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

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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.

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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.

Shifting Priorities

Daddy's Bus in Zion This week's Denver JUG meeting looks to another good one - this time Bruce Tate is presenting Beyond Java and Sharad Acharya will talk about dynamic Struts Forms. I'm sure I could learn a thing or two from attending this meeting, but I'm going to have to pass.

It's time for me to shift my priorities. The 2nd week of every month, there are two meetings I'd like to attend - but I've only ever attend one (DJUG). I don't attend both b/c they're back-to-back and that's not very nice for me to leave Julie to fend for herself with the little munchkins. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to quit going to DJUG and start going to the Colorado VW Bus Club meetings instead.

It's time to start restoring the bus. I started it up this weekend and it roared to life after sitting for several months. I took it for a spin around the block and I can feel that it's ready. I am too. ;-)

Posted in General at Aug 08 2005, 09:57:52 PM MDT 1 Comment

Things I learned from OSCON

While at OSCON last week, I learned quite a few things. Many of these are my own opinions, so feel free to disagree with them.

Ruby is very cool

The main reason (for me) that Ruby is cool is because it's new. I don't have to know any of its history to know what makes it tick. It's easy to learn and has powerful language features that make it easy to use. I think the primary reason people, particularly Java developers, are excited about it is because it releases them from all the shackles they're accustomed to with Java. I have absolutely no plan to ditching Java and jumping to Ruby, but I do want to learn it so I can use it when it's a better fit than Java.

How to learn Ruby and retain that knowledge is the hard part. My current plan is to buy Programming Ruby and Agile Development with Rails. Unfortunately, I realize that I probably won't be able to finish these b/c I'll get bored and both will likely serve as more of a reference than a knowledge creator. I haven't been able to read a technology book cover-to-cover in several years. I couldn't even finish The Pragmatic Programmer for crying out loud. I realize that the best way to learn is to do, but the best way to do is to get paid to do. To facilitate this, I hope to develop some apps we can use at Virtuas. Of course, I'll try to find good open-source solutions first.

Rails has a lot of great ideas

The interesting thing about Rails is many of its good ideas are from Ruby. The built-in Webbrick web server is part of the language. The only way to come close in the Java world is to embed Jetty or something like that. I'll definitely be looking into embedding Jetty into AppFuse in the near future. The other thing I really like about Rails, and that I've been doing in AppFuse a bit is convention over configuration. As part of AppFuse, I'm already making a lot of decisions for users. The next step seems to be making all decisions for users, but allow them to override. It'd be cool to write some code that sweeps through all classes at startup and auto-configures them, w/o the need for any XML. If nothing else, the XML could be generated using reflection.

The biggest thing I learned from Rails is I need to provide 1) an easier upgrade path and 2) better Ajax support. Because I'm supporting so many different web frameworks, solving #2 might be a bit tricky - but could be done by writing tag libraries or components. Hopefully the framework developers will beat me to it and I won't have to do anything. As far as #1, I'm hoping I can move to a single appfuse.jar that contains all the base classes. Hopefully I can use a little JSP pre-compile action to re-use the existing JSPs for user management/etc. If not, I can always use something like FreeMarker to store the default view files in a JAR.

Creating Passionate Users is all about inspiring emotion

Kathy Sierra's talk about inspiring emotions among your users to make them transparently excited about your product/company was a real eye-opener. I can totally see what she's talking about and I'm happy to say I'm already doing some of it. This blog seems to attract lots of readers, some more passionate than others, just by talking about web technologies and Java. This does translate into more business for Raible Designs, whether it's the title image or URL, it doesn't really matter. Folks do figure out that I have a company and I do work with the technologies I talk about.

To apply these concepts to AppFuse and Virtuas is a little more difficult. For AppFuse, I can probably teach people how to better use Hibernate, Spring and Ajax - and then show how AppFuse can simplify things. Building in easy-to-use Ajax support is probably essential to really get this going. For Virtuas, we could re-vamp our site to provide education about open source and its history - providing users with a way to become open source experts. It would also be cool to do real-time reporting of how we helped a company adopt open-source.

Ideas, ideas, I have lots of ideas after last week.

Posted in Java at Aug 08 2005, 03:40:38 PM MDT 4 Comments

Struts Ti

I heard about Struts Ti at OSCON, and after googling a bit today, I've discovered a bit more. Here's a bit about the project from Don Brown's proposal on the Struts Developers Mailing List.

Struts Ti is a simplified Model 2 framework for developing webapps which allows the developer better access to the underlying servlet/portlet environment. It serves a niche of web applications that don't want the additional complexity of server-side components and verbose configuration, yet want the structure and controller features of a modern web framework. Struts Ti builds on the directions of Struts 1.x, yet re-implements the framework to provide a clean slate for the next generation of Struts Ti. It aims to combine the simplicity of Ruby on Rails and NanoWeb, the refinement of WebWork 2, the tool-friendly authoring and Page Flow of Beehive, and the lessons learned from Struts 1.x.

The key word for Struts Ti is simplicity. Ideally, Struts Ti should approach Ruby on Rails levels of easy of use, yet scale up to large applications providing a smooth transition to JSF/Shale if desired.

More information can be found at

Posted in Java at Aug 08 2005, 01:14:53 PM MDT Add a Comment

Jack is walking!

Last Monday, while I was in Portland, Julie called me while I was having lunch with some fellow DJUGers. She was ecstatic, "Jack took 3 steps!!" For the rest of the week, everytime I called home - I asked if he'd taken any more steps. The answer was always "No". I was somewhat glad to hear this, as I felt like a horrible father for being away when my boy took his first steps. The lack of walking only lasted until Wednesday - when Julie called me to tell me he'd just taken 20 steps!

Needless to say, when I arrived home on Friday evening - it was very cool to see Jack walking around our house. He holds his hands straight up in the air when he does it, and he tends to grunt a bit during the process. It could be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. If he's anything like Abbie, he should be able to break into a full sprint by his 1st birthday at the end of the month. ;-)

Posted in General at Aug 08 2005, 10:56:36 AM MDT 2 Comments