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About uilder

uilder is a web service for writing and running small Vaadin based Java web applications online. No actual deployment is needed - just the Java code.

It's main purpose is to share code samples, but you can also use it to write small web apps and show what you can achieve with a short Java code snippet.

The uilder includes an online Java editor and a dynamic execution environment to test and run the code immediately. There is also a simple persistence mechanism for storing and retrieving custom application data.

uilder web UI

Sharing uilder

Currently the system is "invitation only". If you like to give it a try (and I feel that you are serious about this) drop me some email and I'll send you one.

There is a search that you can use to search code snippets published in the uilder. This also works as links like: uilder.viruallypreinstalled.com/search/Window or uilder.viruallypreinstalled.com/search/sami or uilder.viruallypreinstalled.com/search/3367

bit.ly provides a nice short link to uilder: j.mp/uilder

Why it is called "uilder"?

Among other things, I like climbing and "Bouldering is a style of rock climbing undertaken without a rope and normally limited to very short climbs so that a fall will not result in serious injury." - wikipedia

This nicely summarizes what uilder is to a Java UI developer.

And if you combine this to one of my favorite quotes from Vincent Van Gogh: "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." - and you see what I see.


In my work at IT Mill, I have organized many training sessions to teach developers how to get use Vaadin (or IT Mill Toolkit before that) to create web applications. Many times I faced the same questions, wrote and deployed the same small code snippets over and over again. That took too much time and left me thinking of an easier way. (a side note: most Java developers know that short Java code is mostly easy to write but painful to deploy). As a developer I felt an architecture astronaut in me raising his head and something had to be done before it was too late: Just a simple solution for sharing small Vaadin code samples.

Only a little feature creep has happened since then, and that I allowed to myself*. The uilder has also provided me with a platform to test new ideas and UI patterns that I could not be tested anywhere else. It also encouraged me to use my "Community Friday" time at IT Mill to write some smaller components and widgets, like the autocomplete editor, sound player widget and screenshot widget.

Today, uilder provides a way to share your Vaadin apps. Whether it is a test case for a ticket, some small aggregate ui of external web service or just a code sample for your friends.

* I must admit that occasionally the system design almost got out of hands. There are few places in the where you can see features nobody actually uses. But in general I managed to keep the focus on solution to the original problem.


The uilder system itself is written by me on my spare time. However, as I'm actively absorbing new ideas around me, it is fair to say that many of the solutions and ideas are actually loaned from others. To give credit where it actually belongs to, I try to list here the names behind the uilder (in alphabetical order):

  • Hannu - Usability expert
  • Joonas - Some great ideas
  • Jouni - Knows what looks good
  • Marc - My fellow astronaut
  • Matti - Takes the astronauts back to earth

If you feel I missed your name here (or you don't know why your name is here), just ask me.