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Announcing Bowler: A RESTful Scala Web Framework

The reason for my lack of sleep and blogging in the last 6 weeks is ready for an initial release: http://bowlerframework.org/

Bowler is a RESTful Scala web framework built on top of Scalatra and Scalate. Details, examples, sbt quickstart and documentation are all available behind the link.

A lot of the ideas in the framework have been discussed on this blog previously, for instance: I’ve tried to keep the “Resource View” (resource being rendered in REST lingo) as separate as possible from concerns such as layout.

The practical consequence of this is that you get a JSON API “for free” if you follow the pattern set out in the framework: getting JSON output instead of HTML (or whatever output you are outputting) is a simple matter of setting the HTTP “accept” header to “application/json”. Considering we are moving towards a more JavaScript driven, RIA future where purely server-side generated UI is no longer feasible nor desirable, this is certainly a feature that is useful.

To kind of give a quick indication of the framework, I would best explain it as having tried to get the approachability and productivity of Rails and Play Framework, with UI re-use and composability somewhere in between Apache Wicket Components/Panels and Lift Snippets, while adding in my own little flavour and ideas. 

Also, testability is something I’ve taken seriously, so any Bowler app that is written well should be very easily testable entirely without a container.

This is a “0.1” release, so it will more than likely contain bugs and gaps in thinking. Though I’m hoping community feedback and contributions will fix that soon enough!

So go check it out, docs and examples are hopefully quite good for a 0.1 release by Open Source standards.

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