Groovy, Grails, and Gradle. Oh My!

My long silence has largely been due to unemployment followed by starting a new job. I have a draft post waiting in the wings regarding some technology I observed during the interview process. Things certainly have changed since the last time I interviewed for jobs, and not just since I interviewed for my first technical job.

I am going to abstain from mentioning my company, but I can talk about some of the technology pretty freely. I have moved from working with EMC|Documentum products to working with eCommerce tools. It is still content management in some ways, but I am now more focused on making a product work as apposed to installations and integrations. In doing this, I am also working with Groovy, Grails, and Gradle. They are pretty neat technologies which I sorely underestimated. I should have started using these in my last job!

Groovy: It is Java with many additions. It isn’t some poor little scripting language, but definitely takes Java programming to a new level. You simplify a lot of what you are doing, add the power of closures, and do away with specific declarations when you don’t really care what the object is that you are working with. That is pretty nice. I’ve decompiled some of the classes created with “groovyc” and it is crazy what happens to permit the many assumptions to be made about what a class might do. This doesn’t result in compact byte-code, but it makes coding a lot easier!

Grails: Maybe this could have been used. It is a bit light weight for a full-blown web server, but for a development environment it is pretty cool. The integration of unit, integration, and functional tests is darn nice. It helps to promote a test-driven development model.

Gradle: This really blows my mind. It takes ANT to a whole new level where you can do Groovy coding in your build script to improve the build process. Let’s say you have some modules you need to build in one order, and then clean up in a reverse order. That is a nuisance with ANT, but with Gradle you can declare an array and then iterate over it in the appropriate direction in the appropriate target. Very nice!

So, yeah. My technology juices are flowing again. Hooray!

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About John

I write about technology interests, cooking, and my own writing (sci-fi and fantasy... sometimes both). I try to keep things light, but sometimes I get side-tracked on an issue that I feel strongly about. No offense is meant, I'm just like any other person who feels strongly about something when I write. View all posts by John

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