Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Announcing FallME 0.6.0

FallME 0.6.0 is now available. In addition to a forms initialization enhancement, there is now a example application. We hope to have a better example and tutorial soon.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Will Grails Hurt the Spring and Hibernate Brands?

Groovy and Grails are really starting to get some well deserved attention especially after the release of Grails 1.0. Grails has a chance of being a game changing technology. For example one of the things Grails does is make Spring and Hibernate web development really easy and for the most part makes those frameworks transparent. As evidence of the transparency, you can read Graeme Rocher, Grails project lead, blog entry about his experience at the Spring Experience conference. Graeme discovered that most people did not realize Grails had anything to do with Spring.

Could Grails cause Spring and Hibernate to become the BASF of the Java community and adopt the tag line of "We don't make a lot of the products you develop with. We make a lot of the products you develop with better". It is hard to tell at this point. But it is probably a good idea for the companies offering Spring and/or Hibernate services to take a hard look at Grails and consider providing Grails services as well.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Amazon Web Services at COJUG

Mike Culver of Amazon spoke about Amazon's Web Service offerings today at COJUG. His presentations were a little different between the lunch and evening meetings but between both of them, he covered the following:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS)
Amazon SimpleDB
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)

Mike made a great business case for each of these services and how then can really benefit different types of scaling concerns at an unbelievable price. He also stressed their incredibly high level of security and redundancy. He told us the government uses them for storage because of their high level of physical and data security as well as how auditors aggressively test disaster recovery.

I am very impressed with what I heard and saw. I have not seen any other infrastructure in my travels that can compare. Amazingly enough, I heard two other podcasts today that talked about these services unrelated to any Amazon propaganda. I hope I get to work with some of these technologies in the near future.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Grails Encourages Best Practices

You know how every Apple Mac user says there is something special about the Mac? They can't usually put their finger on it but they say something like "it just does what I expect it" or "it does what is right". Well that's the way I feel about Grails. Recently I wrote my first real tag in Grails and I was just amazed at how it felt and how it does the right thing by encouraging best practices. For starters, writing tag libraries is incredibly easy (Read the Piragua Blog for details on how to write a Grails tag.). So why is this a best practice? Well I have seen a lot of scriptlets written in JSPs that should have been reusable JSP tags. But because it was to difficult or time consuming for a developer to actually spend the time to create a JSP tag or even more difficult yet a JSF component it simply was not done. But with Grails tags it is so simple there is no excuse.

Another example is tag and controller integration tests automatically inject mock request, response and session objects. I have seen many projects with no unit tests for the web components or unit tests that require deploying the application because they do not use mock objects. By automatically including mock objects developers no more have to download and add jars for mock web frameworks or even create instances of the mock objects. This should save time and help improve unit tests.