New learning series

I've decided to pick up Scala and in order to learn the language I'm going to do the good old exercise: create a blog. As always with these things: no, I have absolutely no interest in adding blog app to this world, nor do I want to create my own blog app that I'll need to update and do security fixes for. This is purely a learning exercise and while I'll be posting code and such here, I want to discourage anyone following this (or reading by accident) from using it for anything but inspiration.

To gauge the efficiency of this, I'll be doing the same exercise with Drupal, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Symfony and ExpressJS for nodeJS (technically, this will be a learning exercise on pretty much the same level as with Scala, as I don't know much of node.js). And before I forget - I'll be using Lift for Scala for this exercise.

Step 1: install Scala and Lift

I am not entirely sure if installing Lift will also pull down Scala by itself, or you're required to install it first, but as I want to learn Scala on it's own, I decided to install it by itself first. That's fairly easy and done as follows:

cd /opt/
sudo wget http://www.scala-lang.org/downloads/distrib/files/scala-2.9.0.1-installer.jar
sudo java -jar scala-2.9.0.1-installer.jar

This will install the Scala interpreter and compiler (obviously you should check for an updated jar before forward). It's possible you might have some paths not set properly and will need to add them manually (in one installation it worked fine, in another I needed to add /usr/local/scala/bin/ to my paths.

Installing Lift is just as easy. Download the tarball, untar and then install:

cd /var/www/
wget https://github.com/lift/lift_24_sbt/tarball/master
tar -zxvvf master

After untar'ing the file, you have the choice of installing one of a number of different packages. Lift comes with a basic html app, a blank app, an MVC app and an xhtml app. You can choose to run whichever suits you better - they have common dependencies and don't install to anywhere, so there's problem in shopping around between them as you like. You do, however, need to figure out which one to base your app on. Whichever you choose, you install it first time round in the following manner:

cd /path/to/app
./sbt update ~jetty-run

This should pull down whatever dependencies you need and will end up running a webserver on port 8080, ready for you to point your browser to. And that's pretty much the end of the software setup :)

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