Over the last 2-3 years I’ve seen many moments during a project implementation where having an out of the box JCR RESTful API could have helped. Key areas where having such an API were deployment automation and data imports/exports. As a starting point having an API for managing JCR nodes and properties would have been a first step in the right direction. By default Apache Jackrabbit 2.X does not have this out of the box. However Apache Jackrabbit 3.0 (Oak) and current versions of JBoss Modeshape do support this, so in case Hippo CMS switches over to Apache Oak we might need to revise this add-on.
Now that the first two weeks of 2015 have passed it’s time to look back at what wonderful things happened in 2014 and take a look ahead to see what 2015 will bring.
I still remember my early days with Vagrant. I was amazed with how easy it was to create a new virtual machine from scratch. Remember those days when you had to mount an ISO or DVD before installing Linux in a VM? I’m happy that that belongs to the past now.
At Hippo we use JRebel a lot during the development of our CMS product. JRebel is a great tool and allows us to do live reloading of source code and enables us to develop the CMS product in a lot less time. The main reason that we use JRebel is that the the CMS suite itself is build from several multi-module Maven projects. JRebel helps limiting the amount of build, aggregate, package and redeploy cycles needed to test the changes and new features which we add to the CMS. For this specific scenario JRebel is excellent and it works really well, but most of the developers I meet are spending time on developing websites with Hippo CMS, which are usually less complex projects. For developers on those kinds of projects getting a JRebel license is usually a thougher challange, but don’t worry there are alternatives besides using JRebel that can also help you speed up development.
While working on a new Hippo CMS add-on I chose not to take the usual route by putting all my stuff on the Hippo Forge. My personal opinion about the forge is that it feels outdated, hard to navigate and lacks features with regards to what modern-day software developers would want. Sure the Hippo Forge gives us one central place to go to, but that can be solved by other solutions as well. For this particular project I chose to see how far I would come by combining different free for open source SaaS products and see how much value they could give me.