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

The JHipster Mini-Book The JHipster Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with hip technologies today: AngularJS, Bootstrap, and Spring Boot. All of these frameworks are wrapped up in an easy-to-use project called JHipster.

This book shows you how to build an app with JHipster, and guides you through the plethora of tools, techniques and options you can use. Furthermore, it explains the UI and API building blocks so you understand the underpinnings of your great application.

For book updates, follow @jhipster-book on Twitter.

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.

Upcoming Events: Devoxx4Kids Denver, Testing Angular 2, DevoxxUS CFP and VJUG24

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on this here blog. That usually means one thing - I've been off having fun! That couldn't be more true this summer. The day after my last post, I began traveling and haven't stopped since. In fact, this weekend will be the first weekend I've been home since writing that post. Hawaii, Montana, Denver, Montana, Colorado Springs and Utah - it's been a fabulous summer. I'll write more about those adventures soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to mention some upcoming events you might be interested in:

  • September 10: Devoxx4Kids Denver has an upcoming workshop on Exploring JavaScript with the world famous Dr. Venkat Subramaniam. If you know Venkat, you know this is a session you shouldn't miss. Your kids will love it, you'll get a lot of good laughs and everyone is sure to have a good time. Make sure and RSVP soon so you get in before this baby fills up!
  • August 22: HTML5 Denver has a sessions on ES6 vs. Typescript and Testing Angular 2 Applications. The first session will be delivered by my good friend Geoffrey Filippi and I'll be performing the second act with the help of angular-cli.
  • Devoxx US September 1: One of my favorite conferences, Devoxx, is coming to the US! DevoxxUS recently announced that registration is open. Even more interesting is that the CFP begins September 1st. I'm biased because I'm on the program committee, but I'd love to see your ideas for great talks!
  • September 27: Our good friends from vJUG are hosting the first 24 hour Virtual Java Conference in the world! I'll be speaking about the Art of Angular in 2016 at 10pm EDT.
  • September: I'm looking for new clients. My current contracts end on August 31 and I'm searching for the next cool team to work with. My expertise: Java, JavaScript and I'm really good at CSS. This is a hard combination to find! LMK if you have a need.

I hope to see you at one of these events!

Posted in Java at Aug 12 2016, 03:29:01 PM MDT Add a Comment

A Delightful Trip to Devoxx UK and GeekOut 2016

We found a pub! I had the pleasure of traveling to London, England and Tallin, Estonia this past week. In London, I spoke at Devoxx UK. In Tallin, I spoke at GeekOut. I took my mom (or mum, if you prefer) and we explored the sights, enjoyed local cuisines and savored a few beverages. Our trip started with a direct flight from Denver to London. We arrived on Tuesday, June 7, around noon.

We were only in London for two nights, but it was enough time for us to savor excellent Indian food, fancy a walk through London, and order a bow tie. I forgot the bow tie for my JHipster outfit. Luckily, I found a good replacement and was able to order it for next-day delivery. I had to order it by 5pm and the site declined both my credit cards with time running out. I ended up using PayPal and got my order placed in the nick of time: 16:59:51.

The big news announced at Devoxx UK is that Devoxx is coming to the United States in 2017! I'm on the program committee for this conference, so I look forward to helping make it spectacular.

Devoxx coming to US in 2017!

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Posted in Java at Jun 12 2016, 11:13:17 AM MDT Add a Comment

Moving AppFuse into the Attic

In mid-February, I decided to stop working on AppFuse. My reason was simple: I was no longer getting any value from my contributions to the project. I sent a message to the developers mailing list the next day:

Hello everyone,

Last night, I started working on AppFuse 4.0, with the following features from the roadmap:

  • Remove XML wherever possible
  • Java 8
  • Spring Boot
  • Spring Data
  • JSR 303 (might require removing or developing client-side support)

As I started removing XML and integrating Spring Boot and Spring Data, it quickly became apparent that it’d be a lot of work to make all of these changes. My guess is it’d take over 100 hours of my time to do everything. This is time I’d be taking away from my family and personal time.

At the end of last year, I wanted to make AppFuse 4.0 happen because I thought it’d help me stay up-to-date with Java technologies and learn some things along the way. As I dug into the codebase last night, I realized it’d be more of a headache than a learning experience. It seems there would be little reward for all the work.

Because there’s little-to-no activity on the mailing list these days, it seems like it’s the right time to shutdown the project and dedicate my free time to other open source endeavors. As you might know, I’m a big fan of JHipster (http://jhipster.github.io/). It combines AngularJS and Spring Boot and has all the features that AppFuse has - but with a more modern technology stack.

If we had everything hosted on GitHub, I think it’d make sense to add a line to the README that says “This project is no longer maintained”. However, since there’s a lot hosted on appfuse.org (with Confluence), it might not be that easy. Maybe it’s possible to export everything from Confluence to static HTML pages and host them somewhere with the same URLs so there’s not a bunch of 404s from shutting down the project.

Thank you for your contributions over the years. AppFuse was pretty cool back in the day, but now there’s better solutions.

Cheers,

Matt

The good news is I've worked out a deal with Contegix to keep appfuse.org up and running for the next year. The demos, documentation and bug tracker will be available until April 30, 2017. Bamboo and FishEye will be discontinued in the next week since they're too memory intensive for a smaller server. I'd love to figure out a way to export all the documentation from Confluence to Asciidoctor so everything can be on GitHub for years to come. However, there's something to be said for just letting a project fade away rather than holding onto nostalgic artifacts.

On a related note, Java.net will be closing in a year from today. AppFuse started on SourceForge, but moved to appfuse.java.net shortly after. Today, the only thing left on java.net are AppFuse's mailing lists. I suppose it makes sense that both projects will cease to exist around the same time.

AppFuse's source code will remain on GitHub. I have no plans to delete it.

Thanks to everyone that used and contributed to AppFuse over the years. It was a pretty wild and crazy ride from 2003-2007! :)

Posted in Java at Apr 28 2016, 03:40:16 PM MDT 9 Comments

Devoxx France 2016: Springtime in Paris

I had the good fortune to visit Paris last week for Devoxx France. When traveling to conferences in exotic locations, I like to bring a travel partner. This time, I asked my daughter, Abbie, to join me. She gladly accepted. Springtime in Paris can be a beautiful event. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the sun's rays blanket the city.

We arrived in Paris on Tuesday, April 19 and quickly found our way to our hotel. Its location was ideal: across the street from Le Palais des Congrès de Paris convention center and mall. Since the conference was at the convention center, it made logistics for my talks very convenient. We grabbed a quick bite after settling in, then took a 15-minute stroll to the Arc de Triomphe.

Obligatory Arc de Triomphe selfie Abbie and Eiffel Tower

That evening, we joined Ippon developers and friends at a special event for Java Hipsters. Their rooftop location had great views, cold "Java" beer and I met a lot of enthusiastic developers. I especially enjoyed talking with the original Java Hipster and founder of JHipster, Julien Dubois.

Java Beer! The original Java Hipster, Julien Dubious Fun event!

The sunset over Paris provided a splendid backdrop for the festivities.

Sunset over Paris

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Posted in Java at Apr 26 2016, 07:13:18 AM MDT Add a Comment

Devoxx 2015: A Java Hipster Visits Belgium

I've been excited to show people JHipster and what it can do ever since I started using it in September 2014. I've been using its core frameworks (AngularJS, Bootstrap and Spring Boot) for a few years and believe they do a great job to simplify web development. Especially for Java developers.

When my JHipster talk was accepted for Devoxx Belgium, I told Trish we were headed back to Belgium. She smiled from ear-to-ear. Belgium is one of our favorite countries to visit. In an effort to live healthier prior to Devoxx, I stopped drinking beer a month beforehand. I mentioned this to friends the week prior.

One month ago, I stopped drinking beer. I hoped it'd help me with www.21-points.com and weight loss. Unfortunately, it did not.

I told myself I'd start drinking beer again when 1) The Bus was finished or 2) Trish and I arrived in Belgium for Devoxx. Looks like #2 will win (we land on Tuesday).

We arrived in Brussels late Tuesday morning and hopped aboard a train to Antwerp. After arriving, we were hungry so we stopped at Bier Central for lunch. The mussels and beer were splendid.

First beer in over a month, so good!

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Posted in Java at Nov 17 2015, 12:09:43 AM MST 2 Comments

Google's Mirror of Maven Central 25% Faster

Last week, Takari announced that Google is Maven Central's New Best Friend. While writing a news article about this for InfoQ, I decided to run a small test to see the speed of the default Maven Central versus the new Google Cloud Storage instance. This micro benchmark didn't seem worthy of including in the article, but I think it's interesting to see the speed improvements I found.

I ran rm -rf ~/.m2/repository, then mvn install with the default repository configured. I ran the commands again with Google Cloud Storage. I found that the downloading of dependencies, compilation and running unit tests on AppFuse's web projects averaged 4 minutes, 30 seconds. With Google Cloud Storage, the same process averaged 3 minutes and 37 seconds. By my calculations, this means you speed up artifact resolution for your Maven projects by 25% by switching to Google. To do that, create a ~/.m2/settings.xml file with the following contents.

<settings>
  <mirrors>
    <mirror>
      <id>google-maven-central</id>
      <name>Google Maven Central</name>
      <url>https://maven-central.storage.googleapis.com</url>
      <mirrorOf>central</mirrorOf>
    </mirror>
  </mirrors>
</settings>

Benchmark Details
My tests were run on a Mac Pro (late 2013) with a 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor and 32 GB of RAM. Bandwidth speeds during this test averaged 57 Mbps down, 6 Mbps up. Below are the timing numbers (in minutes) from my test:

Default: 4:33, 4:36, 4:32, 4:24, 4:09
Google: 5:13, 3:35, 2:15, 3:38, 3:39

Google had some wide variances in its results, with five minutes and two minutes. Because of this, I dropped the low and high numbers for each service before calculating the average. My math with raw numbers is below.

Default:
273, 276, 272, 264, 213 = 260, 4:20
276, 272, 264 = 270, 4:30

Google:
313, 215, 135, 218, 219 = 220, 3.66 = 3:40
215, 218, 219 = 3:37

Chen Eric commented on the InfoQ article to note that Chinese programmers are blocked from using Google.

Update: Jason Swank of Sonatype has done some more extensive benchmarking and found different results.

We found that average unprimed Google API (first mvn run) caching performed 30% slower than Maven Central. Primed Google API cache performance (second run) was 3% faster then Maven Central (second run). We also ran a number of cloud-based tests with similar results.

Posted in Java at Nov 10 2015, 12:13:51 AM MST 4 Comments

The JHipster Mini-Book: How We Did It and What's Next

The JHipster Mini-Book Last Friday, the JHipster Mini-Book was published on InfoQ. I wrote about this milestone on the book's blog. I'm pumped to see this release happen, and I'd like to give you a behind-the-scenes peak at how it went from idea to production.

The Idea
At the end of last year, I wrote down my goals for 2015:

  • 21 Point Fitness App
  • JHipster Mini Book (InfoQ)
  • Finish Bus
  • New House
  • Good Blood Pressure

My reason for wanting to write a JHipster Mini-Book was simple: I knew AngularJS, Bootstrap and Spring Boot quite well. I'd used them on several projects and I really liked how JHipster married them all together. I often ran into people that used these technologies, but hadn't heard of JHipster. I was hoping to make more people aware of the project and market my development skills at the same time.

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Posted in Java at Nov 03 2015, 10:13:40 AM MST 8 Comments

SpringOne 2GX 2015: My Presentations on Comparing Hot JavaScript Frameworks and NoXML

Last week, I had the pleasure of traveling to Washington, DC to speak at the annual SpringOne 2GX conference. I was pretty stressed for the last few weeks because I had to create two new presentations from scratch, and both had to be 90 minutes long. I was also hoping to finish the JHipster Book before the conference started. I was able to finish both presentations in the nick of time, but did not find the time to write the last chapter in the JHipster Book.

The first presentation was titled Comparing Hot JavaScript Frameworks: AngularJS, Ember.js and React.js. I started by revisiting the Comparing JVM Web Frameworks talk I did at vJUG last February. I explained how I think traditional web frameworks are no longer relevant in 2015, but I do believe server-side rendering is still very relevant. From there, I used Yevgeniy Brikman’s framework scorecard (from his Node.js vs. Play Framework presentation) to rank each framework by a number of different criteria. You can see the final results on slide 160. Since the scores were so close, I believe you could tweak some scores a bit (or add weights to the different criteria) and make any of the frameworks come out on top.

You can click through the presentation below, download it from my presentations page, or see it on SlideShare.

I started writing the second presentation a week before I had to deliver it. On Thursday, September 10th, I stayed up late, trying to figure out how to create a good presentation on NoXML and finish the last part of the JHipster Book. Then it came to me, I needed to parallelize and do them both at the same time. I decided to compare AppFuse (which is similar to a legacy Spring application with lots of XML) to JHipster (which hardly contains any XML).

I wrote a 10-page Google Doc on how I planned to do this, then went rafting and camping with my family for the weekend. I finished most of the presentation on Monday night, but then realized the presentation wouldn't be long enough to fill 90 minutes. So I hunkered down at midnight, created a new AppFuse application and removed a bunch of its XML. This took me until 3:30am, and I was able to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Spring XML to Java
  • Spring Security Configuration to Java
  • web.xml to WebApplicationInitializer
  • Spring MVC to Java
  • Migrated to Spring Boot
  • Maven to Groovy

I was pretty pumped when I completed my final goal: converting to Spring Boot and getting a test to pass. I made commits to an appfuse-noxml project on GitHub as I accomplished each step. You can see all the changes in the project's commit log. While I'd figured everything out, I still needed to complete the presentation. Luckily, I found time to do this the night before, the morning of, and in the final hour before I had to deliver the talk. You can imagine my relief when I was done delivering both talks.

You can click through the presentation below, download it from my presentations page, or view it on SlideShare.

While I didn't get to spend much time at the conference, I did have a lot of fun while I was there. I got to meet some new folks, reconnect with old friends, and enjoy beers and dinner with a smiling crew on Thursday night. The Broncos victory late that night was the icing on the cake. :)

Posted in Java at Sep 20 2015, 12:29:00 PM MDT Add a Comment

Minecraft Modding at Denver's Devoxx4Kids

Devoxx4Kids Denver: Minecraft Modding Last weekend, Denver's Devoxx4Kids gathered at Tuliva to learn about Modding Minecraft. Several kids (ages 7-15) were introduced to programming Java by the founder of Devoxx4Kids USA, Arun Gupta, and his son, Aditya.

They used Java 8, Eclipse, Minecraft Forge and to show you how to create mods that could give you potatoes, skeleton cows, and even launch into different dimensions. The skeleton war was a big hit too. We had a record turnout at this event, and the space was fabulous. The live broadcast from vJUG went very smoothly and Tuliva's large screen and sound served us well. It was pretty sweet when we got shout-outs from the vJUG crew too!

Thanks for the great space Tuliva! Watching Arun and Aditya on vJUG

Simon Maple wrote a great summary of the session that includes the video we watched, as well as an interview with Arun and Aditya. Take a look at Devoxx4Kid's Minecraft Modding Tutorial if you'd like to see what we learned.

We did run into a couple issues while trying to follow along. The first was that the virtual machines we were using wouldn't run the Minecraft client. The error we saw was:

org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Pixel format not accelerated

We later learned from Arun that virtual machines were an issue and it's better to use Forge on a local machine. The second issue we ran into was when folks tried to build Forge from source, they got a 500 error when it tried to download http://export.mcpbot.bspk.rs/versions.json. We later learned that the firewall was blocking it.

Despite these issues, I believe the kids learned a lot by watching the vJUG broadcast. I spoke with some parents that got things working in the class, as well as a few that tried it when they got home. After the modding session, I showed the class how to create a Minecraft Server on AWS. I also did some research to see if you could automate the server creation. I quickly landed on Thomas Offermann's site and his tutorials:

Thomas created a couple GitHub projects: one to setup a Minecraft server on AWS, as well as a webapp that you can start/stop it with. I haven't tried either project yet, but I hope to soon.

Thanks to all the Denver kids and parents that joined us last weekend! The Tuliva facilities were spacious and comfortable. We owe them a big thanks for sponsoring Devoxx4Kids Denver! We hope to do another workshop this fall, possibly on Raspberry Pi.

Posted in Java at Aug 19 2015, 08:41:52 AM MDT Add a Comment

How do I become a programmer?

Yesterday, I received a message from a friend, asking about how to become a programmer. It's not the first time I've been asked this. In fact, this summer I've been asked by several friends how to get into the field. It seems that as people grow older, they see the lifestyle of working remotely and enjoying their job as an attractive thing to do. In yesterday's case, this friend is a mom that now has her days free because all her kids are in school. Here's what she wrote:

Now that my girls are both in school full day, I've been thinking about taking some programming classes. It's something I started to do while I was working at [ABC Company], but obviously didn't pursue once I quit to have kids. I'm thinking of getting my MIS in web development or specializing in designing apps if that's even a thing? Anyway, what languages would you recommend I concentrate on? JavaScript, Python? Lastly, is there a particular school you would recommend? I can't afford DU on my stay-at-home-mom salary, or even Regis which is where I started when I was getting tuition reimbursement. I was hoping I could do most of my education online while the kids are in school? Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

Since this is a common question I see, I figured I'd publish my answers here, and get some advice from y'all too. Here's my response:

Python would definitely be good, as would JavaScript. JavaScript can be done on the client and server these days, so you could do that and be able to do front-end and backend development.

For programming specifically, I've heard these guys have a good JavaScript course: https://www.codecademy.com. Here's how to get started with Python in eight weeks: http://lifehacker.com/how-i-taught-myself-to-code-in-eight-weeks-511615189. And one of my favorites: http://programming-motherfucker.com/become.html.

I've taken a Scala course from Coursera, it was hard and intense, but I learned a lot. They have lots of courses and give you certifications you can put on your LinkedIn profile: https://www.coursera.org.

I've also recommended https://teamtreehouse.com to folks and https://www.khanacademy.org has always been good, even for kids.

Ultimately, the best way to learn to code is by doing. It's definitely good to study, learn and practice, but it'll probably won't sink in and become real knowledge until you're getting paid to do it. With the plethora of high-priced programmers out there, you can likely find a junior position, show a willingness to learn and come up to speed quickly. If you can couple that with a remote position, I think you'll really enjoy yourself.

Her response was interesting, as she thought she might need a CS degree to even get a programming job.

Coincidentally I looked over many of these coding sites yesterday but wasn't sure if I needed an accredited diploma. It sounds like it's more important that I just get some experience.

From my experience, a college degree matters, but not a CS degree. I told her people skills make programmers stand out and she's a witty person that certainly has those. What's your advice as a programmer? What would you tell people to do if they want to break into the field?

More importantly, if you're on the hiring side, what would it take for you to hire a 40-something person with no programming background? If they've been studying for six months and have really good people skills, would you hire them for a junior position?

Posted in Java at Aug 13 2015, 08:32:43 AM MDT 7 Comments