Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Developer and Java Champion. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Angular Mini-Book The Angular Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with Angular. You'll learn how to develop a bare-bones application, test it, and deploy it. Then you'll move on to adding Bootstrap, Angular Material, continuous integration, and authentication.

Spring Boot is a popular framework for building REST APIs. You'll learn how to integrate Angular with Spring Boot and use security best practices like HTTPS and a content security policy.

For book updates, follow @angular_book on Twitter.

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.

The JHipster Mini-Book v4.0 Now Available for Download!

The JHipster Mini-Book v4.0 is now available as a free download from InfoQ. Get it while it's hot! You'll also be able to buy a print version in a week or two. You can read all about what’s changed since v2.0 on the JHipster Mini-Book blog.

The source code for the application developed in the book (21-Points Health) is available on GitHub.

Thanks to the InfoQ publishing team, Dennis Sharpe for tech editing, and Lawrence Nyveen for copy editing. And most of all, thank you Asciidoctor for making the publishing process so easy!

Posted in Java at Sep 22 2017, 08:22:04 AM MDT 2 Comments

Devoxx Poland: A Huge Conference in a Beautiful City

It's been a little over six years since I first ventured to Kraków, Poland. I have fond memories of that trip, mostly because Trish was with me and we explored lots of sites. Last month, I visited Kraków for GeeCON, but only stayed for one night.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a third time for my first Devoxx Poland. I was excited to travel internationally again with my favorite travel shirt on. This caused a funny conversation with TSA just before my departure.

Heading to the airport in my favorite travel shirt

I arrived in Krakow on a beautiful day and took an Ubër to my hotel next to the venue. I took a stroll along the Vistula River to enjoy the sunshine.

A beautiful day in Krakow

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Posted in Java at Jun 27 2017, 08:44:31 AM MDT Add a Comment

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

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 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 14 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

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 10 Comments

RE: Customizing an Asciidoctor PDF so it looks like an InfoQ Mini-Book

Last week, I wrote about customizing an Asciidoctor PDF so it looks like an InfoQ Mini-Book. Shortly after writing that blog post, Dan Allen responded to my questions and showed me how to customize Asciidoctor's PDF generation. I ended up using both techniques he described: creating a custom theme and using Ruby to override methods. To recap, here are the changes I was hoping to make:

  1. The colophon is not aligned to the bottom of the page.
  2. The title page (first one after the cover) and colophon pages should be merged.
  3. The dedication and acknowledgement headers are not center-aligned and underlined like InfoQ's format.
  4. The main sections don't have whole-page delimiters.
  5. The table of contents comes right after the title page, rather than after the dedication and acknowledgement.

I'm happy to report that I was able to fix most these issues, except for the second one and last one. There is a pull request to allow changing the location of the table of contents, but I was unable to make it work. I spent a good hour building the asciidoctor-pdf gem and trying to modify AsciidoctorJ to use it. In the end, I decided to mark this as a bug in the JHipster book and we'll fix it when Asciidoctor supports moving the table of contents.

To customize the output, I created an src/main/ruby/asciidoctor-pdf-extensions.rb file and added the following code to it:

require 'asciidoctor-pdf' unless defined? ::Asciidoctor::Pdf

module AsciidoctorPdfExtensions

  def layout_title_page doc
      # no title page
  end

  def layout_chapter_title node, title
    if node.id == "dedication" || node.id == "acknowledgements"
      layout_heading_custom title, align: :center
    elsif node.id.include? "mini-book" # colophon
      move_down 470
      layout_heading title, size: @theme.base_font_size
    elsif node.id.include? "jhipster" #chapters
      puts 'Processing ' + node.id + '...'
      move_down 120
      # set Akkurat font for all custom headings
      font 'Akkurat'
      layout_heading 'PART', align: :right, size: 120, color: [91, 54, 8, 13], style: :normal
      move_up 40

      part_number = "ONE"
      if node.id.include? "ui-components"
        part_number = "TWO"
      elsif node.id.include? "api"
        part_number = "THREE"
      end

      layout_heading part_number, align: :right, size: 120, color: [42, 1, 83, 1], style: :bold
      layout_heading title, align: :right, color: [42, 1, 83, 1], style: :normal, size: 30
      move_up 30
      start_new_page
    else
       # delegate to default implementation
       super
    end
  end

  def layout_heading_custom string, opts = {}
      move_down 100
      typeset_text string, calc_line_metrics((opts.delete :line_height) || @theme.heading_line_height), {
          inline_format: true
      }.merge(opts)
      move_up 5
      $i = 0
      underline = ''
      while $i < string.length do
          if string == 'Dedication'
            underline += '/////'
          else
            underline += '//////'
          end
          $i += 1
      end
      if string == 'Dedication'
          underline += '////'
      end
      typeset_text underline, calc_line_metrics((opts.delete :line_height) || @theme.heading_line_height), {
            inline_format: true, color: 'B0B0B0', size: 8, style: :italic
      }.merge(opts)
      move_down 20
  end

end

Asciidoctor::Pdf::Converter.prepend AsciidoctorPdfExtensions

Then I modified build.gradle to use this file.

asciidoctor {
    backends 'html5', 'pdf', 'epub3'
    attributes 'sourcedir': '../../../main/webapp',
            'source-highlighter': 'coderay',
            'imagesdir': './images',
             toc: 'left',
             icons: 'font',
             linkattrs: true,
             encoding: 'utf-8',
            'setanchors': true,
            'idprefix': '',
            'idseparator': '-',
            'docinfo1': 'true'
    requires file('src/main/ruby/asciidoctor-pdf-extensions.rb')
}

After getting this to work, we're very close to publishing the JHipster Mini-Book! Thanks to Dan for creating Asciidoctor and supporting this great open source project. It's been a pleasure to write with it and the editing process with Git and pull requests has been wonderful.

Update: The JHipster Mini-Book has been released!

Posted in Open Source at Oct 28 2015, 10:41:38 AM MDT 2 Comments

Customizing an Asciidoctor PDF so it looks like an InfoQ Mini-Book

The JHipster Mini-Book Earlier this month, I finished the rough draft of the JHipster Mini-Book. Since then, I've been working with editors to get it ready for production. I've also been working with InfoQ to try and make the generated PDF look like their current mini-books. I wrote the book using Asciidoctor and I'm using Gradle to generate HTML5, PDF and EPUB versions.

After doing some research on Asciidoctor PDF themes I created an issue in the asciidoctor-pdf project. My reason for was to see if it was possible to customize certain sections of the generated PDF. The main issues I've had in making the PDF look like an InfoQ mini-book are the following:

  1. The colophon is not aligned to the bottom of the page.
  2. The title page (first one after the cover) and colophon pages should be merged.
  3. The dedication and acknowledgement headers are not center-aligned and underlined like InfoQ's format.
  4. The main sections don't have whole-page delimiters.
  5. The table of contents comes right after the title page, rather than after the dedication and acknowledgement.

After thinking about this a bit more, I thought of a few possible workarounds.

  1. I could add a number of line breaks at the beginning of the page to push everything down to the bottom.
  2. We could delete the title page (with Preview on a Mac or another PDF editor).
  3. We could create new PDF pages that have InfoQ's headers and my content. Then, using a PDF editor, we could delete pages and put the new ones in their place.
  4. There might be a way to have no text in a section's title (so it doesn't show up at the top of a page) and do the same copy/paste of an InfoQ section-delimiting page (with large Part One text) before the section. The hard part here might be lining up the table of contents with page numbers.
  5. Move pages around in the PDF and renumber pages using a PDF editor.

Even if all these workarounds are possible, this will only work for the PDF. InfoQ has asked me to make similar header customizations for the EPUB/MOBI versions.

I looked at the PDF theming guide and it looks like many things are customizable, but they're global customizations, not per-section customizations. Dedication, Acknowledgement, Preface, and Chapter Titles all live on the same level (level 2). I believe it's possible to customize how they all look, but I haven't figured out how to change an individual title.

The only thing I can think of beyond these workarounds are 1) hiring someone to create a custom theme for InfoQ or 2) forking the project and trying to make customizations to the source code myself.

I haven't had any feedback from the Asciidoctor team, so I'm posting this here to try and reach a wider audience. If you've authored a book in Asciidoctor, did you customize the output to fit your publisher's desired format, or did you just take the out as-is and publish it?

Posted in Open Source at Oct 22 2015, 02:15:21 PM MDT 2 Comments