Learning Ruby on Rails any good for Grails?


My company is in the process of starting down the Grails path. The reason for that is that the current developers are heavy on Java but felt the need for a MVC-style language for some future web development projects. Personally, I'm coming from the design/usability world, but as I take more "front-end" responsibilities I'm starting to feel the need for learning a language more intensively so I can code some logic but especially the front-end code for my UIs and stuff.

I've been trying to get into Python/Django personally, but just never invested too much time on it. Now that my company is "jumping" into Grails I bought the "Agile Web Development with Rails (3rd Ed - Beta)" and I'm starting to get into RoR. I'd still like to learn Python in the future or on the side, but my biggest question is:

  • Should I be learning RoR, and have a more versatile language in my "portfolio", knowing that my RoR knowledge will be useful for my Grails needs as well??


  • Should I just skip RoR and focus on learning Grails that I'll be needing for work soon, and work on learning RoR/Django (Ruby/Python) later?

Basically the question revolves around the usefulness of Grails in a non-corporate setting and the similarities between Rails and Grails. (and this, while trying to avoid the centennial discussion of Python vs Ruby (on Rails) :))


You might also want to take a look at Clojure, a JVM language that's just starting to get popular. It may be a good choice for a Java-based company since it's compatible with your old codebase, and has a lot of modern innovations going for it. There are some good web frameworks emerging, including Compojure.

By : yayitswei

Mmh, I don't know how to say this. Some people might bash me over this.

Language (Groovy and Ruby)

As a language I reckon Ruby is more funky compared to Groovy. Groovy only exists to ease Java programmer as you don't need to learn too much new syntax. But overall I reckon is not as funky as Ruby. Groovy wouldn't be the JVM language that is worth to learn based on attender's vote in this year's JavaOne but instead Scala is the one to go. Besides that, the original creator of Groovy himself does not have faith in the language he created himself in the first place.

Community and Job openings

As for the community, Grails community is not as big as Rails, though since the acquirement by Spring more and more people are using it in serious application. Rails has more job openings in the market compared to Grails (that is if you want to invest in looking a new job).

The framework (Grails and Rails)

But, as a framework, if you really care about maintainability and need access to Java framework and legacy Java system, Grails is the way to go as it provides cleaner access to Java. Grails itself is built upon several popular Java framework (Spring & Hibernate). Rails itself IMHO is funky like Ruby itself, but it's funkyness costs you maintainability. Matz himself prefers Merb over Rails 2 because Rails create a DSL on top of Ruby which is really against the Ruby philosophy. And I reckon because Rails itself is opiniated, which in turn if you don't have the same opinion as the creator, it might not fit your needs.


So in your case, learn Grails as that is the company's consensus (you need to respect the consensus) and if you still want to secure your job. But, invest some time learning Rails and Ruby too if you want to open a chance getting a new job in the future.

This video can help you solving your question :)
By: admin