Grails Is on the Move

Published on Monday, March 12, 2007 in grails and groovy

Grails is on the move, folks! The past month has seen an enormous increase in the momentum of Grails, and by the looks of it, that trend will only grow stronger as we move through 2007.

As Graeme recently pointed out, if mailing list traffic is any indication of uptake, then the Grails community is rapidly gaining in size. The Grails mailing list now tops all projects at Codehaus. Is that significant? Take a look at the list of Codehaus projects, and judge for yourself.

Of course, buzz will only get you so far for so long. However, thanks to some enterprising developers, the proof is right there for the world to see, touch, feel, and use.

As if launching one major Grails site wasn’t enough, Marc Palmer recently added Tropicana’s UK site to his Grails portfolio. (Marc was even kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes look at it on the mailing list. Did I mention the mailing list? You should check it out.)

And it’s not just about getting a site live, right? That alone would be entirely uninteresting. Grails is about getting things done…today! So, how much can you accomplish in a day? How about an entire blog aggregator, built, deployed, and live…all in under 24 hours! Glen Smith issued the Grails 20-hour challenge, and he sure as heck delivered. The end result? groovyblogs.org - A fully-functioning blog aggregator, complete with RSS and Atom feed generation, Ajax for asynchronous feed validation, a caching service, full text search using Glen’s Groogle utility, and user registration and authentication as well. And Glen claims that those features actually account for less than the full development time. Glen points out that he “wasted a stack of time on more GUI work including a site logo, a favicon, … and color scheme work.” Impressive.

If we can have sites going live in the US, UK, and Australia, why not Spain and Japan as well. Nacho Brito Calahorro, of ImaginaWorks Software Factory, recently announced groovy.org.es, a Groovy and Grails portal for the Spanish speaking community. (Yes. That announcement occurred on the mailing list as well. Have you heard about the mailing list?)

The interest in Grails is truly worldwide. The Grails documentation has been translated into Japanese and Korean. We’ve seen posts from Belgium, blogs from Brazil, and articles from Germany. Grails knows no borders.

It doesn’t stop there. Jeff Brown and Guillaume Laforge recently provided their own round-ups of this movement, touching on books, conferences, IDE support, and more.

OK. OK. So, maybe it doesn’t count as much when Groovy and Grails developers blog about Groovy and Grails. I’ll give you that. But we’re not alone. We regularly see a handful of Grails-related posts hit Technorati each day now. Charles Ditzel, a high-profile blogger from Sun, recently weighed in on the Groovy and Grails “avalanche” as well.

And the development continues. Groovy is marching towards a rich 1.1 release later this year, adding support for annotations, enumerations, the ExpandoMetaClass, and more. Grails just rolled out release 0.4.2 at the end of February, and Grails 0.5 is not far behind, bringing with it support for custom URL mappings, command objects for forms, and an even better developer experience. (Just today, Grails added a new committer, Sergey Nebolsin, to help make that possible.)

Stay tuned, folks. It’s an exciting time to be a software developer.