Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.

10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Harry Gates Hut Trip in the Roaring Fork Valley

It's been several years since my last hut trip. When my friend Brad Swanson invited me this year, I jumped at the opportunity. Trish skipped this trip and my good friend Ryan joined in her place. It was Ryan's first hut trip. As a snowboarder, he opted to snowshoe with his snowboard on his back.

Our journey to Harry Gates Hut began early last Friday morning. Our Syncro had just returned from the body shop the night before and was ready to head for the hills. We arrived in Basalt, Colorado (in the Roaring Fork Valley) around 11am and were on the trail at 12:30pm.

The Syncro is back!

From experience, I knew it was going to be a long slog uphill. I rented telemark skis, with NTN boots/bindings, from Confluence Kayaks. We both quickly realized we'd packed too many supplies, as our packs were quite heavy. Nevertheless, we trudged on, one foot in front of the other.

[Read More]

Posted in General at Feb 11 2015, 07:53:56 AM MST 1 Comment

Best Practices for using Foundation with AngularJS

What You Need To Know About Zurb Foundation for Apps I was recently tasked with doing some research to figure out the best way to use Foundation with AngularJS. Goals for this research included:

  1. Identify use cases of Foundation for Sites vs Foundation for Apps and recommend when to use each.
  2. Look at pros and cons of using AngularJS with Foundation for Sites.

I'm writing this blog post to get feedback from you, fellow web developers, on your experience with Foundation. Have you tried using Foundation for Sites with AngularJS? If so, did you experience any pain?

From what I can tell, it looks like Foundation for Apps (FA) was created because folks had issues making AngularJS and Foundation 5 play nicely together. The Next Foundation explains why FA was created. Reddit's web_design zone has quite a few comments related to this article.

From there, I found a few ZURB blog posts that describe FA's three main advantages over Foundation for Sites (FS):

  1. A New Grid
  2. Motion UI
  3. AngularJS Integration

This thread on the Foundation forums seems to indicate that FA would be good for developing applications while FS would be good for an intranet built on WordPress (since it's more of a website than a webapp).

[Read More]

Posted in The Web at Feb 05 2015, 09:21:50 AM MST 1 Comment

The Art of AngularJS in 2015

I've been tracking statistics on jobs and skills for JavaScript MVC frameworks ever since I Compared JVM Web Frameworks at Devoxx France in 2013. At that time, Backbone was the dominant framework.

2013 Dice Jobs for JavaScript MVC Frameworks 2013 LinkedIn Skills for JavaScript MVC Frameworks

Last year, I updated those statistics for a presentation on AngularJS at Denver's Derailed. Angular had a similar amount of jobs as Backbone and a lot of people added it to their LinkedIn profiles. I found that Ember had grown around 300%, Backbone 200% and Angular 1000%!

2014 Dice Jobs for JavaScript MVC Frameworks 2014 LinkedIn Skills for JavaScript MVC Frameworks

Before presenting on AngularJS at last night's Denver Open Source Users Group, I updated these statistics once again. The charts below show how the number of jobs for Angular has doubled in the last year, while jobs for Ember and Backbone have fallen slightly. As far as skills, developers learning Ember and Backbone has increased 200%, while skilled Angular folks has risen 400%.

2015 Dice Jobs for JavaScript MVC Frameworks 2015 LinkedIn Skills for JavaScript MVC Frameworks

Yes, AngularJS has experienced huge growth in the last couple of years. You might even say it's the Struts of the JavaScript world.

For the presentation I delivered last night, I made a number of improvements over last year's. I added a live coding demo based on my Getting Started with AngularJS tutorial. I used IntelliJ's live templates to make it look easy. However, since the audience was quiet, and some were falling asleep, I skipped over the testing demo.

[Read More]

Posted in The Web at Feb 04 2015, 09:14:57 AM MST Add a Comment

Testing AngularJS Applications

This article is the second in a series about learning AngularJS. It describes how to test a simple AngularJS application. In a previous article, Getting Started with AngularJS, I showed how to develop a simple search and edit feature.

What you'll learn

You'll learn to use Jasmine for unit testing controllers and Protractor for integration testing. Angular's documentation has a good developer's guide to unit testing if you'd like more information on testing and why it's important.

The best reason for writing tests is to automate your testing. Without tests, you'll likely be testing manually. This manual testing will take longer and longer as your codebase grows.

What you'll need

  • About 15-30 minutes
  • A favorite text editor or IDE. We recommend IntelliJ IDEA.
  • Git installed.
  • Node.js and NPM installed.
[Read More]

Posted in The Web at Feb 02 2015, 10:11:56 AM MST Add a Comment

2014 - A Year in Review

2014 was destined to be a spectacular year. When I wrote my thoughts down last January, I thought the Broncos would win the Super Bowl and my VW Bus restoration project would be finished by summer. To focus on finishing the bus project, I didn't submit any talks to conferences. Instead of traveling to exotic locations, we opted to visit a bunch in our own backyard instead.

I should've known it'd be an interesting year when the Broncos flopped in the Super Bowl.

For this Year in Review post, I'll use the format I've used the last couple of years.

Professional

I had three different clients throughout the year, all in the health care industry. I continued working on a project with John Muir Health where we developed a hybrid mobile app. I wrote about what I learned in Documenting your Spring API with Swagger and Developing an iOS Native App with Ionic. Since I wrote the article about Swagger's Spring MVC support, it has become much easier to integrate; now it only requires an @EnableSwagger annotation.

In April, I started consulting with a small company in Alabama. I helped them modernize their tech stack and implemented a number of web services with Apache Camel. I wrote about this in a four-part series in September and October.

[Read More]

Posted in Roller at Jan 31 2015, 09:37:43 AM MST 2 Comments

Getting Started with AngularJS

I was hired by my current client in November to help them choose a technology stack for developing modern web applications. In our first sprint, we decided to look at JavaScript MVC frameworks. I suggested AngularJS, Ember.js and React. Since most of the team was new to JavaScript MVC, I decided to create a tutorial for them. I tried to make it easy so they could learn how to write a simple web application with AngularJS. I thought others could benefit from this article as well, so I asked (and received) permission from my client to publish it here.

What you'll build

You'll build a simple web application with AngularJS. You'll also add search and edit features with mock data.

What you'll need

  • About 15-30 minutes
  • A favorite text editor or IDE. I recommend IntelliJ IDEA.
  • Git installed.
  • Node.js and NPM installed.
[Read More]

Posted in The Web at Jan 29 2015, 11:12:38 AM MST Add a Comment

Integrating Node.js, Ruby and Spring with Okta's SAML Support

Okta Security has always piqued my interest, ever since I first developed AppFuse and figured out how to make J2EE security work back in 2004. I hacked AppFuse to have Remember Me functionality, then moved onto Acegi/Spring Security. Spring Security had the features I needed, even if it did require almost 100 lines of XML to configure it. These days, it's much better and its JavaConfig - combined with Spring Boot - is pretty slick.

That was the first part of my security life. The second phase began the night I met Trish, and learned she sold security products. She knew of OWASP and their top 10 rules. It was Trish that inspired me to write my Java Web Application Security presentation. I really enjoyed writing that presentation, comparing Apache Shiro, Spring Security and Java EE's security frameworks. I followed up the first time I presented it with a number of blog posts and screencasts. Hmmmm, maybe I should update the presentation/screencasts to use Java configuration only (#NoXML) and submit it to a couple conferences this year? I digress.

I had to do a security-related spike over the last couple weeks. I was trying to get SAML authentication working with Okta and my client's Active Directory server. Luckily, someone setup the AD integration so all I had to do was try a few different languages/frameworks. I searched and found ThoughtWorks' okta-samples, which includes examples using Node.js and Sinatra (Ruby + JRuby). I also found a Spring SAML example that includes one of my favorite things in JavaLand: Java-based configuration.

I'm happy to report I was able to get all of these applications working with my client's Okta setup. This article will tell you how I did it. For each application, I created a new application on Okta using its "Template SAML 2.0 Application" and added myself in the application's "People" tab. Each section below contains the configuration I used for Okta. The instructions below assume you're similar to me, a developer that has Java 8, Node and Ruby installed, but none of the specific frameworks. As I write this, I have everything working on my Mac with Yosemite, but I wrote the instructions below using one of my old laptops, fresh after a Yosemite upgrade.

[Read More]

Posted in Java at Jan 08 2015, 11:43:47 AM MST Add a Comment

THE BUS IS PAINTED!! HOLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT BATMAN!

I asked Jim Verhey at ReinCARnation to stop working on my bus in mid October. I didn't have a client lined up for November and couldn't afford to keep paying for it.

Today, I journeyed to Colorado Springs to talk with Jim. I hoped to convince him to give me a fixed bid to finish the project. When I got there, he surprised me with a finished paint job! You can imagine the look on my face when he opened the door and I saw this beauty!! HOLY SHIT - I LOVE IT SO MUCH!! The colors are perfect and paint job is exquisite!!

Jim said he felt bad for all I’ve been through with this project and finishing it was my Christmas Present. BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!! :-D

THE BUS IS FINALLY PAINTED!

OMG - IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

EST. DELIVERY DATE: APRIL 1, 2015

DID YOU HEAR THAT?! IT'LL BE DONE IN APRIL!

INTERIOR IN APRIL! DRIVING IN MAY!

JAMES VERHEY - WITH THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!

There's still more work to be done before it's street legal. However, Jim did give me a fixed-bid price to finish it. If I can afford it, the bus will be done on April 1, 2015. Then it's off to the stereo shop (1 week) and the interior shop (2 weeks). That means I could be driving it in May! YIPPEEE!! Thanks Jim - you are an awesome human being. :)

Posted in The Bus at Dec 21 2014, 05:33:46 PM MST 4 Comments

AppFuse, Reduced

In November, I had some time off between clients. To occupy my time, I exercised my body and brain a bit. I spent a couple hours a day exercising and a few hours a day working on AppFuse. AppFuse isn't used to start projects nearly as much as it once was. This makes sense since there's been a ton of innovation on the JVM and there's lots of get-started-quickly frameworks now. Among my favorites are Spring Boot, JHipster, Grails and Play.

You can see that AppFuse's community activity has decreased quite a bit over the years by looking at its mailing list traffic.

AppFuse Mailing List Traffic, December 2014

Even though there's not a lot of users talking on the mailing list, it still seems to get quite a few downloads from Maven Central.

AppFuse Maven Central Stats, November 2014

I think the biggest value that AppFuse provides now is a learning tool for those who work on it. Also, it's a good place to show other developers how they can evolve with open source frameworks (e.g. Spring, Hibernate, JSF, Tapestry, Struts) over several years. Showing how we migrated to Spring MVC Test, for example, might be useful. The upcoming move to Spring Data instead of our Generic DAO solution might be interesting as well.

Regardless of whether AppFuse is used a lot or not, it should be easy to maintain. Over the several weeks, I made some opinionated changes and achieved some pretty good progress on simplifying things and making the project easier to maintain. The previous structure has a lot of duplicate versions, properties and plugin configurations between different projects. I was able to leverage Maven's inheritance model to make a number of improvements:

[Read More]

Posted in Java at Dec 16 2014, 06:03:31 AM MST 6 Comments

Devoxx4Kids Denver: Having fun with littleBits

A little more than a week ago, on a beautiful Saturday morning, a number of Denver kids converged at Assembly to learn about hardware concepts with littleBits. This meetup was a bit different than our last meeting in that the kids built stuff with their hands rather than on computers.

Supplies Devoxx4Kids Sign

The workshop was taught by Juan Sanchez of Tack Mobile. Juan did an excellent job of keeping his presentation short and sweet and got the kids building things within the first hour. The event space provided by Assembly was excellent and we look forward to December's Greenfoot Workshop at the same location.

Juan in Action

[Read More]

Posted in Java at Dec 02 2014, 12:10:49 PM MST 2 Comments