What's That Noise?! [Ian Kallen's Weblog]

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20040426 Monday April 26, 2004

Giants Beat The Braves! It's been a rough couple of weeks but having the Giant's hold back the Braves tonight is a good lift. Schmidt's obviously not at his best but even so, they did it.

We'll take these one-run games if that's all we'll get -- after some of the recent beat-downs from the SoCal division rivals, it's fine to just squeak by for the time being. What I'd like to see is Woody restore his good name, get a strikeout or two and maybe give the G's a little momentum with a win tomorrow. But for tonight, hat's off to V-rod and Herges for keeping them at bay in the end

Let's go Giants!

( Apr 26 2004, 10:17:00 PM PDT ) Permalink

It's not just far out, it's Groovy Does the programming world need another scripting language? There's already a ton of them and they all have their pros and cons and their adherents and detractors. Well, kick down your cobblestone and look for some fun: now there's Groovy.

I've always enjoyed the expressiveness and rapid development qualities of Perl, Python and Ruby. However, the proliferation of Perl's obscure idioms and linear of scripting tendencies of many of its users is enough to make you shudder. The absence of semi-colon statement delimiters is enough to always make me feel like I've forgotten something with the latter two. Then there's function-crazed languages like PHP and Tcl. Maybe the world does need a clean break from it all? Well, Groovy is definitely a departure of sorts. It looks a little like Ruby and a little Java with a dash of JSTL but not entirely like any one of them. And it compiles down to ye olde JVM's bytecode.

The Groovy website is loaded with examples for using SQL and writing servlets (um, make that "Groovelets") using the Groovy syntax. Support for regexp and xpath matching is in there. Reading through it, I'm impressed with the familiarity and yet the newness of the syntax. But I can't help wondering if I'd really use it to build any substantial software. In many respects, it took Java so long to mature as far as lots of those little things that matter to me like regexp support, cached prepared statements in the JDBC API and the various jax-foo API's -- all good stuff but a long time coming. So why start using Groovy?

Well, I thought of one place where I'd imagine using Groovy. When collaborating with GUI implementers on the web tier of an application, I have in the past found myself working hard to keep the communications loop tight between those dealing with the markup and the tags and on the other end those dealing with Action classes, servlets and filters. "The MonkeyBean has a Collection of Bananas... you can iterate over each of them to access their Peels..." Wouldn't it be nice if the folks working with the markup and tags could write their own beans and actions without having to know all of that Hard Java Stuff? Well, maybe. I mean if they're implementing a lot of the display logic with JSTL, why not give them an easy entry into the data-centric modules that the JSTL accesses?

Well, I don't know but I'm willing to be open minded about it and I guess the powers that be in JCPville are as well; Groovy has it's own JSR. There are a lot of important check-off items already in place:

The latter two are really important when your practicing continuous integration. Other stuff like XML-RPC support and embeddability, that's all nice too.

I can see the why Groovy might be more attractive that Jython or something like that that uses the JVM but isn't native to it. On the other hand, if I didn't know better were I hiring an engineer (and I'm not, please, no phone calls) and a candidate had "Groovy" listed on their resume, I might pass them by as a goofball. Although, knowing what I do now about what Groovy may potentially be good for, I might put that resume on top of the file.

I think I feel a song coming on:

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feeling groovy

Hello lamppost, what'cha knowing
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doo-it in doo doo, feeling groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feeling groovy

I got no deeds to do
No promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life I love you, all is groovy

  59th Street Bridge Song

Sorry, I got carried away there. I couldn't help myself. ( Apr 26 2004, 09:25:52 PM PDT ) Permalink