Guest blog post by Sami Ekblad, Vaadin.com.
Accompanying the GWT 2.3 release, Vaadin is happy to announce version 6.6 of the Vaadin Framework. Vaadin is a server-side UI component framework that uses GWT on the client-side for rich user experience. With origins in Finland (a "vaadin" is a reindeer), there is now a very active Vaadin community world-wide. The framework has become especially popular during the last two years, with nearly twenty thousand downloads monthly.
Vaadin UI components are similar to GWT widgets, but their state is stored at the server. Every component has a client-side peer widget responsible for the presentation, and the synchronization between the server and the browser is automatically handled by the framework.
This makes development with Vaadin fast. It is mainly used to develop business web applications where pure client-side web application development is not a feasible option, but the web browser as a platform provides unparalleled benefits. One can think of Vaadin as a simplified Swing for web applications.
Touch support and Eclipse plug-in
Vaadin 6.6 follows the latest trends in web application development and adds touch device support. With GWT's new touch features, we were able to touch-enable all Vaadin components. Touch scrolling, selections, and drag and drop work out-of-the-box. Also thanks to GWT, we were able to add official support for Internet Explorer 9, which has been requested a few times already.
In addition to the new framework version there is a new version of the Vaadin plug-in for Eclipse available. The main addition is the visual editor for Vaadin that has now been included by default. With that you can visually design the user interface and then just continue editing the generated Java code to add some logic.
Over the years, we have seen the development team behind GWT doing an excellent job adding new functionality while keeping the framework as a solid platform for our development.
Today we are also actively contributing new widgets to the GWT community. You can find some of them hosted at Google Code and also available in the Vaadin Add-on Directory. Take a look at the GWT Graphics, SparkLines and SimpleGesture for some interesting examples.