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Registered: Jun 2001
Posts: 37

Lightbulb Here comes Groovy!

Here comes Groovy!

When I discovered Python I had a lot of fun with it and I even went to a Python conference once. However, with the Java market growing by leaps and bounds, it was hard to justify devoting too much time to Python. Jython, a Java adaptation of Python, is a real work of art when you look at the source code but it always seemed like a round peg in a square hole.

Along came C# with several Python-like features (maps, regex) and it occured to me that Java was missing some major language features commonly associated with scripting languages (regex was since added).

Groovy now puts Java way out front since it integrates so closely with the JVM and provides many of the popular features in object-oriented scripting languages such as Ruby and Python:

+Everything is an object
+Dynamic typing (static typing also supported)
+Maps and Lists
+Regular expressions
+Operator overloading
+XPath-like syntax for navigation

A deficiency of most scripting environments is the lack of an IDE. Scripters usually compensate by using print statements which is a real drag, but works. Hopefully the leading Java IDE's will eventually add support for Groovy development and integration with Java projects. Groovy inside IntelliJ IDEA, now that would be groovy indeed!

One interesting fact about the Groovy project that I really like is that James Strachan of dom4j fame is a lead developer. If you haven't used it yet, dom4j makes working with XML in Java a breeze.

[One nice irony: if you go to the Groovy Wiki home page and scroll to the bottom, there is a Python Powered icon. ]

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