The foundations in place for big release?

Grails-inspired framework Griffon gets huge renovation in 0.9.5 RC2

Chris Mayer

It may seem like a normal maintenance release but the Grails Swing hybrid framework Griffon is making a charge ahead of a first full release.

The Griffon team are proud to announce the latest release of their Grails-like application framework, Griffon 0.9.5 RC2, making some big power plays ahead of a first release.

The ties to Grails are proclaimed loudly, as Griffon is the perfect application framework for creating desktop applications in the JVM. Groovy is the primary language of choice so a lot of features appear from the Java alternative. Built with an MVC architecture, Griffon opts for ‘convention over configuration’, harnessing the spirit of the Swing Application Framework (JSR 296), automatic property support and property binding (inspired by BeansBinding (JSR 295)) and Groovy’s SwingBuilder also simplifies building multi-threaded applications.

Griffon 0.9.5-rc2 – “Aquila hastata” brings in new features such as an offline mode for dependency resolution when building. When engaged, no external repository will be queried for dependencies as all dependencies should be resolved against the current cache. All artifact repositories are strictly off limits, except local.

Other important additions include an option to disable the event bus in runtime (important when in an event storm as Andres Almiray puts it). MVC groups now have skipping capabilities so you can skip MVC lifecycle events, as well as instantiation events. Arguably the biggest change comes in the form of renamed threading methods, due to the previous method name confusion. The old method names are still available but have been marked as deprecated and will be removed when Griffon 1.0 is released.

Another big move is the appearance of the Griffon Artifact Portal, where you will see additional plugins for the framework from now. Whilst there are only 11 at the time of writing (such as Eclipse, Swing and Kotlin support), we can expect this to expand in the run-up to the full release. A big plus point for Griffon is its dexterity through offering extensions in plugins for your other favourite technologies, and providing a hub for your growing number of contributors is no bad thing when Griffon 1.0 is nearing.

The release candidate also ships with 5 sample applications which are:

  • File Viewer - simple demonstration of creating new MVCGroups.
  • GroovyEdit - an improved version of FileViewer that uses custom observable models.
  • Font Picker - demonstrates form based data binding.
  • Greet – a fully featured Griffon application which is a Twitter client. It shows Joint Java/Groovy compilation, richer MVCGroup interactions, and network service based data delivery.
  • SwingPad – a full featured Griffon Application, is a scripting console for rendering Groovy SwingBuilder views.

You can find more details in the release notes and download the release from Codehaus. We’re liking some of the stuff coming from the Griffon team, and actually the Groovy fraternity as a whole. It’s a hectic time for them all, but we’re sure their efforts will be well rewarded.

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