Big Sky to Help Groovy Get Its Groove On

Big Sky Technology backs the Java-based, open-source Groovy dynamic language with funding and support to drive the technology to Version 1.0 and beyond.

Big Sky Technology is putting its marketing muscle behind the open-source, Java-based Groovy language to take the project to a 1.0 version and beyond to ubiquity.

Jay Zimmerman, president of Denver-based Big Sky, said the company is funding the development of Groovy and has secured the services of Jochen Theodorou, the chief Groovy contributor. Big Sky is the company behind the No Fluff Just Stuff Java symposium series.

Zimmerman initially spoke with eWEEK about Groovy at the Spring Experience conference in Hollywood, Fla., in early December. Big Sky plans to announce its support for Groovy by the end of this year, he said.

The move will help ensure that "2007 will be remembered in the Java community as the year the Groovy revolution started," Zimmerman said. "With more than 4 million Java developers worldwide, we see a very bright and robust future for Groovy."

Groovy, a project, is an object-oriented language alternative for Java platform developers. It has a Java-like syntax and dynamically compiles to JVM (Java Virtual Machine) bytecodes. Groovy also is viewed as an agile dynamic language for the Java platform that possesses features inspired by dynamic languages such as Python, Ruby and Smalltalk, making them available to Java developers using a Java-like syntax.

Moreover, developing Web applications, writing shell scripts, writing test cases using Groovys JUnit integration, or prototyping and producing industrial-strength applications "have never been so concise and groovy," said a description of the technology on the Codehaus site. In addition, Groovy works cleanly with all existing Java objects and libraries and compiles straight to Java bytecode in either application development or scripting mode, the site said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifMicrosoft is phasing in support for dynamic languages on .Net. Click here to read more.

"Jochen will be able to focus his efforts exclusively on Groovy development now, which will help ensure that Groovy 1.0 is released by the end of 2006 and future enhancements in Groovy will be addressed at an accelerated rate," Zimmerman said

Having worked with the Java and open-source communities over the last several years, Big Sky has seen many of the pain points developers face, some of which can be addressed with Groovy, according to Zimmerman.

"With Groovy we have decided to take a more activist role by directly supporting ongoing Groovy development as we see tremendous benefits to the Java development community, namely addressing unit testing, streamlining XML usage, better ORM [object-relational mapping] support, and being able to take advantage of Groovys dynamic language features like closures," he said.

Another important thing about Groovy, said Zimmerman, is Grails. Grails is a rapid application development platform that leverages best-of-breed open-source technologies including Groovy, Spring, Hibernate, Quartz and Sitemesh.

Zimmerman said No Fluff Just Stuff Java will offer a track on Groovy and Grails in 2007 "because of what it offers to the corporate Java developer both in terms of functionality and also quick adoption within the corporate development environment."

And, as Groovy and Grails are both Java-based, "developers can become productive in a very short amount of time due to the familiar syntax. And on a practical level, developers can inject Groovy code into their applications immediately without having to fight the internal political battle with upper technical management regarding the merits of another language and the accompanying learning curve that goes with it."

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