Two great demos in the morning regarding Gradle, by it’s author, Hans Docktor. Gradle is something I’d heard about frequently, but never bothered to look into thinking that I didn’t need to learn another way to build until it was necessary. Combining the declarative nature of a DSL with the scripting capabilities of Groovy, Gradle looks to be a “next generation” build tool. Familiar constructs exist – job, task, etc – but each of those constructs has properties that can be inspected, and the DSL itself can be easily extended to meet an organization’s need. Since the Ant jars are packed with Gradle, it looks like Gradle should have easier inroads into the enterprise than other new build technologies. Any task or all of the build can be written using Gradle, which would allow for a migration approach as opposed to a conversion. The demos themselves were smooth and engaging with no technical hiccups. Really good stuff.
The last talk of the conference was a demo of Daisy CMS Grails. Like a few other talks/demos, I learned more about the subject itself (CMSs) rather than the technology that was the subject of the talk.
In all, a good conference. The quality of content in the talks varied greatly. Some were demos, some were presentations, and others seemed like they were thrown together at the last minute. The good content was great, and the not-so-good content, well, was not-so-good. Although I’m sure the pub crawl was fun, I think the conference could have fit into two days had the lower quality material been removed. I came away with a few exciting things to look into and a new appreciation for the Spring/Groovy community.