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Jan 14

Why Groovy should have corporate backing: Fund development!

Groovy, Tech Add comments

There has been another up-turn in critiques for Groovy. The like of Mike Spille, Hani, Cedric, and others, have ripped into the project.

People have asked me how I feel about it all, and I think they are a little surprised that I am not upset or something.

I am not upset as:

  • The opinions are not just rants. They are educated responses about how they feel about Groovy
  • Everyone is entitled to their opinion
  • They seem to actually care (else why spend the time)

The last point is so important. A lot of people, in and out of the Groovy community are giving honest feedback because they care.

Noone is saying: “Groovy is a piece of merde, so scrap it already!”.

If anything, the general vibe is:

“Groovy has so much potential. I seem some problems, and someone needs to get in and fix things before it is too late”.

I am a strong believer in the potential of Groovy. Even if the language ‘groovy’ fails, I think it has been part of a more important factor… having Sun, and Java some developers, realise that the power of Java is in the platform. Java shouldn’t be the One True Language. It is one way of expressing yourself, and is very good for many problems. But it is pretty balsy to say “This one way of expressing yourself is definitely the only way, and the best, for all”. Come on. A language like Groovy (and many others) has many advantages. One, is the way it can grow and ‘try’ ideas. Can you imagine how hard it is to get a feature into the Java language (cheap shot: unless you persuade Sun that Microsoft is doing it :)).

So, I am sold on the potential of Groovy. I enjoy many languages and platforms, and I am really excited about having a language as fun to work with and productive as Groovy on the JVM platform (so I also have access to Spring, Hibernate/JDO/…, AspectWerkz/AspectJ, etc etc).

So, to the subject of this post!

I think Groovy would be helped in LEAPS and BOUNDS if a company (or two :) got behind it. If Sun wants to make a play for other languages, why don’t they hire some people to work on Groovy? SURELY it is worth having people around to work on that compared to some of the other ‘research’ projects they are playing with? Sun already allows John Rose to work on Groovy, and I think they part for some of his time working on it. Make that fulltime. Hire James, or Guillame, or someone else.

Groovy needs a full time LEADER. James is just too busy at the moment to take it all on. Noone should EXPECT him too. How can we? Groovy needs the loose strings ironed out, and it needs some grunt work done such as:

  • Making it stable
  • Refactoring for the new ANTLR parse
  • Getting error reporting spot on, so you aren’t in debug hell
  • Solid, top notch, IDE Support (Eclipse/IntelliJ plugins)
  • Documentation

And it goes on and on. Sometimes you need to be working on a project full time, and having it be your focus, to get onto these tasks. This is where a company can come in.

BEA would be another great potential contributor. Maybe they could have even kept Sam Pullara if they just let him work on Groovy? ;)

A vendor can jump in and become a real leader in the dynamic language space. They could integrate with Groovy all over the shop, and I would certainly love them for it :)

The User Base Is There

From the talks that I give on Groovy, feedback I get, and the number of people jumping onto areas like Ruby, I have no doubt that people want functionality that Groovy can give them. Will anyone step up to the plate, take the potential energy, and run with it?

One Response to “Why Groovy should have corporate backing: Fund development!”

  1. Euxx Says:


    Dion blogged about reasons to make Groovy driven by some company and he is suggesting BEA. At some point Cedric said that we wont notice difference when his next project will be half done in Groovy. Now Cedric is not with BEA anymore, but it may incre