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: Angular, 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.

AppFuse 2.0 Released!

I'm extremely happy to announce we've finally finished developing AppFuse 2.0. The road to AppFuse 2.0 has been a long journey through Mavenland, annotations and generics. Thanks to all the developers, contributors and users for helping test, polish and prove that AppFuse 2 is an excellent solution for developing Java-based applications. Your time, patience and usage of AppFuse has made it the strong foundation it is today. Last but certainly not least, thanks to all the great Java developers who wrote the frameworks that AppFuse uses - we're truly standing on the shoulders of giants.

What is AppFuse? Click here to find out.

AppFuse 2.0 is available as a Maven archetype. For information on creating a new project using this release, please see the QuickStart Guide or the demos and videos.

If you've used AppFuse 1.x, but not 2.x, you'll might want to read our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any questions or issues, please post them to the user mailing list. The Maven Reference Guide has a map of Ant » Maven commands. Maven for Newbies might also be useful if you've never used Maven before. There is some support for Ant in this release.

AppFuse 2.0 contains over 200 pages of documentation, downloadable as a PDF (3 MB). You can also download all its dependencies and install them in your local repository if you want to work offline.

For more information, please see the 2.0 Release Notes. The 2.0 series of AppFuse has a minimum requirement of the following specification versions:

  • Java Servlet 2.4 and JSP 2.0 (2.1 for JSF)
  • Java 5+

New features in AppFuse 2.0 include:

  • Maven 2 Integration
  • Upgraded WebWork to Struts 2
  • JDK 5, Annotations, JSP 2.0, Servlet 2.4
  • JPA Support
  • Generic CRUD backend
  • Full Eclipse, IDEA and NetBeans support
  • Fast startup and no deploy with Maven Jetty Plugin
  • Testable on multiple appservers and databases with Cargo and profiles

We appreciate the time and effort everyone has put toward contributing code and documentation, posting to the mailing lists, and logging issues.

We're also grateful for the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Contegix, JetBrains, and Java.net. 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. Thanks guys - you rock!

Comments and issues should be posted to the mailing list.

Posted in Java at Sep 18 2007, 03:22:20 PM MDT 7 Comments

Does Struts 2 suck?

As far as I can tell, Struts 2 sucks. To be fair, so does Stripes. Why? Because there's no developer feedback for invalid properties or OGNL Expressions. What does this mean? It means if you fat-finger a property name, nothing happens. The OGNL exception is swallowed and you never know you did anything wrong. Furthermore, no one seems to care. The XWork folks will help you build, but not solve the problem. This seems like a major deal-breaker to me, However, I also believe it can be fixed - so maybe there's hope.

To demonstrate the problem, I did an experiment. I used the "user details" page in AppFuse Light to fat-finger a property name for the following frameworks: Struts 1, WebWork, Struts 2, JSF, Spring MVC, Stripes, Tapestry and Wicket. First, I tried changing the "lastName" property to "LastName" to see if the framework's property evaluation was case-sensitive. I found that with WebWork/Struts 2, Stripes and Tapestry, the property is not case-sensitive. I prefer case-sensitivity, but maybe that's because I prefer Unix over Windows.

The 2nd thing I tried was changing "lastName" to "pastName" to see if I'd get an error. An error occurred for all the frameworks mentioned, except for WebWork/Struts 2 and Stripes. This makes me believe these frameworks suck. The both use OGNL, so they could blame it on that, but Tapestry uses OGNL and it presents an error message. After this small experiment, my conclusion is the following frameworks have the best developer feedback:

  • Struts 1
  • JSF
  • Spring MVC
  • Tapestry
  • Wicket*

* Wicket seems like it needs some work as all it presents is "Internal Error" and makes you dig through your log files to find the problem.

Without good developer feedback, how can you have good productivity?

Dear Struts 2 and Stripes Developers,

What do you think about improving your error messages for invalid properties and expressions? Is this a feature you think you could add? We'd love it if you did.

Sincerely,

Your Users

Click here for some screenshots of how a fat-fingered property looks in various frameworks:

Update: Stripes doesn't suck and Wicket has excellent error reporting. See my comment below for more details.

Update 2: I've created a patch to (hopefully) solve this issue in XWork. If you have any feedback on ways to improve this patch, I'd love to hear about it.

Posted in Java at Sep 05 2007, 11:21:57 AM MDT 39 Comments

AppFuse 2.0 RC1 Released

The AppFuse Team is pleased to announce the release of AppFuse 2.0 RC1! This release marks a huge step in the march to releasing AppFuse 2.0. This release puts the finishing touches on the AppFuse Maven Plugin (AMP), which offers CRUD generation, as well as the ability to change AppFuse from "embedded mode" to "full source" (like 1.x). In addition, we've addressed over 100 issues in preparation for the final 2.0 release. We hope to fix any bugs related to this release and release 2.0 Final in the next week or two.

The videos still represent how M5 works, but things have been simplified (now you don't need to run appfuse:install after appfuse:gen).

AppFuse 2.0 is available as a Maven archetype. For information on creating a new project using this release, please see the QuickStart Guide or the Hello World video.

If you've used AppFuse 1.x, but not 2.x, you'll want to read the FAQ. Join the user mailing list if you have any questions. The Maven Reference Guide has a map of Ant » Maven commands. Maven for Newbies might also be useful if you've never used Maven before. There is some support for Ant in this release.

For more information, please see the 2.0 RC1 Release Notes. The 2.0 series of AppFuse has a minimum requirement of the following specification versions:

  • Java Servlet 2.4 and JSP 2.0 (2.1 for JSF)
  • Java 5+

We appreciate the time and effort everyone has put toward contributing code and documentation, posting to the mailing lists, and logging issues.

We also greatly appreciate the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Contegix, JetBrains, and Java.net. 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. Thanks guys - you rock!

Comments and issues should be posted to the mailing list.

Update: I've uploaded a 247-page PDF version of the RC1 documentation to java.net. This PDF contains the relevant pages from the wiki that help you develop with AppFuse 2.0. Who knew I'd end up writing another book? ;-)

Posted in Java at Sep 04 2007, 01:42:15 AM MDT 7 Comments

Spring Web Flow 2.0

The first milestone release of Spring Web Flow 2.0 has been released.

We are pleased to announce that the first milestone of the next generation version of Spring Web Flow is now available. Spring Web Flow 2.0 M1 introduces several major new features, including support for flow-managed persistence contexts, improved support for Java Server Faces, full unified expression language (EL) support, and a more comprehensive sample web application.

I think the most interesting part of this release is Spring Faces:

Spring Web Flow 2.0 M1 introduces the Spring Faces module (spring-faces-2.0-m1.jar), a component shipped with the Web Flow distribution that contains first-class support for organizations developing web applications with Java Server Faces. The pre-existing Web Flow + JSF integration has been factored out to this project, and this project will be the home of all future JSF integration work.

The Spring Faces module provides the Spring community a dedicated project for exploring additional JSF integration opportunities. The initial work in 2.0 M1 on this front introduces integration with Ext, a popular Javascript GUI widget framework.

Of course, I also like how the new sample app looks a lot like one of Seam's demos. ;-)

JSF has needed a good client-side validation framework for quite some time. I also like the Ext integration as most JSF date pickers are hideous. Well done gents.

Posted in Java at Aug 29 2007, 03:49:15 PM MDT 4 Comments

Integrating Struts 2 + JSF + Facelets

What if you didn't have to choose between a request-based framework and a component-based framework? What if you could use them together and use request-based for some pages and component-based for others? This is the functionality that the Struts 2 JSF Plugin provides.

To be fair, the JSF-Spring project says it does the same thing for Spring MVC + JSF, but there doesn't appear to be any documentation.

I did some prototyping of Struts 2 + JSF and discovered that it does indeed work. I also discovered that there's no documentation on integrating it with Facelets. Luckily, it's pretty easy to do - hence my reason for writing this entry. You might ask why I want to use Facelets when JSF 1.2 supports JSP fairly well? My reason is because JSP 2.1 hijacks #{}, which Struts 2's OGNL uses for some expressions. Because of this, I want to be able to run on a JSP 2.0 container until a workaround comes along. Sun's JSF 1.2 RI can run on a JSP 2.0 container, while MyFaces 2.1 cannot (at least in my experience).

There's two ways to get Struts 2 + JSF + Facelets working:

  • Create a WEB-INF/faces-config.xml file and override the default view-handler:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <faces-config xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee 
            http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-facesconfig_1_2.xsd"
        version="1.2">
    
        <application>
            <view-handler>com.sun.facelets.FaceletViewHandler</view-handler>
        </application>
    </faces-config> 
    
  • The 2nd way is to use Ajax4JSF and declare the view-handler in your web.xml (allowing you to get rid of faces-config.xml):
    <context-param>
        <param-name>org.ajax4jsf.VIEW_HANDLERS</param-name>
        <param-value>com.sun.facelets.FaceletViewHandler</param-value>
    </context-param>
    
NOTE: You have to use 2nd method if you want to use Ajax4JSF. It won't read the view-handler from faces-config.xml.

If you're using SiteMesh, you may have to add another <parser> element to your sitemesh.xml to get Facelets pages decorated:

<parser content-type="application/xhtml+xml"
    class="com.opensymphony.module.sitemesh.parser.HTMLPageParser"/> 

Thanks to Laurie Harper for his assistance figuring this stuff out.

Now you might ask - why would you want to do this? For one, Struts 2 has a better navigation model (IMO) than JSF. Also, if developers want to use JSF and think it's a better way for a certain module - let them go to it!

Posted in Java at Jul 26 2007, 12:13:59 PM MDT 18 Comments

OSCON 2007: Comparing Java Web Frameworks

This afternoon I delivered my Comparing Java Web Frameworks talk at OSCON in Portland. I told attendees I'd post it here afterwards, so here it is:Download Comparing Java Web Frameworks Presentation (5.1 MB)

For comments on this presentation from earlier this year, see related postings from ApacheCon EU and JA-SIG. This presentation is pretty much the same as the one from ApacheCon and JA-SIG, except it has a different theme and I chopped out the Sweetspots section (due to time constraints).

Portland is great this time of year, but unfortunately I won't be sticking around. I'm heading down to Salem to work remotely for a couple of days, returning for the Oregon Brewers Festival on Friday and heading back to Denver on Saturday. I'll be glad when July is over - I've traveled to a new state every week.

Posted in Java at Jul 25 2007, 04:50:55 PM MDT 9 Comments

Thoughts on MyFaces 1.2 vs. JSF RI

Yesterday, MyFaces 1.2 was released. I took the opportunity to upgrade AppFuse Light and found it surprisingly easy to do so. The only issue I ran into is my testing logic no longer works. I haven't had a chance to dive deeper into trying to fix the problem, but I did check the code in.

Since I'm using Facelets with MyFaces, I figured it should be possible to run my app on Tomcat 5.x. No dice. I tried replacing MyFaces with Sun's RI (version 1.2_04) and voila! - it works.

From what I learned yesterday, it appears that MyFaces 1.2 will only run on a container that supports JSP 2.1. Sun's RI, on the other hand, will run on a Servlet 2.4/JSP 2.0 container. I don't know if Sun's RI is doing things properly, but it doesn't seem like Servlet 2.5 is required (which is kinda nice IMO).

You might ask why I care about JSP 2.0 vs. JSP 2.1? In reality, I don't. However, if I were to mix and match Struts 2 and JSF in the same application (using the Struts 2 JSF Plugin), I'd like to do it on a JSP 2.0 container. Why? Because OGNL (the EL in Struts 2) uses the pound sign (#) for expressions and JSP 2.1 hijacked that. Until the Struts team fixes that, I'm stuck on JSP 2.0. The workaround (disabling EL for all JSPs) doesn't seem like a good option to me.

Posted in Java at Jul 19 2007, 11:32:18 AM MDT 7 Comments

How popular is your web framework?

From the Struts user mailing list:

Since its release in June 2001, Apache Struts has become the most popular web framework for Java. Six years later, by any objective measure, Struts is still Java's most popular web framework.

In February and March 2007, the group released both Struts 1.3.8 and Struts 2.0.6 to the general public, and Struts downloads zoomed to over 340,000 a month from the Apache site alone. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most copies of Struts are downloaded from an network of mirrors or obtained from Maven repositories.

So how popular is Struts compared to the other heavy hitters like Spring and Hibernate? Spring has about 1/2 as many (80K) downloads in the same period and so does Hibernate. How do MyFaces, Wicket and Tapestry stack up? Here's their best download numbers in the past few months:

Sorry JSF, you appear to be losing. Badly. This is an incorrect statement as pointed out by commentors. Thanks for keeping me honest guys.

Disclaimer: Yes, I realize that these statistics are not very accurate, especially considering Maven. Unfortunately, until Maven has repository download stats, this information is the best we've got.

Posted in Java at Jul 13 2007, 11:43:29 AM MDT 27 Comments

AppFuse 2.0 M5 Released - now with CRUD generation and XFire support

The AppFuse Team is pleased to announce the release of AppFuse 2.0 M5! This release marks a milestone in the features of AppFuse 2.x. This release adds CRUD code generation, full source support (just like 1.x) and XFire integration. In addition, we've fixed all the issues related to switching persistence frameworks, and you should now be able to easily switch from using Hibernate to to iBATIS or JPA. The videos have been updated for M5. The Easy CRUD with Struts 2 video shows how code generation currently works.

AppFuse 2.0 is available as a Maven archetype. For information on creating a new project using this release, please see the QuickStart Guide or the Hello World video.

If you've used AppFuse 1.x, but not 2.x, you'll want to read the FAQ and join the user mailing list if you have any questions. The Maven Reference Guide has a map of Ant » Maven commands. Maven for Newbies might also be useful if you've never used Maven before. There is some support for Ant in this release.

For more information, please see the 2.0 M5 Release Notes. If you'd like to use AppFuse offline (or download everything at once), you may want to grab the dependencies and extract them into your ~/.m2/repository directory.

The 2.0 series of AppFuse has a minumum requirement of the following specification versions:

  • Java Servlet 2.4 and JavaServer Pages (JSP) 2.0
  • Java 5 for Development (Java 1.4 for deployment using the Retrotranslator Plugin)

Comments and issues should be posted to the mailing list.

We appreciate the time and effort everyone has put toward contributing code and documentation, posting to the mailing lists, and logging issues. We also greatly appreciate the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Cenqua, Contegix, JetBrains, Java.net and KGBInternet. Without them, working on this project wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Update: The videos are much lower quality than the ones I originally recorded (13 MB vs. 70 MB). If you want to view the high quality videos (they're much clearer), you can download them from java.net. If someone has a better way to compress these (I just used QuickTime's Export feature), please let me know.

Also, this release contains the first release of the AppFuse Maven Plugin. This plugin is largely based on Hibernate Tools. We modified many of the FreeMarker templates from Hibernate Tools to default to certain annotations, as well as clean up the formatting. These templates are currently available in AppFuse's SVN. Hopefully making them available is enough to satisfy Hibernate's LGPL license.

Posted in Java at May 23 2007, 05:49:10 PM MDT 16 Comments

What web framework are you using with AppFuse?

As part of my upcoming Comparing Java Web Frameworks talk, I'd like to show some statistics of web framework usage in AppFuse. Please vote for the one you're using by clicking on the link below. I'm mostly looking for current AppFuse users. By that, I mean folks that have used 1.x or 2.x on a project in the last 6 months, or plan on using it in the next month or two.

You'll need to create an account and login to vote. To do this, go to View > Account > Sign Up (after clicking on the link below).

I'll compile the results of this poll on Friday morning (April 27th), so you have until then for your vote to be counted!

On a related note, if anyone knows how to get the monthly posting statistics from Spring MVC's forums, I'd love to hear about it. My "mailing list traffic" slide has excluded them for the past couple of years because I've been unable to get a count of monthly postings.

NOTE: If you vote by adding a comment to this entry, it won't be counted.

Update: Thanks to the 64 of you that voted. Here's the results of the poll:

AppFuse Web Framework Usage

As I said last time, I find the results interesting because AppFuse lowers the barriers and reduces the learning curve for all of these frameworks.

Posted in Java at Apr 25 2007, 11:05:04 AM MDT 6 Comments