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On Pause

RMH: "If any dynamic language is to be successful it has to (a) be standardized (b) appeal to Java developers (c) be fairly easy to learn, and (d) leverage the existing Java ecosystem. There is only one dynamic language that meets those needs and that's Groovy."

Groovy's always felt thrown together to me. The JCP is the thing that's supposed to have held up the language's development, but I wonder if the language is holding up the language's development, along with another criterion - (e), "has major commercial backing". Designing and shipping languages is a lot of work - witness Jython and JRuby's stop/start development. Or that Ruby is 12 years old, and looking at a major redesign to get to 2.0. Parrot, anyone? On the basis that good marketing can win language wars, it's entirely possible that Groovy could go mainstream if it had industry backing. In the meantime, I find myself agreeing with Ed Burnette and Bob Lee - there are good options available today for the JVM - Beanshell (in the JCP for those that care), Rhino, Jython, JRuby. Or for you chancers out there, Scala. And thanks to the JVM, you'll be able to use more than one CPU Core. How cool is that!

update: Graeme Rocher: "The reality is that BeanShell does not provide any productivity gain so to choose to use it for a task over Java " - via Guillaume LaForge

March 5, 2006 03:13 PM


Guillaume Laforge
(March 5, 2006 10:00 PM #)

Regarding Scripting languages vs Dynamic languages, and why Groovy is different than BeanShell for instance, you might have to read Graeme Rocher's post on that topic:

Ian Bicking
(March 6, 2006 11:42 PM #)

PyPy is kind of the dark horse of JVM languages. Very dark, since there's no JVM backend; with multiple backend targets as part of the design, a JVM target could emerge quickly with no previous effort -- at least that can happen once the prerequesites are really in place, and they aren't yet.

Jython seems to have stagnated; why exactly I'm really not sure. A combination of culture and implementation issues, probably. PyPy certainly isn't something to rely on at this point, but at least it gives hope of some future resolution to these implementation problems.

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