Ruby for Java programmers

2 AM November 29, 2007

My good friend Keith says he’s not starting a language war, but he wants to tell Java programmers what’s so great about Ruby. So here are the reasons:

  • Generally speaking, Ruby is much quicker for development than Java, and for some projects, time to market is important.
  • Ruby’s great at scripts. Java isn’t. Why not use it to automate repetitive tasks.
  • Meta programming Rocks! (Actually Keith didn’t say “Rocks!”, but if he was 17, that’s what he would have said.)
  • Ruby has a bunch of interesting Domain Specific Languages.
  • Rails make it dead easy to build web apps.
  • JRuby means that Ruby code and Rails apps can make use of standard Java libraries and be deployed in standard Java environments.
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Grails!

1 AM November 29, 2007

Paul King, co-author of Groovy in Action is speaking on Grails, the Groovy version of Ruby on Rails.

  • Grails is rip-off of Rails. Development in Grailsis much the same as Rails. It even has the same folder layout.
  • There is IDE support for Grails.
  • Grails is in its infancy. 1.0 due out in a few weeks.
  • Integrates robust tools such as Hibernate, Spring and Jetty.
  • Several Javascript frameworks incorporated, including Prototype, Dojo and Yahoo.
  • Because it uses Hibernate, Grails supports a wide range of databases.
  • Grails can build a standard WAR file, ready to be deployed to just about any Java servlet engine.
  • Grails “is growing enormously”. The number of people involved is growing by an order of magnitude every six months. (!)
  • Performance is comparable to Ruby on Rails, but somewhat slower than a bespoke Java web app. The good news is that it’s easy to replace performance hotspots with Java code.

Grails looks nice, partly because I can make use of the giant body of Java libraries in any Grails code I write. Next time I’m building a standalone web-app, I’ll definitely consider it.

Update: Paul, of course is also responsible for much of the Groovy content in the PLEAC.

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(Posted to Software Development and Java)
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