Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Get Lifted

Yeah, I'm a John Legend fan, but that's not the reference here. The reference is to Lift, the web application for Scala. Today IBM published an article I wrote about Lift. This was an article that I pitched to IBM and I was very excited about writing. Lift itself takes a different approach to web development than the typical MVC approaches. It is also in Scala, and takes great advantage of that languages features, especially its native support for XML.

One of the most surprising features of Lift was the ORM that it includes. Lift's creator, David Pollak, commented that he would use JPA for complex schemas and not Lift's ORM. I must admit, it was the part of Lift that took me the longest to get my head around. I consider myself quite the veteran of ORMs, but Lift's is definitely unique. I think it needs some tooling around it, as it felt like some boilerplate-ish code was present (like creating a model class and singleton factory for the model class.) However, I really liked its use of generics.

I didn't have time in the article to get into Comet with Lift and Scala's Actors. That is an awesome feature. Hmm, perhaps that should be another IBM article..

Finally, of Lift and Scala related news... check out Graceless Failure by some of the developer at Twitter. It seems to imply that Scala and maybe Lift or at least "in the mix" at Twitter. I wonder if it is replacing Ruby and/or Rails in some places. Certainly Actors would seem like an obvious way to handle new updates on Twitter.

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