Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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.

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).

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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.

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

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

Developing an iOS Native App with Ionic

In my current project, I've been helping a client develop a native iOS app for their customers. It's written mostly in Objective-C and talks to a REST API. I talked about how we documented our REST API a couple days ago. We developed a prototype for this application back in December, using AngularJS and Bootstrap. Rather than using PhoneGap, we loaded our app in a UIWebView.

It all seemed to work well until we needed to read an activation code with the device's camera. Since we didn't know how to do OCR in JavaScript, we figured a mostly-native app was the way to go. We hired an outside company to do iOS development in January and they've been developing the app since the beginning of February. In the last couple weeks, we encountered some screens that seemed fitting for HTML5, so we turned back to our AngularJS prototype.

The prototype used Bootstrap heavily, but we quickly learned it didn't look like an iOS 7 app, which is what our UX Designer requested. A co-worker pointed out Ionic, developed by Drifty. It's basically Bootstrap for Native, so the apps you develop look and behave like a mobile application.

What is Ionic?
Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Built with Sass and optimized for AngularJS.

I started developing with Ionic a few weeks ago. Using its CSS classes and AngularJS directives, I was able to create several new screens in a matter of days. Most of the time, I was learning new things: how to override its back button behavior (to launch back into the native app), how to configure routes with ui-router, and how to make the $ionicLoading service look native. Now that I know a lot of the basics, I feel like I can really crank out some code.

Tip: I learned how subviews work with ui-router thanks to a YouTube video of Tim Kindberg on Angular UI-Router. However, subviews never fully made sense until I saw Jared Bell's diagram.

To demonstrate how easy it is to use Ionic, I whipped up a quick example application. You can get the source on GitHub at https://github.com/mraible/boot-ionic. The app is a refactored version of Josh Long's x-auth-security that uses Ionic instead of raw AngularJS and Bootstrap. To keep things simple, I did not develop the native app that wraps the HTML.

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Posted in The Web at Mar 27 2014, 04:38:55 PM MDT 9 Comments

The Art of AngularJS

Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking at Denver's DeRailed about AngularJS. Fernand (the group's leader) asked me to speak in December, just after I'd finished a European speaking tour. The Modern Java Web Developer talk I created for that tour included a 20-minute AngularJS Deep Dive screencast. I figured it wouldn't be much work to augment the screencast and create an hour long talk, so I agreed.

When I started creating the presentation last week, I decided I didn't want to make the audience watch my screencast as part of the presentation. They could easily do that on their own time. So I wrote, from scratch, a brand new presentation on AngularJS. I tried to include all the things about Angular that I thought were important and useful for me in my learning process. The result is a presentation I'm proud of and enjoyed delivering.

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

You might notice the presentation has a whole lot of code in it. Normally, when I copy/paste code into a presentation, I use IntelliJ IDEA and everything works. This time, there was something amiss between IDEA 13 and Keynote 6. I tried using IDEA's plugins (namely Copy on steroids and Copy as HTML), but none of them worked. IDEA 12 resulted in the same problem. Then I turned to other solutions. I installed highlight and copied code from the command line. This worked, but the fonts and colors weren't to my liking. Finally, I decided to try another editor: Sublime Text with SublimeHighlight. This worked great and I'm very happy with the results.

Most of my presentations end with a Questions/Contact slide. For this one, I added a few more: people to follow on Twitter, resources to learn from and projects with useful code. Below are a handful of links that greatly enhanced my AngularJS knowledge in the last year.

One of the audience members at DeRailed recommended thinkster.io as a good resource too.

Thanks to Fernand for inviting me to speak and causing me to write this presentation. Creating it greatly improved my AngularJS knowledge and I learned about some new tools in the process. If you'd like to tap into my wealth of knowledge, I'm available for a new gig in April. ;)

Posted in The Web at Feb 27 2014, 09:44:29 AM MST 4 Comments

Comparing JVM Web Frameworks at vJUG

A couple months ago, I was invited to speak at Virtual JUG - an online-only Java User Group organized by the ZeroTurnaround folks. They chose my Comparing JVM Web Frameworks presentation and we agreed I'd speak yesterday morning. They used a combination of Google Hangouts, live streaming on YouTube and IRC to facilitate the meeting. It all went pretty smoothly and produced a comfortable speaking environment. To practice for vJUG, I delivered the same talk on Tuesday night at the Denver Open Source Users Group.

The last time I delivered this talk was at Devoxx France in March 2013. I didn't change any of the format this time, keeping with referencing the Paradox of Choice and encouraging people to define constraints to help them make their decision. I did add a few new slides regarding RebelLabs' Curious Coder’s Java Web Frameworks Comparison: Spring MVC, Grails, Vaadin, GWT, Wicket, Play, Struts and JSF and The 2014 Decision Maker’s Guide to Java Web Frameworks.

I also updated all the pretty graphs (which may or may not have any significance) with the latest stats from Dice.com, LinkedIn, StackOverflow and respective mailing lists. Significant changes I found compared to one year ago:

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Posted in Java at Feb 06 2014, 10:54:17 AM MST 6 Comments

Using Grunt with AngularJS for Front End Optimization

I'm passionate about front end optimization and have been for years. My original inspiration was Steve Souders and his Even Faster Web Sites talk at OSCON 2008. Since then, I've optimized this blog, made it even faster with a new design, doubled the speed of several apps for clients and showed how to make AppFuse faster. As part of my Devoxx 2013 presentation, I showed how to do page speed optimization in a Java webapp.

I developed a couple AngularJS apps last year. To concat and minify their stylesheets and scripts, I used mechanisms that already existed in the projects. On one project, it was Ant and its concat task. On the other, it was part of a Grails application, so I used the resources and yui-minify-resources plugins.

The Angular project I'm working on now will be published on a web server, as well as bundled in an iOS native app. Therefore, I turned to Grunt to do the optimization this time. I found it to be quite simple, once I figured out how to make it work with Angular. Based on my findings, I submitted a pull request to add Grunt to angular-seed.

Below are the steps I used to add Grunt to my Angular project.

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Posted in The Web at Jan 15 2014, 12:15:52 PM MST 7 Comments

Devoxx 2013 + a Nordic Countries Speaking Tour

Trish at Pelgrom Two weeks ago, Trish and I boarded a flight for one of our favorite conferences: Devoxx. After a brief layover in Frankfurt, we arrived in Amsterdam and took a train to Antwerp. Within hours, we'd settled into our hotel near the center of Antwerp and strolled over to the dungeonous, yet cozy, Pelgrom restaurant. We were hoping for a delicious dinner, but found much more. We ran into James Ward, Dick Wall and a number of other enthusiastic speakers from the conference. Since I had to speak the next day, we didn't stay long, but we did share a number of laughs with some great people.

Tuesday (November 12), was a University Day at Devoxx, and I had my talk that afternoon. I spent a couple hours finishing up my talk that morning, then grabbed a taxi to head to the conference. I was honored with the opportunity to speak in Room 8, which is a huge theater that holds several hundred people.

Devoxx: A Speaker's Perspective The Modern JVM Web Developer AngularJS Deep Dive

I presented a lengthened version of The Modern Java Web Developer presentation I did early this year (at Denver's JUG and JavaOne). Based on your feedback, I chose to do deep dives on AngularJS, Bootstrap and Page Speed. I've always enjoyed speaking at Devoxx because attendees are so enthusiastic and passionate about the conference. I received an immense amount of feedback, both in praises and criticisms. The critics indicated there were too many buzzwords and not enough substance. Others complained that the AngularJS Lipsync that I did was too deep.

I made sure to review and process everyone's comments, and then used them to improve the presentation throughout the following week. I learned to elaborate on the fact that many of the technologies were important to know about, but not important to know through-and-through. I made sure to mention that the use of CoffeeScript and LESS is often limited (or embraced) by team members and their willingness to try new things. If you're not writing thousands of lines of JavaScript or CSS, it probably doesn't make sense to use these languages. Furthermore, if your team members are struggling to write JavaScript or CSS, introducing a new language is probably not the best thing. I also reminded people to be skeptical of new technology, but also to be open-minded and give everything a chance. The 10-minute, download-and-try test, is a great way to do that.

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

Within this presentation, there are links to each of the deep dives. The last two are screencasts that I added audio to a few days ago.

Bootstrap 3 | AngularJS Deep Dive | Page Speed Demo

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Posted in Java at Nov 28 2013, 12:07:26 PM MST Add a Comment

Developing with AngularJS - Part IV: Making it Pop

Welcome to the final article in a series on my experience developing with AngularJS. I learned its concepts, beat my head against-the-wall with and finally tamed it enough to create a "My Dashboard" feature for a client. For previous articles, please see the following:

The last mile of development for the My Dashboard feature was to spice things up a bit and make it look better. We hired a design company to come up a new look and feel and they went to work. Within a week, we had a meeting with them and they presented a few different options. We picked the one we liked the best and went to work. Below are screenshots that I used to implement the new design.

My Dashboard - New Design My Dashboard with Show More

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Posted in The Web at Sep 12 2013, 10:54:29 AM MDT 7 Comments