Vaadin Visual Designer, broken by default

I have spent the past month, attempting to learn my way around the Vaadin framework. Kind of sucks that its Eclipse plug-in is broken, right out of the box. As soon as I installed it, I started getting this error whenever I would launch my IDE.

Could not start XULRunner(version 1.9 or higher required)

Could not start XULRunner(version 1.9 or higher required)

I didn’t, and still don’t, know what the hell XULRunner is. Some library from the Mozilla Developers Network that is currently at version 19.0.2, as of this writing. I think the good folks at Vaadin have abandoned this project; version 1.9 is ancient!

Software rot aside, if you’d like to get rid of this annoying error dialog, you will need to add XULRunner 1.9 to Eclipse’s file path. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Close Eclipse, if it is open
  2. Download XULRunner 1.9.2 from MDN
  3. Install XULRunner by following the instructions here for your operating system.
    1. Be sure to perform the registration step
  4. Open eclipse.ini or your Eclipse shortcut (Windows) and add the following line
    1. -Dorg.eclipse.swt.browser.XULRunnerPath=C:<path><to>xulrunner-1.9.x.x
    2. Here, you can see how I added the line to my Eclipse shortcut link
    3. Adding XULRunner to Eclipse's classpath via shortcut

      Adding XULRunner to Eclipse’s classpath via shortcut

    4. Click ‘OK’ or Save the ‘eclipse.ini’ file
  5. Start Eclipse

Hopefully, at this point, the error will be gone and you can move on to being disappointed by the Vaadin Visual Designer, distraction-free!

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