Atmosphere Hits Develop Branch

Another busy week in the world of Scalatra. The ScalaQuery library, renamed to Slick for Scala 2.10, is TypeSafe's answer to Scala data persistence, and it's a library with a bright future. Jos Dirksen has once again been at it with the tutorials, this time demonstrating how to integrate Scalatra and Scalaquery in part 3 of his ongoing Scalatra series.

Scalatra's integration with Swagger got a nod from Kin Lane of apievangelist.com, with his article on the process of using what the Wordniks are calling "interface-driven design" to build out an API using Swagger and Scalatra. This one's interesting because it focuses not on the low-level technical details, but on the human and design processes involved.

Lastly, there's been a really big present for Scalatra users landing on the Scalatra 2.2 develop branch this week. Ivan Porto Carrero, who's been working with Jean-Francois Arcand of the Atmosphere framework, has merged Atmosphere 1.0 support into the Scalatra 2.2 codebase. While Scalatra has had support for Atmosphere's Meteor chat for a long time, this merge brings full support for the latest Atmosphere release, which is itself only a few weeks old.

A working code example of an Atmosphere chat server is available in the Scalatra examples in the 2.2 branch. Source code for that is on Github. To run the example, do the following:

$ git clone --branch=develop https://github.com/scalatra/scalatra.git
$ cd scalatra
$ sbt
# Now you're in the sbt (s)hell!
> project scalatra-example
> container:start

Then point your browser at http://localhost:8080/atmosphere

If you connect from multiple browsers, you'll be able to talk to yourself. This might not seem like a technological revolution at first, but in fact the potential of Atmosphere is quite striking. For the past 20 years or so, everybody on the web has been used to a request/response interaction model where the browser client asks a server for a piece of information, and the server responds. Atmosphere turns that relationship on its head, and allows the server to reliably push information to persistently-connected clients. There is a whole world of new design patterns lurking in there!