This major release integrates features offered by Java 5: annotations, generics, static imports and enums, making Groovy the sole alternative dynamic language for the JVM that lets you leverage frameworks that use annotations like Spring's @Transactional or JBoss SEAM which both provide extended Groovy support, or generics to help JPA or Hibernate properly handle typed collections.
In this release, new meta-programming capabilities have been contributed thanks to the work of the Grails project developers, pursueing our symbiotic relationship. A few syntax enhancements have also found their way into it to help ease the development of Domain-Specific Languages. Groovy's Swing builder support, to help you build Swing UIs, has almost completely been rewritten and spiced up with several useful additions. For more details on this, Danno Ferrin listed what has changed in SwingBuilder.. A great attention to performance improvements made this new version much snappier than before, as witnessed by a reports we had by teams working on mission-critical applications using Groovy as a business language.
Since Groovy 1.0, the team also worked on improving the tool chain by creating a joint Java / Groovy compiler to let you mix and match Groovy and Java classes in the same compilation step. A GroovyDoc equivalent to JavaDoc lets you document your Groovy classes. The rewritten interactive shell is now really interactive and provides useful command completions for making you more productive, and the Groovy Swing console has also been improved thanks to our talented Swing team and the help of Swing expert Romain Guy.
Apart from improvements or the creation of these new tools, you should have a look at JetBrains' JetGroovy, a fantastic Groovy and Grails plugin which provides advanced coding capabilities to IntelliJ IDEA:
- syntax highlighting and quick fixes,
- code completion,
- scripts and unit tests running ability,
- debugging capabilities,
- and even refactorings!
Of course, if you're an Eclipse user, you can still use the Groovy Eclipse plugin, or Sun's work in progress NetBeans plugin for Groovy and Grails.
An upcoming article on InfoQ that will be published in the following days will detail the novelties of this new version in more depth. So, please stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can listen to the interview of Groovy Project Manager and G2One VP Technology Guillaume Laforge that was recorded at QCon 2007, in March, in London, or read G2One's team interview at JavaLobby.
And now, just download Groovy 1.5 and give it a try: http://groovy.codehaus.org/Download
Groovy Project Manager
Vice-President Technology at G2One, Inc.