NixMash Spring Posts: Introduction

I’m excited to announce a new NixMash Spring feature simply called “Posts.” You can compare it to Twitter streams or use the Facebook wall as metaphor. The function of Posts is to publish links, notes, news and other materials pertinent to the application and to fellow Java Spring developers. You can go to the Demo Site to check it out!

What’s most exciting about the Posts Project is that we’ve laid out only the basic elements for a functional Posts entry and display service. The possibilities ahead for accessibility, discovery and engagement are huge. Something else I really like about the Posts feature is that while we may be using it for developer links, code and other geeky stuff, those who fork the project might have completely different uses and audiences for the service.

Here’s the Posts stream, wall…, which like I said has a very limited feature set, though we do have sweet-looking code happening with the highlight.js plugin. We plan for multiple types of posts and media types, and have started with Links as our main focus. The original intent of the Posts project was to serve up annotated Links, but we didn’t want to limit what we could do with it, thus the Posts project.

Here’s the initial form for entering a Post. “Write a Post” serves as a placeholder for now.

The Link Entry form shown below displays content from the source page to serve as a basis for writing the Post’s title and content, along with selecting a link display type. This is where our work with Jsoup paid off big time! Also notice the cool image carousel to select an image from the source page.

For demonstration purposes anyone can enter a link and get a feel for the Link Entry form. The link won’t be saved to the database in demo mode, however, so don’t spend a lot of time correcting your grammar.

Link Display Types

The display of Links was patterned after the options Twitter currently supports, a Link with text only, a Link with a Thumbnail (or Summary in Twitter parlance) and a Featured Link with a larger image. Specific to the site we also have a NixMash Post link display type.

Coming Up

Like I said, there’s a ton of features to come, along with blog posts to describe them to you. Before doing more development we’ll cover some of the behind-the-scenes tech of the basic framework currently online. We’ll cover how we’re using Jsoup in a bit more detail, talk about building the Bootstrap Carousel with Spring MVC and Thymeleaf, and how we’re generating the Posts listing with a sidebar to Apache Velocity along the way.

Source Code Notes for this Post

All source code discussed in this post can be found in my NixMash Spring GitHub repo and viewed online here.