New grails project – grailskit starter kit

I’ve got a small Grails project I started some time ago which I’ll announce here in case anyone is interested in helping or just using it as a base.  GrailsKit is intended to be a small starter kit for Grails projects that need web-based management of user accounts, self-registration, and basic page/controller authentication.  None of it is terribly *finished* right now, but I’m open to some input on what people are looking for and what they expect.

I’ve tried Grails plugins for Acegi, JSecurity and Authentication, and all were some state of non-documentation and were somewhat overkill for my needs.  I understand that there may be situations where people have needs to PAM authentication with fallback to Active Directory (for example) but the projects I work on simply need self-registration and role-based control over controllers.

I’m reluctant to release this on several counts, but figure ‘what the heck?’ at this point.  :)  I’ve actually over-engineered the user portion right now, and will likely strip it back down to an earlier simpler version next week.  Other things on my short to-do list include some type of ‘captcha’, a ‘click this link’ email to finalize the user registration process, web-based management of the controller permissions, and a few small modules (like a News module already started) to show how to build basic applications.

I’ve also been reluctant to do this because I’m not a Java person by training.  I’ve done a bit here and there, but I come primarily from the PHP and ‘scripting’ world, so my view on how some of these things should be put together is going to be fundamentally different from how projects and code from mainstream Java-folks will be.  I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing or bad thing, or just a ‘thing’.  Certainly I’ve got more to learn from Java folks, but perhaps my PHP/Perl experience coming through in this code will be an asset to people trying to come to grips with the dynamic aspects of Groovy.

My ‘inspiration’ if you will was/is PHPNuke.  Not so much in style of code or anything like that, but those of us old enough to remember PHPNuke’s arrival on the web scene will remember the massive adoption rate it had, thanks to a simple approach.  In many ways it was *too* simple, and certainly had many flaws, security and otherwise.  But, it provided a complete package – web based user management, self registration, content management, and more, and served as a base platform for many people to extend, customize and add-on, enough so that it spawned several forks, and had hundreds of thousands of installations over the years.  Java certainly hasn’t had any web-based app with anywhere near the same adoption rate or impact, and may never do so.  But with the uptake of Grails, there may be an increase in the need for a base project like phpnuke which can serve as a framework for easy customizations and extensions.  If Grailskit can be that, or help start that process in the Grails world, I’ll be ecstatic.  If not, it’s still a good exercise for me.

In any event, try out the code, join the project site running over there, and send me any questions you have (or post here or there for now).  I’m over in Australia for the next few days, so my response time may be slower than normal – please bear with me.  Thanks.

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