Friday, 29 September 2017

Stack Evolution part 1

It wouldn't take too close a reading of this blog to determine that I'm a huge fan of the Play Framework. For the past 4-or-so years it has played a pivotal role in all of my Millhouse Group projects, and frequently during my "day job" as well.

The "revenue-earning" configuration I've rolled out time and time again looks almost-unfailingly like this:

Javascript JQuery, Moment.js, etc
"Presentation" JSON/AJAX HTML/LESS
Controllers Play (Reactive, Async)
Services Play - RESTful API calls Mondrian
Persistence MongoDB (via ReactiveMongo)

Yep. Decidedly unsexy, and yes, occasionally the javascript can get a bit funky and coupled to the HTML, but it works and with careful attention to the principles of Single Responsibility and Least Surprise, a "vertical slice" through the functionality would look like:

Javascript /assets/js/author.js
"Presentation" /views/html/author/author.scala.html
/assets/css/author.less
Controllers /controllers/AuthorController.scala
Services /models/Author.scala
/services/AuthorService.scala
Persistence [Authors collection in MongoDB]

... where no source file is more than 200 lines of code. Nothing too controversial there, I think you'd agree.
However...
My exposure over the last 18 months to React.js has truly opened my eyes to the potential of a true front-end application (as opposed to the very 2010-era progressively-enhanced-markup approach I've described above). In the next post I'll show the architecture I've been calling the CRAP-stack which has been making working on the Javascript front-end as pleasant as doing the heavy-lifting with Scala in the back-end (i.e. very!)

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