For this month’s Community Spotlight, I interviewed Godfrey D. Beray.
Hi Godfrey, it’s great to have you with us for this interview. You have been doing a lot of web development with Vaadin. How did you come upon Vaadin and why did you decide to use it?
Vaadin comes with a decent default theme so I could focus more on coding and less on the styles. When I started with Vaadin, the default version of the unofficial plugin for Netbeans was v6.2. I started working on a prototype project and slowly moved up from one version to another.
For the Love of Vaadin! That was a pretty popular blog post. How have you seen the evolution of Vaadin since then, considering we are now deep into Vaadin 7 series?
There was no Grid component back then, you needed to work a lot with the Table component to get a nice functionality, and Calendar was just an add-on, not yet part of the Vaadin core. The reason why I have kept using Vaadin until now is because of the dedication that the Vaadin team has put into it. I can't think of any requirements that will force me not to use Vaadin in most of my projects.
What do you consider to be the top features of Vaadin?
Plain server-side Java coding is the top feature for me. You build up user interfaces just like you do with Swing, so you can focus more on your coding and worry less about the layout. I was able to build a simple employee directory just by trying some available components from the demo, and exploring and reading some documentation about the framework.
So, how does Vaadin work? Could you briefly explain it for anyone with no previous experience?
What other technologies or libraries are you often using in your Vaadin projects?
Since most of my projects are business applications, common libraries that can be found in my project dependencies are POI, JFreeChart and JasperReports.
What are the top features you’d like to see in the upcoming versions of Vaadin Framework?
As of now, I'm currently satisfied with the feature set Vaadin provides to finish all my projects, and there’s still a lot of room for me to explore and learn about Vaadin. I was just lucky enough that I was able to get a copy of the book Vaadin 7 UI Design By Example from Packt Publishing when I migrated from Vaadin v6 to v7. And with the introduction of the Valo theme in v7.3, the look and feel was brought to a new level (great work and good job!).