Vaadin Turns 10

Henrik Paul
On Feb 28, 2011 1:40:00 PM

Vaadin is now 10 years old! Well, it has been 10 years old a few days already. Details schmetails.

Ten years is a lot of history. In fact, our history goes way longer back than GWT's, which was released only 5 years ago. We were around even before JSF, which was introduced as early as 2004. But what did we do before GWT, you ask? We did all that ourselves.

Ajax was a very new and unknown concept back in 2001 (Actually, the name was coined only in early 2005), so Millstone (as Vaadin was called back then) didn't start out with anything that would feel like what GWT does. It all started out by only rendering static HTML, or even WAP pages if you so wanted. The component way-of-thinking was there though, declared in an unlawful amount of XML and XSLT. shiver

Some years later, in 2004, Ajax-y features were introduced as a commercial add-on. This was turned into the standard rendering mode later for the next major version of Millstone, which was renamed to IT Mill Toolkit 4. The rendering code was all manually written cross-browser compatible JavaScript. Sure, it was extendable, but writing new widgets was still really hard and full of land mines of browser incompatibility. Only a full version later, in 2008, IT Mill Toolkit 5 introduced the GWT adapter, replacing the old Ajax adapter. For the next version, in the year 2009, the name was changed to Vaadin. And the rest is known history.

With 10 years of experience under our belt, we've learned that developers don't like to write XML or XSLT, but love Java and the other JVM languages out there. To a lesser surprise to many, we've also learned that people prefer writing their JavaScript in Java. No complaints here!

Our heartfelt thank yous for all these years. We're looking forward to see you with us during the next 10.

Henrik Paul
Henrik Paul works as a Scrum Master at Vaadin's product development. He has been working at Vaadin since 2008 with basically anything and everything, except in sales or administration. He's one of those annoying guys who is never satisfied with the status quo, and questions established practices constantly.
Other posts by Henrik Paul