Jens Krämer

Grails project begging for attention

 |  jruby, grails, j2ee, rails

Sorry, but I can’t think of any other reason why Graeme Rocher might write such crap.

Among the points he makes when trying to convince his readers why they should choose Grails over Rails, there are at most two or three which are somewhat reasonable, namely those dealing with integrating your application with external J2EE based services. I completely agree that these are valid points when comparing Grails running inside a fully-fledged J2EE container to Rails running in, say, Mongrel. But since Rails runs fine in a J2EE environment as well, that’s an unfair and misleading comparison.

Using container-managed database connections via JNDI in a JRuby on Rails web app is no problem at all, neither is using Quartz to schedule Rails background jobs, just to name a few examples. I don’t see anything stopping people from using the whole range of J2EE container features in their JRuby/Rails applications once they need to do so.

The whole ‘Grails is more enterprisey than Rails’ argumentation falls apart once you stop comparing apples to oranges, and slap JRuby + Rails onto that damn app server.

Grails 1.0 coming out within the month

Uh cool, yeah. Until now I thought statements like this were more a specialty of closed source vendors trying to convince their potential clients not to check out the competition. Looks like they can’t wait to finally attach that decision maker friendly 1.0 label to Grails ;-)

Anyway, I feel we’re all going to have an interesting time in the future watching how the competition between JRuby/Rails and Groovy/Grails goes on. After all, competition tends to lead to better products in the end.


Graeme Rocher

Hilarious. When the Rails crowd make noise about Rails vs Java its "opinionated". When we do it its begging for attention. Get off your high horse.

As for JRuby, it doesn't solve your problem. Grails is more enterprisey because its built on Spring, Groovy can also be used with existing Java profilers, debuggers and monitoring tools. There is a whole load of reasons why Grails is a better fit.


Graeme, if only half of your ten points had any substance I wouldn't have written this. Regarding the high horse - it's a matter of fact that Rails right now by far has a larger user and developer base, which e.g. shows off in the number of available plugins, mailing list traffic and amount of available documentation like books and tutorials. Denying this fact doesn't help you or your (potential) users.

For example, let's just take your first point - Grails having a view technology that 'doesnt suck'. Besides the fact that with Rails there are plenty of options available how you render your data, I really don't get why an XMLish, noisy, taglib driven view layer like Grails' GSPs should suck less than embedded Ruby backed by a dead simple yet powerful set of view helpers.

Regarding Spring - just because Rails itself isn't built on Spring doesn't mean it can't work together with existing Spring components at all. And given your experience I think you know as well as I do that Spring is by far not the only way to do enterprise application integration. In fact I doubt Spring is about EAI at all - isn't its main concern to provide a common infrastructure for wiring together various components to actually form an application? It's been a while since I last used it, but I think that's what it does.

I really don't see how the fact that Grails as a web framework is built on Spring helps me to interact with other applications (which imho EAI is about). I can do SOAP or XMLRPC or whatever from (I guess) any language I want, whether I need an additional piece of infrastructure like Spring that helps me doing so is more or less a matter of the technology I choose in the first place.

Andreas Korth

Jens, why waste your time on this pathetic little bragger. Not only is he trying to rip off Rails but also DHH's way of getting attention by creating controversy. He completely fails in both respects. Anyone with just a little bit of a clue won't jump on this my-enterprisey-is-longer-than-yours bullshit. Just ignore the chatter and start another great plugin for Rails instead.


Jens, before you start another great plugin, could you please review 3 patches that i recently submitted to aaf trac? :) ## 188, 189, 194. Thank you...


Pipa, promised :-)

I already saw them, just didn't find the time yet.