Enjoying coding again with Grails

A year or two ago Ruby on Rails was all over the blogosphere about being so elegant, so much fun to work with. People started to enjoy coding again. I don’t personally have anything against RoR, but being a java developer for so long I’ve taken to Grails.

And boy do I like it. A lot. I’ve built a few apps already, from the simple in Twitopolis.com to more complex in PatriotRoom.com. In all cases I’ve come to enjoy coding again.

Don’t get me wrong, Java is still my day job and it is OK. There are many benefits on a large scale app to going the straight Java route. In my day job, we have one of those large scale apps (over half million visitors a day). However, for my personal apps I love the speed that Grails provides me. From GORM to GSP and just plain using Groovy itself, I enjoy working in it.

The only real drawback so far is that I find myself running into lots of compilation errors at my day job because I’m writing Groovy code instead of Java :)


I have to admit that the one feature I am liking quite a bit is GORM, the ORM layer in Grails. I’m no fan of Hibernate itself, but what the Grails team has done with GORM is just great. I’ve gotten quite used to the criteria syntax and that is what I like so much about it. I’ve had a few puzzling episodes here and there, but overall it is probably the shining feature of the stack.


Because of my Grails usage I’ve been using Groovy outside of Grails with some enjoyment. At work I wrote a log analyzer that looks for errors and does reporting as well as script that does some JMX monitoring.

Using Groovy has also gotten me more into regular expressions. Not coming from a background in languages that had native regex support, I’m a late comer to the beauty of this tool. With Groovy’s native support of them I find myself using them quite a bit.

In Summary

Yes, I’ve had my share of issues in the beginning, but it has gotten much better very quickly. I would still like to learn ruby and maybe things have gotten better in the last year or so, especially with the news that Merb is merging with RoR.

In any event, Grails has brought back the joy of coding for me. Much like those early RoR users.

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  • webmogul: Enjoying coding again with Grails http://tinyurl.com/a74ml8 01/17/09 08:38am

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