I’m getting ready for codestock this coming saturday. I’m going to be giving a talk on Grails, the Groovy/Java web framework. I’d put together a set of slides and prepared a presentation, but I read the times wrong. I thought I had a half hour – it’s more like 70 minutes. So I’m having to flesh out the presentation with some more detail.
To help with that, I’ve picked up a copy of Beginning Groovy and Grails from Apress. I saw one of the authors, Christopher Judd, at Codemash this past January. I liked his presentation, but felt he spent too much time explaining why web development in Java was difficult in the first place, rather than just jumping in to Grails. The book doesn’t do that as much, and I’m finding it’s a good book all around – better than I expected. The sections on security (jsecurity, acegi, etc.) look useful – haven’t tried them yet, but anything in writing is better than where the state of Grails security docs were a few months ago
I also ‘led’ a small group discussion on Grails and Groovy at Barcamp RDU this past weekend. I got to meet Shawn Hartsock in person, someone whose Groovy/Grails writings on his blog have helped me out several times. He sat in with the group (along with Robert Fischer – a recent MN transplant) and helped explain many topics I didn’t have as much experience with. Thanks Shawn, Robert and everyone else who showed up!
One thing that I mentioned there and I’ll mention here too – the state of Groovy and Grails marketing. It’s not *bad*, but it’s seemingly targetted at current Java developers. I’d say many Java devs who’ve wanted rapid dev functionality have gone on to other pastures already. Not entirely, to be sure, and projects like Grails have probably helped keep some antsy devs squarely on home turf. And certainly part of the attraction is the leveraging of existing Java libraries (not just under the hood but for use in userland apps as well). There still seems to be a problem getting the word out about Groovy and Grails past the existing Java communities. I’ll be presenting at a primarily .NET gathering this weekend, so maybe that’s a start. I don’t expect everyone to drop whatever they’re doing just to go do Grails. But having more people exposed to it will give them a current view of modern web app development in Java, which can’t be a bad thing (or shouldn’t be, anyway!)
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