Creating a JWT secured react app and Kotlin server (part 2)

Time for some code at last! If you haven’t read my last post, please head on back here.

I’m starting things off with a very simple controller that returns HTML responses.

package com.chrisyoung.auth

import org.springframework.http.MediaType
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller
import org.springframework.ui.Model
import org.springframework.ui.set
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.GetMapping
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.PostMapping
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestBody
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestParam

class LoginController {
    fun loginForm(model: Model): String {
        model["title"] = "Login"
        return "login"
    @PostMapping("/login", consumes = [MediaType.APPLICATION_FORM_URLENCODED_VALUE])
    fun login(
            model: Model,
            @RequestParam(name = "username") username: String,
            @RequestParam(name = "password") password: String
    ): String {
        model["title"] = "Login"
        model["username"] = username;
        model["password"] = password;
        return "loggedin"

Annotations are extremely powerful inĀ Spring Boot. The @Controller, @GetMapping and @PostMapping annotations are taking care of the routing and request and response handling for us. I admit that they do seem a little bitĀ too magical, but I’ve always enjoyed a bit of magic over a bunch of boilerplate.

in the functions we can see the beautiful strictly typed parameters, including the special parameter “Model” used by the mustache templates below

The application is very simple at this point. The /login route displays a html form with fields for username and password, and when that is submitted, those values are pulled out of the form-encoded request into String-type function parameters which are just displayed on the next page. I’m not actually implementing any login logic here, just request logic. I haven’t started with REST endpoints yet, because I need a couple of actual HTML pages in my auth service for the initial login and the authorisation page.

I also need a couple of templates named to match the return values of the GET and POST mapping above

    <form method="POST" action="/login">
        <input type="text" name="username"/>
        <br />
        <input type="password" name="password"/>
        <br />
        <input type="submit" title="login"/>


<h1>Logged in</h1>
<p>username {{username}}</p>
<p>password {{password}}</p>


Next I’ll add a bit of logic to make it a bit more functional
Continue Reading…

Laravel generates a system fast

Today I showed off a task management and time tracking system I’ve been working on this week. The system isn’t unique or marketable, but simply meets the organisations needs without incurring a monthly fee – as so many systems do nowadays.
Not only did my co-workers and managers think it was a great system, they also were astounded at how quickly I’d produced a fully functioning system. The answer is with Laravel, generators and Twitter Bootstrap.


There are so many good frameworks out there today that nobody should ever code anything in straight PHP. When you use a framework, you have access to code libraries that take care of the basic functions of a web application – routing, security, authentication, database abstraction and more – for you, better than you would handle them yourself. I’ve found Laravel to be an exceptionally easy framework to use.

My application didn’t need to focus on authenticating users, writing SQL statements, dealing with URLs and fighting cross-site scripting and SQL injection. I just got on with the business logic of my application.


Whilst Laravel itself does not come with particularly powerful code generation – perhaps that’s not in the scope of a framework – Jeffrey Way has developed an outstanding set of generators for the Artisan command line interface. These generators help you develop anything from a simple database migration to a model to a whole set of code to support an object. Say I have an application to manage pets. Generate a pet scaffold with the generators and you’ve got a database migration, a model, a controller and a set of views. Everything you need to get started developing and avoid time-wasting boilerplate writing.

Knowing the objects I needed to work with, I simply generated all the scaffolds and then got to work coding the specifics.

Twitter Bootstrap

I am not a designer. I don’t want to spend my time designing. I used to create really ugly admin panels. Not any more. Twitter Bootstrap allows you to create a beautiful user interface without trying. Just include the CSS and JS files in your source, and use the CSS classes to style your application. It even comes with an awesome icon font to give you lovely buttons instead of ugly links for your actions.

With these three tools, I could develop an application extremely fast, yet develop code that won’t have the next developer hunting me down for revenge.



Adding a Boolean Toggle to a grid in Joomla admin

Joomla has a fantastic tutorial on MVC components on it’s website, but it seems to stop way short of explaining how to make a fully featured admin panel.

One of the features it doesn’t seem to explain well is how to add those little green ticks and red circles that you can click and it changes (toggles) from one to the other.

Joomla Demo - Administration - Google Chrome_2013-04-30_16-55-57

I like to use it for chosing if an item will appear on the front page or not – but I’m sure you could think of other uses for it. Joomla also has a built in ‘Published’ button which is a bit simpler, so I’ll start from that and move on up. Continue Reading…