In search of the Holy Grails of web development

Feb 10 2010

In search of the Holy Grails of web development

Posted by AJ Mercer at 5:56 PM CFML | Grails | Railo

Two things happened recently that have inspired me to step back from CFML and take a look at a different web development environment. Paul Kukiel post on how to install GlassFish and CF (with link to adding Railo)  and Dan Vega's post about a free Grails book.

A lot of CFML projects have taken inspiration from the JAVA, PHP and Rails world - ColdSpring, Transfer ORM (and more recently CF9 ORM), CFWheels, SplashCMS ... As CFML engines are JAVA based and can utilise JAVA classes easily, I have always thought if I was going to learn something else, it would be from the JAVA side of the fence; but just not JAVA. I have heard a few positive things from CF people about Groovy, and the Rails thing is popular at the moment, so Grails seems like it ticks all the right boxes.

So even if I don't be come a Grails developer, I still this there are 2 useful outcome; well maybe 3, but I am not entertaining that idea at the moment

  1. An understanding of where the CFML projects are coming from and perhaps learn better modeling techniques
  2. More appreciation of what CFML is doing for the developer
  3. A new career choice

So far I have spent a few hours going there the guide and am impressed by what Grails can do. And what is suprising me at the moment is that I am not fussed by the fact I am using command line and a text editor. I know there are IDE's out there, so if I do get serious I know there are better options. But also, using a text editor is a great way to learn new languages. It is too easy to look at code and think you understand it. But it is not until you spend a few minutes tracking badly cased class names or a missing curly bracket will you really learn the syntax.

I have taken a quick peak at the HTML Grails creates and it is not too dissimilar from CFML; there is ${variableName} verses #variableName# and <g:tag /> versed cfTag />.

I also created a war of my web app and dropped it into GlassFish - and what do you know, it run :-)

The other thing I am thinking about, but resisting the urge to get distracted at this early stage, is to call the classes created by Grails from CFML