I just got done watching “Mastering Grails 101” from O’Reilly last night. I enjoyed the presenters, having gone to many No Fluff Just Stuff talks of theirs. I know they are knowledgeable in many of the technologies in the Java ecosystem. Also they both have been in another video from O’Reilly, “Master Git” which I talked about before.
I bought the videos because Grails is a framework that really interests me because I work with a good number of Java technologies. Both Groovy and Grails seem like technologies that a Java group could easily transition to in a short amount of time. The great thing about the Grails framework is it’s built on Java technologies you may already be using like, Spring MVC, Hibernate and SiteMesh, but due to the idea of convention over configuration you may never know about them as things are nicely intergraded. One of the overall great things I like about Grails is at the end of the day you have a WAR file that you can deploy the same as all your other Java apps. There is no need to change your stack or any technologies as it is just Java underneath.
The videos themselves are really nice, they start off by going over Groovy to give you a good foundation of the language behind Grails. They slowly move into Grails setup along with dealing with the datasource, models, the controllers, and just touching bits of the view layer with the GSP pages. By the end of the video you should have a good idea on how to get started with an app and how things are linked together.
My opinion of the videos are they are great for introducing the Groovy and the Grails framework but I feel they are more of a “101” then “mastering”. I think there was somethings left out or maybe passed over due to time. I would have liked to see some more work done in the Controller part of the app as it is the heart of your app and where you most likely going to be spending most of your time. I would also like to have had some more talk about how to query your data using your models. I also think it would have been worth while to talk about deploying your app even if it was just talking about using “grails war” to package your app to a WAR file. Even though I feel that the videos are missing some key topics I still feel they are a great resource for introducing people to the Grails framework and would recommend them to anyone that wants to know more about Groovy and Grails.
I would be very interested if they came out with a Mastering Grails 201 to fill in some of the missing topics and to get a little be more advanced on some subjects. Other then that I would recommend Grails in Action by Glen Smith and Peter Ledbrook from Manning Publications to learn more about Grails.
Off the topic of Grails, but I would love to see O’Reilly do some videos on Jenkins and/or Gradle with Tim and Matthew as the presenters.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post!