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The Definitive Guide to Lift: A Scala-based Web Framework (Expert's Voice in Open Source)

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Welcome to The Definitive Guide to Lift: A Scala-Based Web Framework! We hope that you find reading our work as informative, fun, and exciting as writing it has been for us. This book started out as some informal discussions between the Lift committers about a need for a good guide beyond the documentation contained on the Lift wiki and API documents. At the time, Lift had just passed version 0.7, and the mailing list was still relatively low traffic. In the interim, we’ve made it all the way to a 1.0 release, and the mailing list now has close to 900 members! In other words, Lift has really taken off.

When we sat down and began to outline the content of this book, we made a decision early on to be as comprehensive as possible. We knew that a lot of people would be reading our book having seen very little, if any, Lift code. We also knew that plenty of people who were comfortable with Lift fundamentals might want to exploit some of the more advanced functionality offered by Lift to make their applications even more appealing. With both of these readers in mind, this book is effectively broken into two parts. Chapters 1 through 6 cover the fundamentals of building a Lift application, from the basics of application architecture to how to handle forms, cookies, database access, and more. Chapters 7 through 13 cover the more advanced aspects of Lift, starting with an in-depth look at how Lift processes requests and moving on to topics like JavaScript, AJAX, Comet, and web services. We realize that writing a book that is accessible to newcomers while being relevant to advanced users is an ambitious goal, but we hope that you feel we’ve succeeded.

One important note that we want to make before you dive into this book is that Lift leverages a lot of the Scala language’s features to provide a powerful API. While we will briefly discuss some of these features in context, this book is not intended to be an introduction to or reference for Scala. However, several other books are available that do an excellent job at that task, notably David Pollak’s Beginning Scala (Apress, 2009). Since David started the whole Lift project from scratch, you can be sure that his book will be particularly relevant to people wanting to learn Scala so that they can use Lift.

Whether you’re a seasoned Liftie or just starting out, we hope that you enjoy reading this book!
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