.4.

Vaadin 7.x - Steady stream of features

Yes, there will be 7.6 and 7.7 and so on. We are just getting started with Vaadin 7. While we have tons of ideas of what we would like to be in these releases, we have to deliver the already outlined releases first before stating to pinpoint these features to certain releases.

Vaadin 8 - Future Web

Thus far we have been keeping our lips sealed on Vaadin 8. Saying that we will not even start thinking about it any time soon. We failed. Some thinking has been done.

With so many wonderful things like shadow DOM, custom elements, web components and the latest developments in CSS, it is hard not to be excited about the future of the web. Unfortunately the reality is that these features do not work in today’s browsers and there will be some poor fellow using yesterday’s browsers tomorrow. Especially in the enterprise world. And in the end, You, our dear friend, try to build a wonderful user experience for a customer who wants it to work in "all browsers".

With Vaadin 8 we will take a peek into the future of web. We'll take bold steps forward and leave guys with yesterday’s browsers behind. Maybe even leaving the guys with today’s browsers behind. And then add everything wonderful that is possible in tomorrow’s browsers directly in Vaadin.

Scary? What happens to those poor guys mentioned above? What about the customer who wants it all? For them, and for You, our dear friend, we have Vaadin 7 series. That will be supported and developed in parallel, until Your customer is ready to jump to Vaadin 8.

Roadmap

Originally we wanted to ship all of the above in just one release called 7.2. Shipping estimates started sliding faster than the Olympic Sleds when we realized the size of the effort. Finally we decided that shipping early and often is far more valuable than the blasting sound of the dropping on an anvil-sized release.

For an updated Vaadin roadmap, take a look at our public roadmap at vaadin.com/roadmap

Update: For popular demand, here are some links revealing more of Valo

Comments
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Even though I would've hoped too see Valo in 7.2, i can say that it looks really promising. When a first demo (even a pre-alpha quold be good) would be visible? Any plan on this?

Regards
Posted on 4/3/14 9:05 PM.
We hope to put alpha out later in April. The challenge is that built in SASS compiler does not support all the features used by Valo yet. Thus you would probably have to use sass-lang compiler in the alpha1.
Posted on 4/3/14 9:08 PM in reply to Guglielmo Moretti.
Here is "a bit" more. It is a gigantic screenshot, but live demo should be available soon as well. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1284319/tmp/valo-prealpha-preview.png
Posted on 4/3/14 11:04 PM in reply to Guglielmo Moretti.
So, the Grid component that we were promised to get in 7.2 as a full Table replacement, and of which we were told *just one week ago* that it would now be the "headline feature" of 7.3 (along with the new theme) and that we "wouldn't have to wait for those features any longer because of this change", is now suddenly pushed to 7.5 (if you want to do anything as basic as putting a button in a cell) which is way into the future as even 7.4 doesn't have a release date yet. That is not a good thing to hear.

One important improvement over Table that I was waiting for is support for varying row heights (confirmed on september 20, 2013: https://vaadin.com/blog/-/blogs/product-direction).
For which release is that planned?

Thanks
Posted on 4/4/14 12:19 AM.
Posted on 4/4/14 1:28 AM in reply to Herman Bovens.
Wow! Great news.I can't wait to see this theme in demo (yes, this can be compiled by external saas compiler)
Posted on 4/4/14 10:21 AM.
Fantastic! Valo is amazing. Cannot wait to see it in action.

Keep up the great work Vaadin!
Posted on 4/4/14 5:01 PM.
Take a peek into Dawn - Valo backport to 7.1: github.com/mstahv/dawn matti.app.fi/dawn/
Posted on 4/4/14 5:14 PM in reply to Lukasz Byczynski.
I am sorry for delayed schedules.

We planned to ship Grid - with variable row height and all - last Dec. Unfortunately we have bumped endless stream of challenges in implementation.

When it looked evident that we cannot postpone everything else (including TouchKit 4 and TestBench 4) for sliding Grid schedule we decided to split Grid and Valo out of 7.2.

Early this week we concluded that we should release Valo and Grid separately as well in 7.3 and 7.4. to minimize possibility of Grid pushing Valo release ahead.

Now - even when 7.3 and 7.4 are separate releases, we try to get them out of the door asap. This increases release frequency, which should be a good thing.
Posted on 4/5/14 2:30 AM in reply to Herman Bovens.
What about developing Vaadin visual designer for NetBeans?
Posted on 4/10/14 12:35 AM.
While it is not in the roadmap yet, I hope are able to start planning major improvements to visual editor shortly. For that we have not yet chose which IDEs will supported initially. I would love to have support for Netbeans, Eclipse and IntelliJ, but nothing has been decided yet on this.
Posted on 4/10/14 8:12 PM in reply to Jussi Lehto.
Even I would like to use some of the announced features I'm really pissed of how the Vaadin company is maintaining it's product. The Book is still not up-to-date and there are so many open tickets. In fact I added 4 tickets during the last year and none (!) has been handled by you yet. Even an obviously severe bug with an easy to follow code example isn't categorized and prioritized by you within the last 6 weeks. Why do I make an effort to encircle bugs and find a good example if you guys simply ignore it? It's nice for you to always have fancy future plans and your booths on software conferences - but if a company would ask me today if I would recommend the Vaadin technology for strategical project, I would not be sure. I think the main problem is that Vaadin isn't maintained by a large open source community but by a small amount of company people who have their own preferences.
Posted on 4/30/14 7:41 AM.
Sorry for not being able to address issues fast. While Vaadin is open source, most of the work is done by a full time employed team. Patches are welcome, please join the contributors.

We are addressing the issue in two ways: aggressively hiring more full time developers to core development team (see /jobs page) as well as trying to make the contribution process easier (opening up our testing servers to external contributors and will even consider paying bounty to external contributor for fixing issues)
Posted on 5/1/14 4:31 PM in reply to Marco Missfeldt.
OK, so 7.3 was already delayed again by a couple of months (september instead of June), and 7.5 isn't even on the roadmap anymore ??
Posted on 9/5/14 10:51 PM.