On the CFPanel Podcast with Mark Mandel and Barney Boisvert

I'm happy to say I'll be participating in the CFPanel Podcast on September 8 at 8 PM EST. We'll be discussing ColdFusion and Java integration. I hope to add some helpful substance to the conversation, but I'm really looking forward to hearing what Mark (who created JavaLoader) and Barney (who created CFGroovy) have to say.

Listen in if you can, or check out the Connect recording afterwards. Thanks!

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Groovy: The Invasion Begins

Past readers have probably seen some of my posts that include references to the Groovy programming language. At Broadchoice we chose Groovy for the entire server-side object model for our Workspace AIR application. In other words, I've been using Groovy for a while now. And I've been, and continue to be, extremely impressed with it.

If you're a ColdFusion developer, you may want to give Groovy a test drive. Because Groovy is a dynamic language, it plays almost perfectly with CF. You can kiss all those JavaCast() function calls goodbye when your CFML interacts with Groovy objects. Since Groovy runs in the JVM and compiles to bytecode just like CFML (and straight Java for that matter), you can reap its benefits at very little cost in terms of setup.

Further, to those with any familiarity with Java at all, the learning curve with Groovy is really short. Another of the many really cool things about Groovy is that it gives you a very wide spectrum of coding syntax:

On one side, almost any native Java code can be pasted into a Groovy class and it will run fine with no modifications. So any examples, libraries, or legacy code can literally be copied, pasted, and forgotten about, if you want.

But on the other side, Groovy adds a ton of convenience features on top of the core Java language. It takes things that require long, boring, boilerplate Java and incorporates it into the language in a way that just works. And you're free to take advantage of these great time-saving capabilities anywhere you choose to. That's what's so cool: you get to choose! Want or need "normal" Java. Fine. Want tight, terse Groovy? Fine. Want any combination of those? Fine. That's just really damn sweet.

Yesterday, one of the resident mad geniuses of the ColdFusion community, Barney Boisvert, released version 1.0 of his CFGroovy library that makes integrating Groovy (and Hibernate) into CF applications a snap. He also has a very nice post on why you should care about Groovy.

Because it is so seamless to use with CF, so powerful, and so easy to use, I really think we're going to start seeing a lot about Groovy. Add to that the fact that Groovy's object creation speeds, while slower than Java, are far beyond CFCs, and we have a candidate for really robust, large-scale object models while still being able to leverage CF anywhere else in the controller, model, or view that makes sense. So if you like to tinker, learn something new, or do large-scale OO, I'd urge you to check out Groovy and Barney's CFGroovy library.

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