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Groovy vs. JavaFX Script

Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
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I've played with Groovy and Grails a bit, but I'm rather concerned that Sun's pushing JRuby and wondering about how JavaFX fits into the whole thing since it's another scripting language that make Java "easier" to use.

If you've got some experience in Groovy and JavaFX Script, I'd love to hear your opinions. I've just begun reading james Weaver's JavaFX Script book and it got me wondering...


SCJP, SCJD, SCEA 5 "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!" Agatha Heterodyne (Girl Genius)
S Davis
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Joined: Feb 07, 2006
Posts: 40
I just had James Weaver out to speak at the Boulder Java Users Group this past week. (You should see him if you get a chance -- he did a great job.)

I have zero hands-on with JavaFX, and have seen exactly two presentations on the material, so please consider the source. (Grin)

My take on JavaFX is that it has reasonably Groovy-like syntactically, but the push seems to be more for writing Swing-like rich GUIs. Groovy offers a SwingBuilder, but it is definitely more of a general purpose language -- not aimed or dedicated at GUI dev like JavaFX. I'd compare it more to Flash/ActionScript than Groovy directly.

I'm rather concerned that Sun's pushing JRuby


I wouldn't say that Sun is "pushing JRuby" so much as they are pushing dynamic languages on the JVM. JRuby gets a lot of buzz here in the states for two reasons --

1. Sun wants to make darn sure that everyone being even slightly tempted away from the JVM by Ruby's siren song has a good reason to stay. (Groovy doesn't so much draw people away from the JVM due to its strong synergy with Java.)

2. Charles Oliver Nutter and Thomas Enebo (the two JRuby leads that Sun hired) are based out of the US. The project lead for Groovy (Guillaume Laforge) is based out of Paris, and the project lead for Grails (Graeme Rocher) is based out of the UK. The contributors on these projects are based out of Germany, Romania, Australia, and, yes the US, too. Sun has contributed big iron hardware to the Groovy project for heavy load testing, and the Groovy DevCons are regularly held in Sun's Paris office.

Every success for JRuby, Jython, JavaFX is a success for Groovy as well -- rising tides raise all ships (where ships == dynamic languages on the JVM...)
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
    3
I didn't know Sun was doing much to support Groovy. I figured that hiring people to do JRuby and turning NetBeans into a great IDE for Ruby development was their way of encouraging people to use JRuby. Though I do recall James Gosling saying that there were issues with getting Rails to scale up properly.

OTOH, he didn't have much to say about Groovy at all. <sigh>

Well, I'm going to read the JavaFX book and play with it anyway - though from what I've seen so far, I think Groovy is a better general purpose tool.

Thanks for your reply!
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
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Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

JavaFX and Groovy really aren't direct competitors, as JavaFX has a fairly narrow domain (the UI).

I think the syntax of JavaFX is a bit more different from Java than it should be. Ultimately, I don't think that JavaFX will become popular from a raw-code standpoint because of this learning curve. Instead, its declarative syntax will lend itself to becoming very toolable and we'll get some nice drag 'n drop, Visual Basic-esque GUI builder plugins. As far as trying to write something from scratch with straight JavaFX code... I'll pass.

I like the title "Greasing the Wheels of Java" because that's really what Groovy does. Groovy is like getting to use Java 13.0 years before it releases. You can write Groovy much the same way as you write Java, and you can add little tricks to simplify (Groovify) your code as you learn Groovy's power.

Assuming you know Java, there is no initial speed bump to Groovy's learning curve, unlike practically every other new language or framework.


A good workman is known by his tools.
 
 
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