Sunday, 31 October 2010

Scala just pushed Play in web development

Until recently, Scala only had Lift has a successful web framework. Meanwhile, the ruby gang has hundreds of them, more importantly ruby on rails, Sinatra and others. But things are changing fast in the scala world. While scalatra deals with Sinatra, there was nothing quite like ror. Enter Play Framework for Scala. Module history here

I must admit that this 11 pages guide to build from scratch an entire blog system, together with captcha, user administration console, open id authentication, using a clean RESTful interface, together with autogenerated unit, integration and selenium tests.... well, this is just absolutely fantastic. That's what i call a quality framework documentation! Scala just pushed Play > !

If you add free JRebel free licenses to Scala developers by ZeroTurnaround, Scala is automatically an ultra productive environment for web development!

Great effort! Can't wait for Play Framework 1.1!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Scala community growing ever faster

I'm becoming more involved with the Scala community and it looks very, very promising. The Scala Lift-Off event in London was a success, as demonstrated by richard's blog and maciek's notes on day 1  and day 2

Scala 2.8 was released in July, and already has an impressive list of bugfixes in 2.8.1. This demostrates the commitment from the community. Furthermore, Martin Odersky announced Scala Solutions, a new venture to offer commercial support and training.

The two biggest proposals of the event were Lift, which released the version 2.1 of their framework. Tim, who is writing a book on Lift made some really interesting comments. Particularly, I learnt about Squeryl, a fantastic framework to construct SQL queries in a friendly Scala DSL syntax, offering full compiler support ... and more importantly, refactoring.

Akka, the concurrency framework is close to the much awaited 1.0 release. Jonas Boner has made many presentations since then, including one at LinkedIn , which, by the way, uses Scala intensively with both Norbert and Scalatra, a Sinatra-like web framework in Scala

Graham Tackley, and ex-colleague of mine, did a nice presentation on The Guardian move to (and love of) Scala

Videos are available here

For great presentations, including some upcoming features in 2.9, have a look at the  Scala Days 2010 website. Parallel collections, scala refactorings for Eclipse, and much more.

Exciting days for the Scala community !

In the meantime, the demand for Scala in my current job is growing exponentially, so I'm currently preparing some presentations on the subject. Stay tuned!

King Java 7 is Dead, long live King Java 7!

FInally, after months years of discussions, Java 7 finally has a certain release date.  Fortunately, Plan B won, which means that all the available features are going to be shipped soon (mid 2011), and all the nice-to-have's including Project Lambda are delayed until Java 8, in late 2012.

This is great news for a community left in dire needs for an upgrade after almost 6 years (by the time of the release), and a half version (Java 6 update 10) which was shipped under the covers with many features pressing to be released.

This has huge implications for the Scala community, which can deliver today what Java would only be able to offer in 2013, while improving day by day thanks to the JVM 7. I can foresee a JVM increasingly more detached from the Java language itself, and Scala becoming a new powerful and widely accepted language.

Modular Java? with OSGI 4.2 available, why bother waiting?

Furthermore, IBM just announced that will be joining OpenJDK, ending years of dispute with the aborted Apache Harmony JDK.

So, good news for the JVM ecosystem.