Monday, January 27, 2014

And the winners are…

Congratulations to the five winners of Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide!  We had some very clever entries, but we only have 5 books to give away, so we had to make some hard choices.  The winners are: 
If you are one of the winners, please send a Twitter direct message to @daveklein with your shipping address. 

Thank you to all who participated!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Win a copy of Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide!

Now that Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide (affectionately known as GQuick2) is in print, we are looking to helpful blog readers (and Twitter readers) for help in getting the word out. Participating readers will have a chance at winning a paper copy!

From now until Monday, January 28, you can enter the GQuick2 Twitter Giveaway.

We are giving away five copies of the book. To enter:

  1. Post a tweet mentioning the book and linking to its page on the Pragmatic Bookshelf site. For your convenience, here is a link you can use:
  2. Tweets will be judged based on creativity and uniqueness.
  3. On Monday, the 28th, we will announce the top five tweeters based on those criteria, and each of them will get a paper copy of the book!

You are welcome to tweet more than once.  Each tweet will be entered in the contest and evaluated.  So, put on your thinking caps, get a cup of coffee to get those creative juices flowing and start tweeting! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Introducing Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide

Now there’s a great way to get up to speed quickly with Grails 2.3!  Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide is finally done and available.

It’s the same fun, fast-paced tutorial that garnered reviews like “Mr. Klein's easy writing style and terrific examples gave me a clear understanding of the power of Grails and allowed me to see for myself what all of the buzz is about. Great book. Highly recommended” and “The best 200 pages of technical literature I have ever read. This is a true 'No Fluff Just Stuff' book.”

We’re still working through the process of building an app from start to finish, but now we're doing it entirely with Grails 2.3.  So, if you're looking to get started with this powerful and popular web framework — or want to help another developer get up to speed — you really should take a look at Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide.  On the publisher's site, at, you can view the table of contents and even download one of the first chapters.

So, check it out and let us know what you think.

Dave and Ben

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grails: A Quick-Start Guide is back

No, there isn’t a second edition (yet). But some may have noticed that the ebook of Grails: A Quick-Start Guide (or GQuick) was no longer available on The Pragmatic Programmers’ site. The thought was that it was becoming obsolete. But after several requests from developers who are still getting started with the Grails 1.x framework, the publisher decided to make it available for a while longer.

Once Grails 2.0 is out and beginning to be widely adopted, GQuick will probably be retired. But for now, it remains one of the best options for developers wanting to quickly take advantage of the powerful Grails framework.

The publisher is no longer printing copies of GQuick, but if you really want a copy of the dead-tree edition, you can find one on (The price seems to be climbing, though. Currently, new copies are going for $54.39, and used copies for $48.85.)

For those who have asked, I am working on a Grails 2 intro book (publisher to be determined). Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CocoaConf, And My Anniversary

For the past few months, my sons and I have been working on a different kind of project: We are putting on a conference for developers on Apple platforms, such as iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s called CocoaConf.

The first CocoaConf is being held in Columbus OH, on August 12 - 13, 2011. We have an exciting line-up of speakers, including Daniel Steinberg, Bill Dudney, Chris Adamson, Christopher Judd, and Dave Koziol.

We will be having three tracks for the two days; this will include an all day hands-on iPhone workshop on the first day. It's shaping up to be a very exciting event.

The idea for this conference came when my #3 son, Solomon, began learning Mac programming using the book Beginning Mac Programming by Tim Isted. Taking inspiration from my favorite conference series of all time — No Fluff, Just Stuff — we began tossing around ideas. The NFJS events are known for a capped size so that they don't feel crowded, and for a focus on technical content, without the vendor hype and special events that other conferences tend to have. So that's what we are doing for CocoaConf.

I hadn't blogged about CocoaConf here since it has nothing to do with my usual topics, Groovy and Grails (although the CocoaConf site is being developed in Grails). But today I am going ahead with this post, so that I have a place to explain a crazy (but fun) idea.

You see, 26 years ago today, my beautiful wife, Debbie, said “I do.” And today, we are celebrating this 26th anniversary with a one-day-only CocoaConf discount of 26% off the current early-bird rate of $350. That's a $91 savings for today (July 19th) only! So: If you are interested in developing for the iPhone/iPad or Mac and can make it out to Columbus in August, you can now sign up for CocoaConf for only $259 — but only for today, July 19, 2011. Just go to and use the coupon code “ANNIVERSARY”.

I don't know if anyone will take advantage of this deal, but I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate 26 wonderful years of marriage to my amazing wife. She is the second best thing God has ever done for me!

(And finally, I'll leave you with a bit of child exploitation. Here's our #13, Joshua, telling us where he's headed in August.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Groovy / Grails User Groups

Technology user groups benefit both a technology (with the companies behind it) and its users. Java user groups around the world played a big role in the adoption and advance of the Java language and platform. Even now that Java is in its old age (or on its deathbed, depending on who you talk to), JUGs are actively promoting educational and community-building initiatives.

The Groovy community is benefiting similarly from a growing number of user groups. There are currently a few dozen groups around the world, and more are forming every day.

Now there is a website that can help you find a group in your area or help you get one started. has a list of active Groovy user groups, with links to their sites. If you can't find one in your area, you can propose one. The site will post a link to your proposal on Twitter; you can retweet this to help get the word out. Then when others are interested in your idea, you'll get emailed about it, and you're off and running!

Once you get a few likeminded (and by "likeminded," I of course mean "brilliant") people together and get a group started, send me a note, and I'll invite you to the Groovy User Group Leaders list on Google Groups. This list is a great way to get support and ideas from other Groovy/Grails/Griffon/Gaelyk/Gradle/Getc. group leaders.

I've always said that the best feature of Groovy and Grails is the community. User groups are a big part of that. So if you're not already involved in a G2Group, get plugged in. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

JavaOne Has Been Replaced

I just got back from SpringOne/2GX. It was an excellent experience. The enthusiasm and interest level of the attendees was great. The content, both on the Spring side and (of course) the Groovy and Grails side, was top-notch. There were nine tracks loaded with sessions that covered all kinds of topics related to software development in the Java ecosystem. There were long breaks with plenty of stimulating hallway conversations. Even the keynotes were informative. At most conferences, I skip the keynotes. I've become so used to them being just sales pitches from people who don't even use the tools they're talking about. That wasn't the case here. One of the highlights of the show was Graeme Rocher's keynote demo of the new NoSQL DB support in GORM.

As excellent as it was, I'm not saying that SpringOne/2GX has replaced JavaOne.

The week before SpringOne/2GX, I took two of my sons to the StrangeLoop conference in St. Louis. This conference covered several important areas of software development. There was good coverage of Java and alternate JVM languages and frameworks, along with a bunch of other languages and technologies. It wasn't held in a big conference center or a nice hotel, but in three different buildings, each with a unique atmosphere. This “small” midwest conference featured industry luminaries that you might have expected to see only in the Moscone Center. To see them on the stage of a St. Louis night club was something else!

Just this afternoon, after opening registration less than 4 days ago, the CodeMash conference in Sandusky, OH, sold out. This conference, like StrangeLoop, covers a broad range of technologies. Though there is a bit more .NET than I would like to see, :-) it is another excellent event, bringing speakers from across the country and attendees from across the globe.

I could go on. There is the Silicon Valley Code Camp, the Houston TechFest, and so many more. But you get the picture.

For several years now, JavaOne has been turning into more of a vehicle for pushing a certain technology (coughJavaFXcough). The attendance has been gradually dropping. As developers stopped going to JavaOne, they began to find other events to meet the need that JavaOne was not filling. Or they started their own.

The Oracle acquisition and the subsequent decision to make JavaOne an afterthought to Oracle's annual event didn't help, but JavaOne was already on its way out. It was destroyed the way so many companies are: by pushing what it wanted its customers to have rather than providing what its customers wanted.

So I can't point to a single conference that will be the new JavaOne (although Über Conf comes close). But I can look out at all the technical gatherings happening around the world—Devoxx, JAOO, the JAX events, the GR8 events, and so many more. And then I can look closer to home and see all the “small” conferences that are providing big benefits to attendees and speakers, and I can say it without a doubt. JavaOne has been replaced.