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.

Life as an Open Source Developer

It's been a little over a month since I started my new gig at Stormpath. I gotta say, life is great as an open source developer! Yes, I did start working for them as a consultant in April, so it's not a huge change for me. However, I only recently realized I haven't written a single line of proprietary code the entire time. My GitHub contributions look pretty good this year. They're nothing like @mojavelinux, or @dsyer, but I'll get there. ;)

GitHub Profile - November 3, 2016

It's also been a bit more stress than I'm used to. I think this comes from a couple things: 1) turning my hobby into my job and 2) I've set a lot of high expectations for myself. As a developer evangelist, I get to create my own job. That means I can speak at the conferences I want to, write the code I want to, create the blog posts I want to, and everything else in between.

At the end of September, I finished updating the JHipster Mini-Book for JHipster 3.x. It's gone through tech editing and it's being copy-edited right now. I hope to release it within a week.

In early October, I said I'd commit to writing one blog post per week, develop a JHipster module for Stormpath, and help get their Angular 2 support good enough for an alpha release. I'm happy to report I've been able to accomplish most of these and I hope to show off our Angular 2 support soon.

I then channeled my efforts into integrating Stormpath's Java SDK with their AngularJS directives. You can read about how I did that in Get Started with AngularJS, Spring Boot, and Stormpath. Unlike my previous AngularJS tutorial, this one connects to a backend and shows how to communicate with Spring Boot cross-domain.

If you like to read code more than words, you can look at the example project's commits on GitHub.

  1. Create an AngularJS UI: search and edit features
  2. Create a Spring Boot app with Stormpath: app from start.stormpath.io
  3. Develop an API to CRUD people with Spring Data REST: /api/people
  4. Integrate AngularJS and Spring Boot apps: cross-domain
  5. Integrate Stormpath into AngularJS for login, registration and forgot password: Stormpath Angular SDK

Last week, I released a JHipster module that integrates Stormpath. This exercise was good because I was able to identify some gaps in Stormpath's SDKs and fix them. Getting something to work made me feel good; having the ability to improve the developer experience was even better! Of course, I blogged about what I learned.

This week, I edited and code reviewed some posts from Karl Penzhorn on React with Spring Boot and using webpack with React. I also got to bang my head against the wall writing Angular 2 tests. If you're writing a module for Angular 2, generator-angular2-module provides a nice starting point.

Last, but certainly not least, I'll be speaking at a few events about Microservices, JHipster, Angular 2 and Stormpath in the near feature.

If you have any questions about developer evangelism, the technologies I mentioned in this post, or Stormpath, please let me know. Otherwise, I hope to see you on the road soon!

Posted in Open Source at Nov 03 2016, 04:29:01 PM MDT 1 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

Angular Summit 2015

I was in Boston this week, speaking and attending the very first Angular Summit. I had the privilege of delivering the opening keynote on Monday. I spoke about the Art of Angular and used a slide deck similar to last time. I did update the presentation to show the astronomical growth of AngularJS in terms of candidate skills (on LinkedIn) and job opportunities (on Dice.com)1.

LinkedIn Skills Growth for JavaScript MVC Frameworks Dice.com Job Growth for JavaScript MVC Frameworks

I mentioned the recently announced good news for Angular 2:

  • We're enabling mixing of Angular 1 and Angular 2 in the same application.
  • You can mix Angular 1 and Angular 2 components in the same view.
  • Angular 1 and Angular 2 can inject services across frameworks.
  • Data binding works across frameworks.

In related news, Craig Doremus recently posted a state-geo-angular project that shows how you can develop an Angular 1.x application that will be easy to upgrade to Angular 2.x. Thanks Craig!

After my keynote, I attended Pratik Patel's session on High Performance JavaScript Web Apps. Pratik pointed out mobitest.akamai.com for testing an app's performance and seeing its blocking resources. He also mentioned speedgun.io (currently unavailable) for capturing performance numbers as part of a continuous integration process. Finally, he recommended Addy Somani's JavaScript Memory Management Masterclass.

My second presentation was about JHipster. Near the end of the presentation, I mentioned that I hope to finish the JHipster Book this month. Writing presentations for SpringOne 2GX and the Angular Summit occupied a lot of my free time in September. Now that it's October, I'll be dedicating my free time to finishing the book. In fact, I think I can finish the rough draft this week!

For the last session of the day, I attended John Lindquist's session on Angular 2 Components. John showed us how everything is a component in Angular 2. He also said "now is the time to learn ES6" and built an Angular 2 ToDo App using ES6 and a bit of TypeScript. You might recognize John's name; he's the founder of egghead.io, an excellent site for learning Angular with bite-sized videos.

Tuesday morning started with a Angular 2.0 keynote from Peter Pavlovich. I really enjoyed this session and received lots of good tips about getting ready for Angular 2. The tweet below from Ksenia Dmitrieva shows his advice.

My biggest takeaway was to start following John Papa's Angular Style Guide ASAP.

The first session I attended on Tuesday was Judd Flamm's Google Material Design & Angular. I'm using Material Design for Bootstrap on a side project, so I was interested in learning more about its inspiration. We learned that Google Design has everything you need to know about why Material Design exists. We also learned about Angular Material and spent most of the session looking at its components. Judd recommended Angular Material-Start for those looking to get started quickly with both frameworks. Judd was a very entertaining speaker; I highly recommend you attend one of his talks if you get the opportunity.

After being dazzled by Peter's knowledge of Angular 2 in Tuesday's keynote, I attended two more of his talks: one on Meteor and another on Aurelia. I've known about Meteor for a while, but have become more intrigued by it lately with its 1.2 release and Angular support. Meteor's command line tools that auto-inject CSS and JS demoed very well, as did it's installable features like a LESS support and Facebook authentication.

After hearing all the good things about Angular 2 from Peter, it was interesting to hear him downplay it in his Aurelia talk later that day. When he started showing code, it was pretty obvious that Aurelia is doing a great job of simplifying JavaScript MVC syntax for developers. You can develop components with almost half the code that Angular 2 requires, and it uses ES6, jspm and SystemJS. If you're developing JavaScript, learning these tools will help prepare you for the future. It's cool that Aurelia encourages learning things you should learn anyway.

Aurelia and Angular 2 are both still in Alpha, so I'm not sure it makes sense to use them on a project this year. However, I do think it's important to track them both. I especially think it's interesting that the founder of Aurelia, Rob Eisenberg, left the Angular Team in November 2014 and announced Aurelia in January 2015 (Hacker News thread). Peter mentioned several times that Aurelia wants to help developers write apps, while AngularJS is more tied to helping Google write apps.

There were around 400 people at Angular Summit, which I think is pretty good for a first-run conference. As with most No Fluff Just Stuff shows, it ran smoothly, had plenty of time between sessions and was filled with knowledgeable, entertaining speakers. It was fun doing my first keynote and I look forward to speaking again in November (at Devoxx) and December (at The Rich Web Experience).

1. I know Dice.com is probably not a great site, but it makes sense to use it since I've been tracking JavaScript MVC framework job stats on it since February 2014.

Posted in The Web at Oct 01 2015, 10:29:31 AM MDT Add a Comment

UberConf 2015: My Presentations on Apache Camel and Java Webapp Security

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at UberConf 2015. My first talk was on Developing, Testing and Scaling with Apache Camel. This presentation contained an intro to Apache Camel and a recap of my experience using it at a client last year. You can click through the presentation below, download it from my presentations page, or view it on SlideShare.

My second presentation was about implementing Java Web Application Security with Java EE, Spring Security and Apache Shiro. I updated this presentation to use Java EE 7 and Jersey, as well as Spring Boot. I used Spring Boot to manage dependencies in all three projects, then showed the slick out-of-the-box security Spring Boot has (when you include the Spring Security on the classpath). For Apache Shiro, I configured its filter and required dependencies using Spring's JavaConfig. You can click through my security presentation below, download it from my presentations page, or view it on SlideShare.

One thing that didn't make it into the presentation was the super-helpful pull request from Rob Winch, Spring Security Lead. He showed me how you can use basic and form-based authentication in the same app, as well how to write tests with MockMvc and Spring Security's Testing support.

The next time I do this presentation (at the Rich Web Experience), I'd like to see if it's possible to use all-Java to configure the Java EE 7 example. I used web.xml in this example and the Servlet 3.0 Security Annotations might offer enough to get rid of it.

All the demos I did during the security presentation can be seen in my java-webapp-security-examples project on GitHub. There's branches for where I started (javaee-start, springsecurity-start and apacheshiro-start) as well as "complete" branches for where I finished. The complete examples should also be in-sync with the master branch.

If you have any questions about either presentation, please let me know.

Posted in Java at Jul 27 2015, 08:08:48 AM MDT Add a Comment

Getting Hip with JHipster at Denver's Java User Group

Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking at Denver's Java User Group Meetup about JHipster. I've been a big fan of JHipster ever since I started using it last fall. I developed a quick prototype for a client and wrote about solving some issues I had with it on OS X. I like the project because it encapsulates the primary open source tools I've been using for the last couple of years: Spring Boot, AngularJS and Bootstrap. I also wrote about its 2.0 release on InfoQ in January.

My Hipster Getup To add some humor to my talk, I showed up as a well-dressed Java Developer. Like a mature gentleman might do, I started the evening with a glass of scotch (Glenlivet 12). Throughout the talk I became more hip and adjusted my attire, and beverage, accordingly. As you might expect, my demos had failures. The initial project creation stalled during Bower's download all JavaScript dependencies. Luckily, I had a backup and was able to proceed. Towards the end, when I tried to deploy to Heroku, I was presented with a lovely message that "Heroku toolbelt updating, please try again later". I guess auto-updating has its downsides.

After finishing the demo, I cracked open a cold PBR to ease my frustration.

I did two live coding sessions during this presentation; standing on the shoulders of giants to do so. I modeled Josh Long's Getting Started with Spring Boot to create a quick introduction to Spring Boot. IntelliJ IDEA 14.1 has a nice way to create Spring Boot projects, so that came in handy. For the JHipster portion, I created a blogging app and used relationships and business logic similar to what Julien Dubois did in his JHipster for Spring Boot Webinar. Watching Josh and Julien's demos will give you a similar experience to what DJUG attendees experienced last night, without the download/deployment failures.

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

You might notice my announcement on slide #32 that I've signed up to write a book on JHipster.

The JHipster Mini-Book

I haven't started writing the book yet, but I have been talking with InfoQ and other folks about it for several months. I plan to use Asciidoctor and Gradle as my authoring tools. If you have experience writing a book with these tools, I'd love to hear about it. If you've developed an application with JHipster and have some experience in the trenches, I'd love to hear your stories too.

As I told DJUG last night, I plan to be done with the book in a few months. However, if you've been a reader of this blog, you'll know I've been planning to be done with my '66 VW Bus in just a few more months for quite some time, so that phrase has an interesting meaning for me. ;)

Posted in Java at Apr 09 2015, 08:31:54 AM MDT 6 Comments

AppFuse 3.5 Released!

The AppFuse Team is pleased to announce the release of AppFuse 3.5. This release contains a number of improvements.

  • XML reduced by 8x in projects generated with AppFuse
  • CRUD generation support for Wicket, as well as AppFuse Light archetypes (Spring Security, Spring FreeMarker and Stripes)
  • Upgraded Tapestry to 5.4
  • Integrated Spring IO Platform for dependency management
  • Refactored unit tests to use JUnit 4
  • Renamed maven-warpath-plugin to warpath-maven-plugin
  • Upgraded to jWebUnit 3 for AppFuse Light integration tests
  • Updated all AppFuse Light modules to be up-to-date

For more details on specific changes see the release notes.

What is AppFuse?
AppFuse is a full-stack framework for building web applications on the JVM. It was originally developed to eliminate the ramp-up time when building new web applications. Over the years, it has matured into a very testable and secure system for creating Java-based webapps.

Demos for this release can be viewed at http://demo.appfuse.org. Please see the QuickStart Guide to get started with this release.

If you have questions about AppFuse, please read the FAQ or join the user mailing list. If you find any issues, please report them on the users mailing list. You can also post them to Stack Overflow with the "appfuse" tag.

Thanks to everyone for their help contributing patches, writing documentation and participating on the mailing lists.

We greatly appreciate the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Contegix, and JetBrains. Atlassian and Contegix are especially awesome: Atlassian has donated licenses to all its products and Contegix has donated an entire server to the AppFuse project.

Posted in Java at Feb 20 2015, 09:08:53 AM MST Add a Comment

Converting an Application to JHipster

I've been intrigued by JHipster ever since I first tried it last September. I'd worked with AngularJS and Spring Boot quite a bit, and I liked the idea that someone had combined them, adding some nifty features along the way. When I spoke about AngularJS earlier this month, I included a few slides on JHipster near the end of the presentation.

This week, I received an email from someone who attended that presentation.

Hey Matt,
We met a few weeks back when you presented at DOSUG. You were talking about JHipster which I had been eyeing for a few months and wanted your quick .02 cents.

I have built a pretty heavy application over the last 6 months that is using mostly the same tech as JHipster.

  • Java
  • Spring
  • JPA
  • AngularJS
  • Compass
  • Grunt

It's ridiculously close for most of the tech stack. So, I was debating rolling it over into a JHipster app to make it a more familiar stack for folks. My concern is that it I will spend months trying to shoehorn it in for not much ROI. Any thoughts on going down this path? What are the biggest issues you've seen in using JHipster? It seems pretty straightforward except for the entity generators. I'm concerned they are totally different than what I am using.

The main difference in what I'm doing compared to JHipster is my almost complete use of groovy instead of old school Java in the app. I would have to be forced into going back to regular java beans... Thoughts?

I replied with the following advice:

JHipster is great for starting a project, but I don't know that it buys you much value after the first few months. I would stick with your current setup and consider JHipster for your next project. I've only prototyped with it, I haven't created any client apps or put anything in production. I have with Spring Boot and AngularJS though, so I like that JHipster combines them for me.

JHipster doesn't generate Scala or Groovy code, but you could still use them in a project as long as you had Maven/Gradle configured properly.

You might try generating a new app with JHipster and examine how they're doing this. At the very least, it can be a good learning tool, even if you're not using it directly.

Java Hipsters: Do you agree with this advice? Have you tried migrating an existing app to JHipster? Are any of you using Scala or Groovy in your JHipster projects?

Posted in Java at Feb 12 2015, 09:28:59 AM 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:

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