Monthly Archives: July 2015

Play Framework (3) – evolutions

First if all, I need to explain why I use evolutions in Play Framework and why I write down this post. The reason is that when you design your database schema at the beginning of the project, you can’t expect everything. Your table schema might be needed to add new field, or change its length or other unpredictable operations. Of course, you can go to DB to change it directly, but in different env which is already deployed your project, how can they do? Change all of table schema by hand? Is it too stupid? In fact, before I really understand evolutions in Play Framework, I do it by hand :(. No worry, evolutions will remove all of the pains which I experienced before.

When you want to update your database design, you just need to write codes under evolutions folder and then, when you go to deploy your code to some env, it will automatically help you update the changes on database. Is it magic?

Let’s see how to really use evolutions.

1. Create evolutions scripts

mkdir conf/evolutions

Your scripts will be under this folder, like 1.sql, 2.sql, 3.sql, etc

The configuration of evolution is under application.conf. Default setting:


Of course, you can disable it by setting its value as disabled.

2. Syntax

Each script contains two parts: one is Ups that describe the required transformations, the other is Downs which describe how to revert them.

# Users schema
# --- !Ups
  id bigint(20) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  email varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  password varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  fullname varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  isAdmin boolean NOT NULL,
# --- !Downs

Play splits your .sql files into a series of semicolon-delimited statement before executing them one-by-one against database. So if you need to use a semicolon within a statement, escape it by enttering :: instead of ;.

3. Deployment

If you want to apply UP evolution automatically, you should set the system property


Or set


in application.conf.

If you want to run UP and DOWN evolutions automatically, you should set the system property


It is not recommended to have this setting in application.conf.


CSS Simplify by SCSS

Even though you use SCSS to help you to write down css and it already uses tree-structure to make things more simply, things are not done yet. Here lists several ways to make it more efficient.

1. Duplicate styles

If you meet duplicate styles, you can group them together and then assign css style.

.toolbar-item, .toolbar-layer {
  background-image: url(../img/toolbar.png);
  background-repeat: no-repeat;

2. Twin styles

Some styles are not exactly the same, they can use variables to cover these differences.

First you need to define “function” to clarify its content.

@mixin toolbar-item($pos, $hoverPos){
  background-position: 0 $pos;
  &:hover {
    background-position: 0 $hoverPos;

And then you apply it to where you want to use.

@include toolbar-item(-674px, -736px);

This method is also very useful for making css style good for every browser. Here gives an example.

@mixin transition($transition){
  -webkit-transition: $transition;
  -moz-transition: $transition;
  -ms-transition: $transition;
  -o-transition: $transition;
  transition: $transition;
@mixin opacity($opacity){
  opacity: $opacity;
  filter: alpha(opacity=$opacity);

3. Common Styles

When some of css styles are used in multiple files, we can put all these styles to one file, named “_mixin.scss”. When you want to use these styles, you just use this to import:

@import "mixin"

Please note, you don’t need to include dash sign and its extension.

4. Use existing styles

You also can extend other existing styles.

.error {
   border: 1px solid #f00;
   background: #fdd;

.badError {
   @extend .error 
   border-width: 3px;