09 Mar 2012

Lift Cookbook: an introduction

I’m a fan of the format used by the O’Reilly Cookbook series: a problem statement, short solution, and then a discussion. Could this be a useful way to capture nuggets of knowledge about the Lift web framework?

The only way to find out is to try to write a few recipes, so I did that last month and the result is up at cookbook.liftweb.net http://liftcookbook.spiralarm.cloudbees.net (yes, we need a shorter URL).

There’s not a lot there yet, but the mechanism is now in place to create more, and there’s the start of a structure to navigate around topics.

Jono or I will tweet articles via @LiftCookbook, so that’ll be worth following if you want to consume.

If you’re up for contributing, you’ll be happy to know the format is easy: each page is a markdown file, which a build server turns into HTML via Pamflet. There’s a recipe for writing new recipes, but you can also navigate the source and press “edit this file” to make a quick change.

If you’re stuck on ideas for what to write, here are some suggestions:

  • there are plenty of questions on the Lift mailing list, usually followed up with great answers;
  • the many useful tips and tricks in the Lift wiki that could be surfaced as problem/solutions recipes; and
  • I’ve sketched out a few ideas as issues on the project GitHub site—feel free to take one of those, and write it up. But there’s no need to the use GitHub’s issue tracker: just write what interests you anyway you want.

I’ve found writing recipes rewarding, and with your help we can grow this to a useful resource.