June 15 - July 3, 2012
by Brian Kotek
The Groovy team just announced the release of the final version of Groovy 2.0. Some of the most significant improvements are:
"invoke dynamic"instruction. As the Java SDK improves this area, Groovy will reap the benefits.
InfoQ has an article with full details.
Gradle 1.0 was also just released, which finally moves this amazing build tool out of release candidate testing. Some lingering issues were resolved, but the final 1.0 is very similar to the 1.0-RC3 version. This means that folks already using Gradle shouldn't have to do much in order to upgrade. While many Groovy and Grails developers were already using Gradle, this is still an important release. A significant number of businesses shy away from pre-release software, so the final 1.0 designation will definitely accelerate adoption.
The Eclipse team released Juno (version 4.2) of their popular platform and IDE. They improved the look and feel of the interface, with better layout customizations, universal search, and the ability to style IDE widgets with CSS. The Code Recommenders project provides smarter code completion for large APIs. You can also build MacOS native applications with the Eclipse SDK. The updates span the entire umbrella of Eclipse projects, so check out the release announcement for full details on everything that's been changed.
The JMolly blog put up an entry that compares and contrasts functional programming (FP) and object-oriented programming (OOP). I found this quite interesting, since I'm quite fond of OOP but don't know all that much about FP. I assume most developers are also familiar with OOP to some degree, so that side of the comparison might not be very illuminating. However, I'd recommend this to anyone who isn't familiar with FP and is looking for a good overview. Seeing FP explained in relation to OOP helped me make sense of the topic.
If you do any work with Groovy, you're probably well-acquainted with the Groovy API documentation. It's a useful resource, but it's far from perfect. Enter GroovyHelp, an application that provides a much more usable way to access the documentation. You get improved text search, a tree interface for the packages and resources, example code, and built-in version comparisons (to see what changed between Groovy releases). Best of all, the installation of this free tool is smooth and painless (no JDK configuration or other nonsense).
Brian Kotek is an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. He's been developing applications for over 14 years, using ColdFusion, Flex, Java, Groovy, C#, and other technologies for a range of government and commercial clients.