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This page is an old one kept around for historical record.  The materials mentioned have been deleted from the Groovy Subversion repository.  Russel Winder's mode and Stuart Clayman's inferior mode have been collected together in a Bazaar branch, heavily worked on by Jim Morris, and is available for use by download from Launchpad. See

groovy-mode for (X)Emacs

Jeremy Rayner created a groovy-mode for (X)Emacs, which has syntax hilighting, recognises curly brace indentation (just use the tab key), and doesn't panic about optional semicolons.  He tested it in Emacs on Mac OSX 10.3, and others use it and it isn't painful.

Russel Winder has begun an alternative version of groovy-mode as a derived mode in CC Mode.  Currently, this has some problems with indenting when semicolons are not used as statement terminators but this is being actively worked on -- CC Mode has support for languages like Awk and Groovy that do not require semicolons.

Stuart Clayman has created a "Groovy inferior mode" (nothing inferior about Stuart's code but this is the jargon for an interpreter execution mode) which allows groovysh to be run from within (X)Emacs. 


(NB Links go to the latest versions in Subversion)

Download Jeremy's groovy-mode.el file and place it somewhere like (on OSX)
your mileage may vary...

Download Russel's groovy-mode.el and place it in your (X)Emacs' load path.

NB As both Jeremy's and Russel's are called groovy-mode you have to have one or the other, you can't have both.

Download Stuart's inf-groovy.el and place it in your (X)Emacs load path.

I had problems with Fisheye, and had to go to SVN directly. Here are the links:
Jeremy's groovy-mode.el.
Russel's groovy-mode.el.
Stuart's inf-groovy.el.


add the following lines to your ~/.emacs file:


Comments regarding Jeremy's mode:

  • check this works in xemacs, and put your results in this page (anyone can edit (smile) )
    • The Groovy mode appears to work in XEmacs, but setting the global-font-lock-mode gets a message and was commented. Thanks!
    • I concur that groovy mode works in XEmacs and that the global-font-lock-mode needs to be commented. The indent level default was changed from 4 to 2.
  • sort out the comment blocks, as it is currently based on ruby, where the symbol # currently denotes the start of a comment, maybe this can be cribbed from java-mode...
  • at the moment you have to hit tab to do indents, I'm sure emacs can do this automatically on carriage return...

Comments regarding Russel's mode:

  • Get optional semicolons working properly.
  • Get the font-lock colouring a bit more consistent.


  • Jeremy's mode is based upon ruby-mode in ruby stable snapshot - Wed Nov 24 04:01:06 JST 2004. This is just a quick hack of a groovy-mode, so if it's broken for you, fix it and share with the world.
  • Russel's mode has "issues" when used with CC Mode 5.31 where groovy-mode is not compiled and CC Mode is.



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