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Programming Groovy

09.03.2009
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Published by: Pragmatic Bookshelf
ISBN: 1934356093

Reviewer Ratings

Relevance:
5

Readability:
5

Overall:
5

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One Minute Bottom Line

A very good and well written book, which happens to be fun to read as well. I picked it because I wanted to learn Groovy, and I'm depply satisifed with my choice. It is perfect if you want to learn Groovy from ground zero (my case :-)), or already know it, but would like to read something about it's meta-programming capabilities.

Review

I'm very happy to have had the opportunity to have my adventure with Groovy start with this book. It's well written, fun to read and gives a perfect introduction into the language, especially for a Java developer looking to broaden his toolset.

The book, published as a part of the Pragmatic Programmers series, is divided into three parts. The first, Beginning Groovy, offers an introduction into the language, explaining Groovy’s most basic features. It starts with information how to get and run Groovy scripts, then describes “Groovy for the Java Eyes” and on to dynamic typing, closures, string and collections manipulation. If you have never had any previous exposure to this interesting language, this will get you going. Everything is backed up by clear examples containing just the information essential to the issue discussed, which makes them easy to analyze and understand.

Second part, Using Groovy, concentrates on getting some real work done. It begins with “Exploring the GDK”, a chapter dedicated to new features and library extensions Groovy brings (most of which leave an “why oh why doesn’t Java have it” impression). Further chapters show how to manipulate XML, use databases, and integrate Groovy with existing Java projects.

The last part, MOPping Groovy, is in my opinion the best and most valuable part of this book. It gives an in-depth look at meta-programming (4 chapters), testing, making DSLs and creating Groovy-powered builders for Swing or  XML.

Content of this book is based on language version 1.5.4. Venkat, the author, discusses topics clearly and concisely, without verbosity often found in other technical books aspiring to be language guides, which, to a reason unknown to men, often turn them into long and unreadable grimoires. Luckily, it’s not the case! This book is written in a style full of wit and pleasantly drops all the unnecessary ceremony, getting straight to the point – I wish there were more books written this way! It is also very well structured: each chapter (out of 18) describes a particular topic, showing important features and caveats as well as how’s and why’s. That makes it suitable for being a useful point of reference. I enjoyed it literarily from cover to cover – it’s relatively short (in page-count, not content!), and rewarding to the reader since its first pages.

Long live the Groovy!

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Andrzej Grzesik.

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