New Project: Scala.php

31 03 2015

Exciting news!!

The Scala community has spoken, if we already had Scala.js and Scala.css the next natural process is, of course, Scala.php

With Scala.php you could use your beloved language for creating WordPress plugins, Drupal sites and CodeIgniter/Laravel/Fuel/Phalcon/Symfony projects (do not forget to add Scala.css and Scala.js to the mix, the fun will never end with Scala) and deploy your Scala app on GoDaddy!!!

Not only that, in future versions we’ll migrate our fantastic Scala ecosystem to PHP, the train release will continue with Akka.php, Play2.php, Lift.php, Spray.php, Scalatra.php, Spark.php and Scalaz.php (Do you miss your favourite Scala library? We accept PRs)

But our final goal is to mix those powerful languages in to one. Do you miss php’s variable variables in Scala? Worry not. We plan to add all your adored PHP features in Scala via Macros and compiler plugins.

A new golden age is at hand my brethren, a age of prosperity and peace. Come with us to the promise land of SCALA.PHP!!!!

Book Review: Spring Data

5 12 2012

I’m reviewing this book thanks to the good people at Packt Publishing that give me a free copy

Spring Data in is own words is:

…an umbrella open source project which contains many subprojects that are specific to a given database. The projects are developed by working together with many of the companies and developers that are behind these exciting technologies.

So, if you already know the kind of support that Spring Framework give to JDBC you could have an idea: Unified Runtime Exceptions Hierarchy, Templates implementation and so on; but for MongoDB, Redis, HBase and others, including extensions for already supported technologies like the afore mentioned JDBC and JPA

The Spring Data book from Packt Publishing, written by Petri Kainulainen covers the JPA extension and Redis support.

First the good parts:

  • The book is very short (161 pages) you can read all in less than a week
  • The author covers well both topics from the Spring perspective
  • The example code is very well written, well formated and concise (very rare on other Packt books)
  • The author approach is more practice than theory, some people love this approach

Now the bad parts

  • The examples use Spring Java Config. Java Config is a special configuration type that let you write Spring Applications without XML. Although more trendy, this is the least used configuration type and not all Spring users feels comfortable with this configuration, and the tooling support isn’t the best
  • The layer architecture isn’t well defined. The service layer have a lot of implementation details that depends on the data layer, so from one example to the other the services implementations change radically.

    This is “understandable” in JPA examples (Spring Data JPA adds dynamic implementations for Repositories) but in the Redis examples, There’s not a Data layer!!

In conclusion

The book cover well both topics, the code is well written, but have some oddities

KotlinPrimavera 0.1

3 11 2012

The first release for KotlinPrimavera is hot, right from the oven

Check the repo and the docs

KotlinPrimavera is a framework that provide support for Spring Frameworkk inside Kotlin Language

I wrote my first application on PHP

17 09 2012


A friend needs a small application to sell some courses. The business model will make the use of a proper shopping cart (like Magento) overkill in some aspects and, in the other hand, some specific price rules and the payments process (Integration with Latin American Payments) will need a extensive development.

The hosting was on GoDaddy, so the only option was PHP.

So, here are my opnions

The language

Some readers from years ago (and my close friends) will know that I don’t like PHP. And when you read some horror stories like PHP: A fractal of bad design

My not-at-all-extensive experience was:

  • The max PHP version that GoDaddy support is 5.3.10. So maybe some issues are resolved on later releases, this also limit my framework choices (more on that later)
  • Speaking about frameworks, I suspect that my Framewrok of choice (Yii) hides some language’s oddities from the developer
  • I like the instant-no-redeploy nature, That feels very productive coming from a Java experience (Some frameworks like Play and Grails have this feature too, also JRebel could make this on plain Java projects, but I don’t test it yet)
  • In the other hand that sense of productivity falls when you need to type those strange characters that the language designers love. Also this makes the code very hard to read, Some examples
    • “$” as prefix of every variable and parameter
    • “->” to call a “instance” method. (I don’t know if the language designers have this concept clear)
    • “::” to call class or static method (More on that later)
    • “$this->” as prefix of every instance method call inside the same class (This makes me thing that the whole OOP features are no more than makeup)
    • “self::” as prefix of every class or static method call inside the same class (Please note, that “self::” is a reserved word that represent a “class” but “$this” is a variable that represent the actual instance, “this” isn’t a reserved word. So you could have
      const this = 3

      . Also note that the reserved word is “self::” not “self”, So you could have

      const self = 3

      and continue to use


      but you could call your instance methods like this


      So really “self::” could be the “class” or the “instance”. As you could see, the “fun” with PHP never ends ;)

      UPDATE Sep 18 2012
      Seems that “self::” or “self” aren’t reserved words at all… Oh, the humanity

  • The “array” thing that isn’t array nor a dictionary, but could be anything and both at the same time (PHP arrays could be use as metaphor in the Arminian-Calvinist controversy).

    The whole syntax is ugly and very hard to read, and worst of all, could be very error prone, Example (actual code):

    return array(
                array('allow', // allow all users to perform 'index' and 'view' actions
                    'actions' => array('index', 'view'),
                    'users' => array('admin'),
                array('allow', // allow authenticated user to perform 'create' and 'update' actions
                    'actions' => array('create', 'update', 'course', 'user'),
                    'users' => array('@'),
                array('allow', // allow admin user to perform 'admin' and 'delete' actions
                    'actions' => array('admin', 'delete', 'pending', 'ready'),
                    'users' => array('admin'),
                    'actions' => array('response', 'confirmation'),
                    'users' => array('*'),
                array('deny', // deny all users
                    'users' => array('*'),

    And I choose not the worst example, this could be grow quickly in a huge mess.

    IMHO, PHP needs named parameters very badly, and the developers need to take a more OOP approach to clean this mess

  • Errors are terrible, Yii will show you some nice error report (But some times isn’t clear where the error is), but other errors will show you a blank page, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference

The framework

I examine some of the myriads of PHP frameworks

  • CodeIgniter was my first option, I like what I see, but in some cases is bare-bones and have a lack of functionality that already come with other frameworks
  • CakePHP 1.3 come with many nice things but is also very restrictive
  • CakePHP 2.0, FuelPHP and Symfony 2.0 don’t have support for the PHP version that I have (I’ll like to test Symfony 2.0, its seems very Java-like)
  • Yii was my option, the last stable version (1.12) have support for my PHP version, is very well documented and are very feature rich
    • Some of my toughs:

      • As I told you before, I suspect that Yii hides some language oddities
      • The framework is well structured, and no more different from other frameworks like Django or Grails
      • Gii, a nice GUI for generate code (Models, controllers, forms, views) is a huge save time, but isn’t so powerful. The code generator that come with Grails is more powerful, and the Django Admin is almost perfect (in fact I’ll love make this project with Django)
      • Yii comes with a great widgets selection, but the syntax to use isn’t so nice (“array” based)
        widget('zii.widgets.jui.CJuiDatePicker', array(
            'attribute' => 'birthday',
            'model' => $model,
            'options' => array(
                'dateFormat' => 'yy-mm-dd'
        //There's another alternative syntax, but I don't test it
      • Yii have hundreds (if not thousand) of extensions, but almost every extensions that I try fails miserably.

      The IDE

      I use IntelliJ as always, with the PHP plugin, it’s a very nice environment and have integration with an FTP client, so every change that you made on the code is auto-magically synchronized with the server, that could ensure some errors in production and hilarity.

      The Yii community likes PHPStorm that, in theory, is a Slim-down IntelliJ with only PHP/HTML/CSS/JS/SQL functionality.


      My experience with PHP, was mixed, The language is really bad, but the instant-redeploy-on-server is nice, also Yii made a great job giving some sanity and features for free.

      I really hope that this will be my last experience with PHP, other options like Django or Grails are much better.

Intro to Scala (Spanish)

25 06 2012

This are the slides from my Scala talk in the past Colombia JUG reunion.


Book Review: Scala in Depth

14 06 2012

Maybe you don’t like Scala, but you couldn’t argue that Scala isn’t a hot topic on the development community.

Manning has published their first exclusive Scala book (Other Manning’s books touch Scala topics), Scala in Depth. Other books in Scala are been prepared by Manning

The author, Joshua D. Suereth works in TypeSafe the company behind Scala. As described in the title, this book touch some scala topics in the deepest way.

So, if you’re looking a beginner Scala book, I suggest you Programing in Scala second edition [Odersky, Spoon & Venners 2010], ’cause this book assumes that you know the language basics, and don’t come with a gentle introduction to the Scala world.


Seems that Suereth is a very seasoned Java developer. Many examples in the first chapters explain the differences between both languages, even using Spring framework; and the chapter 10 (Integrating Scala with Java) have a lot of useful information (and hard to find in other resources). The approach to the book is so deep, that many examples include bytecode analysis (indeed, very geek). Also many chapters covers the type system, making this book a perfect companion to the developers coming from an OOP background

Suereth makes a great work teaching those hard concepts, and the book never turns boring.

The worst part about this book is the code formatting. Many examples in the book have erros and Suereth favors a REPL approach that, IMHO, is very hard to read in a book. Also the source code that comes with the book don’t come with any instruction and only two chapters have a build.sbt file. But those problems are minor compared with all the useful information that the book have.


Chapters 1 and 2 are an “Introduction” to Scala, but don’t expect to learn languages basics here (Chapter 2 have many useful tricks to work with Option[T]).

Chapter 3 covers coding conventions, very useful (Many corner cases covered here are a little spooky)

Chapter 4 to 7 covers almost every topic on Scala’s OOP flavor. (Including many cases that aren’t covered in other books)

Chapter 8 covers the Scala collections library, nothing too fancy, but is very well explained

Chapter 9 covers Actors. (Actors are a very hard and broad topic to only on chapter.)

Chapter 10 is about Integrating Scala with Java and cover many cases that could arise in a mixed project.

Chapter 11 cover many topics in functional programing like Category theory, Monads and Functors, a good introduction but I think that I’ll need twenty more books to grasp and use in a proper way this concepts.


This is an excellent book for those that have a previous experience with Scala. The OOP chapters are superior to other Scala books, the functional chapter is good introduction to this complex topic. The code could be better, but don’t affect the overall experience. 5 stars

Book Review: Spring Web Services 2 Cookbook

3 05 2012

I’m reviewing this book thanks to the good people at Packt publishing that give me a PDF copy to read

I’m a SpringSource Certified Instructor and Spring WS is one of the most difficult part to teach en every course. And not because the framework is complicated, is the technology (SOAP) that is very complicated. So, having a book in the topic at hand is a very good thing.

First of all the good parts:

  • This is the first book on Spring WS and do a very good work covering every corner case. Is, by far, more complete than the official documentation
  • And when I say “every corner case” is TRUE (seriously, the whole enchilada), from things like using XMPP to send a SOAP message to secure a WS using WSS4J, including Spring Security and many more things.
  • The book also cover Web Service with REST (without covering security ) and Spring Remoting

Now, the (very minor) bad parts:

  • This format (a Cookbook) is not the best way to teach topics in a deep way
  • The code looks horrible (at least in the PDF version) and is very hard to read. This is epidemic in other Packt publishing books (Hey Packt’s friends, take note). Reading the code from the example code is better, but, the code have little or no documentation at all and is poorly formated.
  • The implementation details in some examples aren’t the best. The use of some deprecated classes, building new instances just to call static methods, using XPath without XPathOperations (a nice interface that define some very helpful XPath methods) and so on
  • In the Spring Remoting part the authors don’t cover HttpInvoker that is the more natural way to communicate two Spring applications. (In fact HttpInvoker is nicely cover in the Spring documentation, so is just a matter of taste)

In conclusion

This a very good book, the authoritative reference for Spring WS


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