Multi-Instance Scopes in Guice

Recently I worked on a project with Deanna Surma where we needed better and more flexible scope support from Guice, so we created the project guice-multiscopes.

For those unfamiliar with dependency injection, inversion of control, and Guice, I highly recommend you explore the concepts and try it out with your next project.  I’ll continue assuming you have knowledge of the previous concepts.

Anyways, using Guice in the project was consistently awesome except for one thing:  scopes.  Guice provided the binding support, but we wanted to have multiple scope instances where we could enter and exit them at will.  There was a custom scope example, but it was far from what we needed.

So we created guice-multiscopes with the goal of allowing you to store your entire object graph in guice, with multi-instance scopes (bounded and unbounded), prescoping support, and easy ways to manipulate these scopes in your program.

Basic Usage

Check out the wiki for a full intro.

Here we’re binding a new unbounded multiscope, using the BattlestarScope as our scope annotation, Battlestar as our binding annotation, and NewBattlestar as our creation binding annotation

protected void configure() {

Now, here’s an example of using (with a Request and Identity scope, like defined like above):

// Pretend this class handles new network requests
public class RequestHandler {
  private final Provider<ScopeInstance> newRequestProvider;
  private final Provider<ScopeInstance> newIdentityProvider;
  private final IdentityManager identities;
  private final RequestPipeline pipeline;

  public RequestHandler(@NewRequest Provider<ScopeInstance> newRequestProvider,
                        @NewIdentity Provider<ScopeInstance> newIdentityProvider,
                        IdentityManager identities,
                        RequestPipeline pipeline) {
    this.newRequestProvider = newRequestProvider;
    this.newIdentityProvider = newIdentityProvider;
    this.identities = identities;
    this.pipeline = pipeline;

  public void requestReceived(RawRequest rawRequest) {
    ScopeInstance request = newRequestProvider.get();
    // the raw request is constructed elsewhere, but we can put it in our
    // scope to make it injectable (must have appropriate bindings)
    newRequestInstance.putInScope(Key.get(RawRequest.class), rawRequest);

    ScopeInstance identity = identities.get(rawRequest.getUID();
    if (identity == null) {
      identity = newIdentityProvider.get();
      identities.addIdentity(identity, rawRequest.getUID());
    try {
    } finally {

Keep in mind, all of the guice functionality with scopes applies here, so you can bind objects in your scopes, and there will be one instance of that object per instance of the multiscope.

Bounded scopes are similar, except that the instances are defined in the guice modules. So you get something similar to a multiset, but with scope instances, and each instance has it’s own binding annotation. A really nice feature of the bounded multiscopes is prescoping in the guice modules, so you can easily support plugin-style scope additions, where each scope instance can bind each required prescoped item to it’s own key. For example, if I have a Protocol bounded multiscope, and I say that I need an @HeaderMatcher String for matching the protocol header, I can specify that object as prescoped in my Protocol scope, and when someone defines a Protocol instance, say a ping protocol, they can prescope that Key (@HeaderMatcher String ) to whatever they want. Probably to “PING 1.0″, or even bind it to another key, like @PingProtocol String.

More Info

Hopefully this will be useful for others, check out the project page, wiki, and javadocs to learn more.

Introducing… World of Dub

In the spring of 2011, I was the lead programmer for the path-based strategy game World of Dub. Here are a few screenshots:

To give you a quick summary, the game takes place in the future where robots have taken over the world, and there are only a few human survivors.  The survivors find dubstep music, which can easily kill the robots, and your job is to lead them through deadly obstacles to destroy jamming towers and restore music to this dystopian world.

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback, we hope you like it! Check out the website with the download link here, and make sure you roll the credits!

JBox2D Testbed Update + Serialization

So I’ve noticed two major issues people have with jbox2d:

  1. Getting the engine running
  2. Debugging strange behavior

The first issue usually comes from trouble with surrounding application, where graphics isn’t quite right or the engine isn’t getting initialized/updated correctly.  The second issue comes both from with the slightly steep learning curve of the Box2D API, and the finicky nature of physics engines in general.  A good way to solve both of these is a simple platform which provides all of the application and graphics layers so you can test and experiment with just physics code.

The jbox2d testbed is meant to solve this problem, but it hasn’t been too developer-friendly in the past.   So I’ve just given it an upgrade!

The current features now include:

  • controllable run loop
  • easy input support
  • serialization (saving/loading)
  • expandable ui settings
  • simple automatic drawing with j2d
  • all in a multi-platform java swing application

Check out the wiki page for implementation info, and check out the current tests here for example.  Also, keep in mind the testbed is not intended for commercial use, and it might be subject to changes in the future.

Next, you may have notices the “Save” and “Load” buttons in the testbed.  This is because I’ve added world serialization!  Currently the supported format is Protocol Buffers (quick and tiny serialization), and the framework is extendable for more formats.  Hooray!

Google Analytics tracking with Java

After you start using Google Analytics, it’s pretty hard to stop. The ability to see stats and trends from users is invaluable to successfully maintaining software. Working with Adobe Flex, it was easy to set up google analytics tracking, as libraries were provided. But I was surprised to find that there was no library provided for sending tracking data in Java. The data export api is there, but nothing to send the tracking data. After doing some quick research, I decided to make my own.

The documentation provided by google here was pretty helpful, but not quite from complete (and not completely correct, I think it’s a bit outdated).  So anyways, I present JGoogleAnalyticsTracker!

JGoogleAnalytics tracker is lightweight (19kb, 6 classes) library designed to be simple an unobtrusive. Using the tracker is dead simple. You start my making your configuration data, which represents the machine making the request. This has stuff like the tracking code, java version, screen resolution, etc. Most of the stuff is populated automatically, the only thing it can’t figure out is the flash version.

AnalyticsConfigData config = new AnalyticsConfigData("MyTrackingCode");
// if you want to set your own config parameters:
config.setFlashVesion("9.0 r24");
// etc

Next, just create the tracker with your configuration and you’re good to go:

JGoogleAnalyticsTracker tracker = new JGoogleAnalyticsTracker(config, GoogleAnalyticsVersion.V_4_7_2);

And that’s it. You can track page visits, referrals, searches, events, and even make your own custom request and fill out whatever data you want for the tracking parameters. The tracker can out these requests in three different modes, synchronous, asynchronous, and queued (default). See the project page for more info.

For complete documentation, see the javadocs, or just view the source, it’s very straightforward.

Java URI encoder

Recently I discovered that the URL encoder provided in Java is meant for forms and headers, and not actual URLs.   After looking at the URI spec here, I created a quick and compact URI encoder for java:

 * simple uri encoder, made from the spec at
 * Feel free to copy this. I'm not responsible for this code in any way, ever.
 * Thanks to Marco and Thomas
 * @author Daniel Murphy
public class URIEncoder {
  private static final String mark = "-_.!~*'()\"";
  private static final char[] hex = "0123456789ABCDEF".toCharArray();

  public static String encodeURI(String argString) {
    StringBuilder uri = new StringBuilder();

    char[] chars = argString.toCharArray();
    for (int i = 0; i < chars.length; i++) {
      char c = chars[i];
      if ((c >= '0' && c <= '9') || (c >= 'a' && c <= 'z') ||
          (c >= 'A' && c <= 'Z') || mark.indexOf(c) != -1) {
      } else {
        appendEscaped(uri, c);
    return uri.toString();

  private static void appendEscaped(StringBuilder uri, char c) {
    if (c <= (char) 0xF) {
      uri.append(hex[ c]);
    } else if (c <= (char) 0xFF) {
      uri.append(hex[ c >> 8]);
      uri.append(hex[ c & 0xF]);
    } else {
      // unicode
      uri.append(hex[ c >> 24]);
      uri.append(hex[(c >> 16) & 0xF]);
      uri.append(hex[(c >> 8) & 0xF]);
      uri.append(hex[ c & 0xF]);

Edit: Updated with char-to-hex speed improvements, fixed < 15 bug, and now encodes unicode chars if > 0xFF