I'm currently working with a friend on the other side of the country, and we're writing a game that we intend to put on facebook. We're both actually interested in groovy (we write a lot of scripts using groovy and would like to learn grails), but haven't had a chance to learn grails.
Would this book be a good starting point for us, or would we be better off reading one of the other books?
Does this book address things like packaging and deploying when you're ready for production? Will it walk us through the process?
Is there a free IDE? Currently I use textpad with a custom .syn file for my groovy development, but code completion would be really nice to have. Does the book talk about this at all? Worse, does the author assume that we'll be able to pay for an IDE like intelliJ's? My partner is a student and buying an IDE isn't really an option for him at the moment.
I seem to have lost part of my post, so I'll try and recreate what I wrote.
How is the performance? I'm not trying to say that we're going to create the best game to ever be written, but some of the more popular games attract 4+ million users a day. Are there any large scale apps that are out there written in grails?
I know that Sky serves up a million+ hits per day but they use a fair bit of smart caching hardware. I'm guessing that whatever platform you pick, you'll need to be thinking about a lot of caching to achieve those kind of numbers.
The book starts from scratch, and has an "in the trenches" developer focusses, so I hope it would be perfect for you guys! We use a twitter clone as our sample app (hubbub), so it suits your outlook too!
As for the IDE front, I use Netbeans 6.7 for all my Grails stuff these days, which is free and open source. It's not quite as good as IntelliJ, but it's still fantastic for Grails development, and getting better all the time! The code completion in Netbeans is pretty good (with dynamic finder support in the latest edition), and it supports debugging/breakpoints too which is really handy.
The Eclipse IDE support for Grails (free from SpringSource -- the commercial entity behind Grails) is expected later in the year, and is likely to be top notch. But for now Netbeans is the best free offering out there. Check it out!