Open minds leads to freedom

Communicating my thoughts on software development

Using Scala to update LiveJournal tags – Part I

Posted by rnaufal on 23rd May 2009

Some days ago I started to use the Scala programming language to update my Livejournal tags using its XML-RPC protocol reference. First I had to check if some tags of mine were entered wrong, so I’ve done this Scala program to list all of them:

   1:import org.apache.xmlrpc.client.XmlRpcClient;
   2:import org.apache.xmlrpc.client.XmlRpcClientConfigImpl;
   3:import org.apache.xmlrpc.client.XmlRpcCommonsTransportFactory;
   5:import java.util.Map
   6:import java.util.HashMap
   7:import scala.collection.immutable.TreeSet
   9:object LJListTag {
  10:     def main(args: Array[String]) {
  11:         val config = new XmlRpcClientConfigImpl()
  12:         config.setEnabledForExtensions(true);
  13:         config.setServerURL(new URL(""))
  14:         val client = new XmlRpcClient()
  15:         client.setConfig(config)
  16:         val params = new HashMap[String, String]
  17:         params.put("username", "user")
  18:         params.put("password", "password")
  19:         var paramsToServer = new Array[Object](1)
  20:         paramsToServer(0) = params
  21:         val results = client.execute("LJ.XMLRPC.getusertags", paramsToServer).asInstanceOf[Map[String, String]];
  22:         printEachTag(results)
  23:     }
  25:     def printEachTag(results: Map[String, String]) {
  26:        var allTags = new TreeSet[String]
  27:        val iterator = results.values().iterator()
  28:           while(iterator.hasNext()) {
  29:             val resultFromRPCData =[Array[Any]]
  30:             resultFromRPCData.foreach(singleResult => allTags += extractTag(singleResult))
  31:           }
  32:        allTags.foreach(tag => println(tag))
  33:     }
  35:    def extractTag(singleResult: Any): String = {
  36:        val tag = singleResult.asInstanceOf[HashMap[String, String]]
  37:        return tag.get("name")
  38:    }

Just fill your user and password to have all of your LiveJournal tags printed on the standard output. The experience was so amazing, since you can use all the Java libraries (Scala is fully interoperable with Java and runs on top of the JVM). I used a TreeSet because I wanted print my tags sorted according its alphabetical order. I’m continuously studying Scala and its API, so the code above doesn’t use any advanced Scala constructs. If you have any suggestion about the code or how to use better the Scala constructs, post your comments here. It will be all appreciated.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

The Fan programming language

Posted by rnaufal on 12th June 2008

Cedric has showed us an interesting programming language called Fan, which has a lot of useful features. The ones I liked most are:

  • Familiar Syntax: Java and C# programmers will feel at home with Fan’s curly brace syntax.
  • Concurrency: Tackle concurrency with built-in immutability, message passing, and REST oriented transactional memory.
  • Static and Dynamic Typing: Don’t like the extremes – take the middle of the road.
  • Object Oriented: Everything is an object.
  • Functional: Functions and closures are baked in.

Here are some code chunks, showing its closures syntax:

// find files less than one day old
files := dir.list.findAll |File f->Bool|
return – f.modified < 1day

// print the filenames to stdout
files.each |File f|
echo("$f.modified.toLocale: $")

I haven’t tried the Fan language a lot yet (I’ll post my comments here when I do it), but I congratulate the Fan authors for being possible to run it on both the JVM and .Net. I agree with Cedric when he said about the possibility to declare constructors with arbitrary names (although they must be prefixed with the new keyword) and invoke it as static methods of the class. From designer of the class point of view, it’s easy to identify the constructor (it’s highlighted by the new keyword), but from the client it’s difficult because there’s no way to differentiate a constructor from a static method call. It’s a bit odd to be able to do that. Just take a look at the code:

// Using an arbitrary name as a constructor
class Person
new create(Int age) { this.age = age; }
Int age
p = Person.create(20)

Anyway, I think it’s a good work to make the language have both object-oriented and functional constructs and be portable to both the Java VM and the .NET CLR. Good work guys!

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »