Spring & Hessian, how cool!

I’ve tried today to expose some of our services in our application service layer.

All those classes are simple POJOs, autowired with Spring.

I’ve chosen Hessian for few reasons:

  • I never liked xml, soap, etc…
  • we need web services over http (so no RMI)
  • it’s very fast
  • we might need different type of clients connecting to the application (Hessian apparently supports not only plain old Java but also JavaFX, Flex, almost every decent popular programming language)

Well the modification to the code (I’ve changed a couple of xml files) took less than an hour.

You can find the instructions here, there’s nothing else I can add to that document, it just works.

Many people says that Java is death or will die soon but what Spring gives “to the masses” is still incredibly valuable and I found always very quick to implement a change in the code or make a big redesign of the codebase.

Lately I’ve been impressed by the autowiring features and the java config new stuff.

Have a look, java is perhaps struggling but still not death.

A cool guy, a cool software: Balsamiq application mockups

Balsamiq mockups is a cool application to quickly, easily write applications mockups and share them on the web, some benefits taken from its website: 

  • Improve your Usability
  • Explore Different Designs in Minutes
  • Get to Agreement Early with a tool everyone can use
  • Cut down spec-writing time
  • Spend your time coding, not churning
  • Use it with your clients, Letting them help you bring their vision to life
  • Integrated in the way you work, Web, Desktop or Web Office

Thanks to Alberto that forwarded me this blog post about the creator of this nice piece of software:

The story is about Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni, a former Senior Software Engineering Lead at Adobe in San Francisco, who moved back to Italy and started a company called Balsamiq

His company is actually a “Micro-ISV” or a single-employee company. That is, a guy in a studio. A guy who wrote a product called “Balsamiq Mockups” which allows anyone to build a mockup of a GUI: the genius is that the mockup resembles one you would scribble on a piece of paper, rather than a computer one. It sells online for $79.

To make the story short, the product is fantastic and he grossed over $100k in five months. And the business is growing fast.

Why do I know? Because he made it all public in his blog. He promised he would do it. And you have all the measures of his business (and how much he is donating to non-profits).

Waffles are good, do you fancy a Waffle?

During ThoughtWorks University XI we took the decision to introduce to the trainees Waffle as an example of MVC framework

I’ve been impressed by the simplicity of the framework. It has been a while since the last time I’ve played with any Java Web Framework ( I think it was around 6 years ago the last time, using the super hated Struts 1.0! )

So the first good news is the Java world is alive and some good people are writing great frameworks ( with also the big help of all the knowledge/experience gained using other languages) 

I’ve a very personal opinion on this: many people moved to Ruby and have such a bad remembering of the old times in Java, well I think that frameworks like Waffle keeps the name of Java high. 

In addition to that Waffle has a nicer design compared to Rails, no command line scripting ( you might like it, I don’t ), it’s not annotation heavy and you don’t have to write a line of xml ( ok, just one but in the web.xml! )

The only bad thing of Waffle is that there’s not that much documentation on the web ( I’ve to say that it’s so simple to use that you don’t need it! ) so my goal for the next months will be blog as much as possible about it and prepare some speeches too.

When I find something good I definitely want to spread it, and this is the case.

Waffles are good, do you fancy a Waffle?



Waffle is different from the multitude of web frameworks that exist today, in that Waffle:

  • has no mandatory XML configuration files (beyond a minimalist web.xml required by any J2EE-compliant webapp)
  • is interoperable with best-of-breed UI templating technologies
  • does not have a base controller class to extend or interface to implement
  • has controller classes that can support multiple actions, each a single method rather than a sequence of initialiation/settter/execute methods
  • has a small learning curve