Vaadin evolution and freedom for designers

Vaadin provides a very comfortable production environment.
The advantage of creating components in Java and see the results on the generated HTML is speeding up a lot of work.
This works well for prototyping and internal utilities for companies, and in fact I have the impression that most of what companies do with Vaadin is that. For products that need to be made for the vast public the things is different because the difficulties of customize Vaadin created interfaces to create fluid layouts or interactive interfaces is really time consuming.
All the benefits of speeding up the initial prototype might get lost once the team employ HMTL/CSS designers that needs to customize the final look and behavior.

My tantrum here is about having the OPTION given from Vaadin to provide the most skimmed and cleaned output in term of HTML.
A Label that could be just a DIV with a class when attached to a VerticalLayout or a SPAN if attached to an HorizontalLayout with nothing else around it and not
forcefully calculated.

Some sort simple method called
which let HTML/CSS (and why not, even jQuery developers) to regain controls over the final result.

Ergonomic deign, interactivity and tailored-thought behiviours are becoming more and more a requirements. Give designer the option to take control from a most clean and simple output generated from your great tools.

Can I hope for it?

Why don’t you just use
? Calling
on your components can also help.

That is what I do as default anyway. I try to set as many CssLayout and undefined size components. Still the generated HMTL with nested DIVs is overkilling.

I think that the needed OPTION from Vaadin is not to produce javascript functionality that affect the layout the page. A baredbone html generation suitable for designer that need to completely control the UI.

You could write an
enhancement ticket
(AKA feature request). Indicate that this is a feature you would like to see in Vaadin 7.

It seems that I need authorization to do that. I cannot access the content of the link.

Ah, my bad. You will need to
create an account
for yourself first and then log in to access that page.

The default Vaadin layouts have been designed around a few key requirements, including that they should work (almost) identically on all supported browsers (still including IE6 at the moment) and must support a number of basic features such as component captions. In addition, some layouts support expand ratios, which should work the same way on all supported browsers. They should also be usable from Java, without special HTML or CSS expertise. Fulfilling all these requirements without javascript size calculation and some extra DOM levels was not really possible. Then add backwards compatibility to the soup…

When dropping IE6 support, some things could perhaps be improved. Allowing layouts to use different DOM structures on the fly based on whether e.g. captions or expand ratios are used or not would also enable flattening the hierarchy somewhat and simplifying the calculations or eliminating some of them - at the expends of breaking backwards compatibility of some themes etc. and some complications in “portable” theme design.

Of the core layouts, in my opinion only CssLayout, CustomLayout and AbsoluteLayout would really come into question in the future with respect to have options to give more responsibility to CSS. Of course, non-core layouts (add-ons) can choose to ignore the constraints of core layouts.

…and here’s another attempt at ignoring those constraints:


Simply put (no pun intended), this layout could possibly fix the issues you were having with CSSLayout, like the nested DIV hell. You’re also free to specify margins, borders and paddings to the layout, which is possible with CSSLayout as well, but with more complex CSS and some small limitations in inheritance.

But do dead all about the SimpleLayout in the Directory page!

And feedback is more than welcome, once again!

The browser compatibility might always be an issue but it has a tendency to fade out over time. The latest compatibility test with IExplorer 10 where pretty promising. Which means that, unless large players still thinking that contrasting standards is still a good decision those needs to provide customized client size solutions are fading over time.
That said, Vaadin strength might become its weakness if you do not let creative people to comfortably participate to production.

Any solution to unlock designers creativity to let them actively participate on projects is a must. So I welcome the SimpleLayout and I will try to ABuse it. :slight_smile:

Today I work for a government office specialized in IT that never had designer and artists in the past. Things changes and is not about the pretty look of web pages it is about ergonomic solutions and new way to let users interact with a product. Today the issue is not as much browser compatibility but customized experienced based on different platform (mobile, web, pads, etc…) .

Good technical solutions should allow diversified professional figures to blend and work together easily, faster and reaching their goals.
A solution flagged on constraining creativity can only be used on constrained products.

So… I really hope you can start diversify your output based on wider goals and targets. After all the best place for an artist to express himself is a white clean canvas :slight_smile: .

I apologized if I sound too critical. I am not expressing all the positive feelings that I have in building solutions with Vaadin… it is just that feeling limited on how far I can go (I have been abusing jQuery in the past) is pretty frustrating.

Thanks again for all your work.

Yes and no…

At a major client site we are now just phasing out the latest Windows 2000 systems, which means we are no longer bound to IE6.
BUT: Currently we can’t jump to Windows 7 because the client has some other software which does not work with Vista or newer systems,
so currently we are replacing windows 2000 by windows xp, which then ends up in IE8, nothing more.
We hope to be able to upgrade to Windows 7 in 1-2 years at this client site and I doubt that many other companies will have phased out all Windows XP or older systems in two years…

One thing we see with vaadin is that the layouts are very well designed and work very well crossbrowser, BUT, they are slow on browsers with slow JS engines (Like IE6…8), because the sizes/margings etc. are calculated in JS and not natively by the browser.
Moving out

level of the dom structure helps improve js performance, but then cross browser compatibility catches you again… :frowning:

Jouni, I only got today a chance to have the SimpleLayout introduced in the current project. I will try to post feedback from the next coming week.

So far the SimpleLayout is doing is work very well !!