Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thoughts on Groovy, Grails, Griffon and JavaOne

You may have already heard that Groovy, Grails and Griffon are going to be under-represented at this year's JavaOne. While this is a bummer and hard to understand in the face of the enthusiasm that continues to grow in the community (see below for some examples), I don't think the right reaction is to say "who needs them" and skip JavaOne altogether. One idea Graeme Rocher mentioned on Twitter is a good one: a G3 mini conference would be great! The Monday night before JavaOne kicks off would be a perfect time for that.

Anyhow, it's important to note that last year there weren't all that many Groovy related talks either, but what I observed was that Groovy was represented as much by excited attendees as by presenters. I think it can be the same this year. Some of the brightest minds in the G3 community will be at JavaOne and they will have many opportunities outside of the session rooms, to talk about and demonstrate the power, efficiency and fun of Groovy, Grails and Griffon. The rest of us can do the same. So if you can make it to JavaOne go for it and feel the Groovy in the air!

Speaking of enthusiasm in the community, here are a few examples:

Here's a screenshot of the DZone popular link tab for 3/01/2008

This is one of my favorites, from a Sun blog.

This one is from the Stephen Colbourne's blog and shows the results of a whiteboard poll at Devoxx, a European conference that is very similar to JavaOne.

So don't be discouraged- the better mousetrap is doing all right!


Chad said...

Listen to Tim Bray, Director of Web Technologies, on this podcast and it seems that Sun has decided to push python-django and jruby over groovy-grails. It seems obvious to me that they are politically marketing against g2one/springsource (groovy/grails) and grasping at the 'other' dynamic languages in the mix. They are betting on the other options and it shows in their javaone sessions. Listen for yourself - Tim doesn't come out in say it, but the non-mention of groovy and grails in this discussion is painful. To me, Sun will make this an up hill battle for groovy/grails as a strongly supported dynamic language (groovy) and web framework (grails) on the java jvm. Yet again SpringSource and Sun are battling it out (in my opinion) - who won the mind share last time? ;)


Anonymous said...

when will people get it into their skulls that it's JAVAOne, not MyFavouriteScriptingLanguageOne?

Anonymous said...

To the other anonymous, Groovy is a Java based technology, Java is a platform not just a language,and was conceived from the start as such!

Jython and JRuby do not have their root and origin in the Java language, its matter because JRuby is and will always be a second class implementation compared to matz Ruby, same for Python. And this is not the case for Groovy!

Anyway, its a bad sign to suggest that SUN is not aware or interested in Groovy!

sarbogast said...

Once again, Sun didn't get it! They did it with EJB's vs Spring/Hibernate, they did it iwth JSR-277 vs OSGi, they're doing it again with JavaFX vs Flex, and now with Grails/Groovy vs Jython/JRuby. They always miss the train. On the other hand, look who's always catching it.

Leonard Axelsson said...

To Chad:
It's sad that there won't be any Groovy talks but when it comes to the JavaONE sessions I'm fairly sure the lack of Groovy sessions is no fault of Sun. From what I've gathered the amount of papers sent in every year is enourmous and and many good ones at that. This post from Kirk Pepperdine talks about the issue
Of course I would have loved to see a big Groovy prescense at JavaONE but I think the Groovy community can arrange that outside of the borders of presentations.

To Anon:
No, its JavaONE and Groovy is written in Java - boohoo... ;) Groovy is a valid part of the Java world and got as much right as any to be a part of it.

Charles Oliver Nutter said...

A few points your readers seem to be unaware of:

* JRuby doesn't have any more talks than Groovy does.
* Sun is interested in JRuby and Jython because they have large potential to grow the platform into non-Java communities.
* Sun provides nearly equivalent support for Groovy in all products, including NetBeans and GlassFish.

Markus Jais said...

I agree with Charles, here.

Netbeans has awesome Groovy/Grails support.
I don't think Sunwould add this if they were not interested in Groovy.

Dave Klein said...

I wasn't trying to make any comparison of Sun's support of JRuby vs. Groovy. In fact I didn't mention any other languages. I think we all know that other JVM languages are taking a back seat to JavaFX.

Without seeing the schedule, I'd be willing to guess that there will be more JavaFX sessions than all the the other alternative JVM languages combined.

With that in mind, to Anonymous #1: It's also not JavaFXOne. And I would venture to say that Groovy is much closer to Java than JavaFX is.

Anyhow, the point of the post is that we don't need to whine about Sun's support of Groovy not being in line with the community's interest in it. (And note that's what is happening. Sun is not *ignoring* Groovy or trying to stop it. They just aren't giving it as much attention as their customers would want them to. It's not the first time a company has put the desires of current customers behind those of potential new customers. Borland did that for years. Perhaps there's a lesson there somewhere.) The 3G community can do it's own promotion, and in the end that's more fun!

Guillaume Laforge said...

Due to a bug in the crappy speaker conference site, I spotted that Groovy/Grails/Griffon were mentioned in 17 sessions (compared to 15 last year), but unfortunately, there are less full-blown sessions on the topics (keyword just being mentioned, but technologies not showcased much in the abstracts).

So mindshare is growing as people mention the G3 technologies, but the overall air time on G3 will be lower than the previous year :-(

In comparison, there are 53 sessions on JavaFX. Although it's not JavaFXOne.

I haven't had the time to look at other languages, as the bug in the site seemed to have been fixed since. So I can't tell for others.

Anyway, perhaps we should rename the conference JavaFXOne? I think it would be more appropriate :-)