Monday, December 12, 2011

Grails: A Quick-Start Guide is back

No, there isn’t a second edition (yet). But some may have noticed that the ebook of Grails: A Quick-Start Guide (or GQuick) was no longer available on The Pragmatic Programmers’ site. The thought was that it was becoming obsolete. But after several requests from developers who are still getting started with the Grails 1.x framework, the publisher decided to make it available for a while longer.

Once Grails 2.0 is out and beginning to be widely adopted, GQuick will probably be retired. But for now, it remains one of the best options for developers wanting to quickly take advantage of the powerful Grails framework.

The publisher is no longer printing copies of GQuick, but if you really want a copy of the dead-tree edition, you can find one on (The price seems to be climbing, though. Currently, new copies are going for $54.39, and used copies for $48.85.)

For those who have asked, I am working on a Grails 2 intro book (publisher to be determined). Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CocoaConf, And My Anniversary

For the past few months, my sons and I have been working on a different kind of project: We are putting on a conference for developers on Apple platforms, such as iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s called CocoaConf.

The first CocoaConf is being held in Columbus OH, on August 12 - 13, 2011. We have an exciting line-up of speakers, including Daniel Steinberg, Bill Dudney, Chris Adamson, Christopher Judd, and Dave Koziol.

We will be having three tracks for the two days; this will include an all day hands-on iPhone workshop on the first day. It's shaping up to be a very exciting event.

The idea for this conference came when my #3 son, Solomon, began learning Mac programming using the book Beginning Mac Programming by Tim Isted. Taking inspiration from my favorite conference series of all time — No Fluff, Just Stuff — we began tossing around ideas. The NFJS events are known for a capped size so that they don't feel crowded, and for a focus on technical content, without the vendor hype and special events that other conferences tend to have. So that's what we are doing for CocoaConf.

I hadn't blogged about CocoaConf here since it has nothing to do with my usual topics, Groovy and Grails (although the CocoaConf site is being developed in Grails). But today I am going ahead with this post, so that I have a place to explain a crazy (but fun) idea.

You see, 26 years ago today, my beautiful wife, Debbie, said “I do.” And today, we are celebrating this 26th anniversary with a one-day-only CocoaConf discount of 26% off the current early-bird rate of $350. That's a $91 savings for today (July 19th) only! So: If you are interested in developing for the iPhone/iPad or Mac and can make it out to Columbus in August, you can now sign up for CocoaConf for only $259 — but only for today, July 19, 2011. Just go to and use the coupon code “ANNIVERSARY”.

I don't know if anyone will take advantage of this deal, but I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate 26 wonderful years of marriage to my amazing wife. She is the second best thing God has ever done for me!

(And finally, I'll leave you with a bit of child exploitation. Here's our #13, Joshua, telling us where he's headed in August.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Groovy / Grails User Groups

Technology user groups benefit both a technology (with the companies behind it) and its users. Java user groups around the world played a big role in the adoption and advance of the Java language and platform. Even now that Java is in its old age (or on its deathbed, depending on who you talk to), JUGs are actively promoting educational and community-building initiatives.

The Groovy community is benefiting similarly from a growing number of user groups. There are currently a few dozen groups around the world, and more are forming every day.

Now there is a website that can help you find a group in your area or help you get one started. has a list of active Groovy user groups, with links to their sites. If you can't find one in your area, you can propose one. The site will post a link to your proposal on Twitter; you can retweet this to help get the word out. Then when others are interested in your idea, you'll get emailed about it, and you're off and running!

Once you get a few likeminded (and by "likeminded," I of course mean "brilliant") people together and get a group started, send me a note, and I'll invite you to the Groovy User Group Leaders list on Google Groups. This list is a great way to get support and ideas from other Groovy/Grails/Griffon/Gaelyk/Gradle/Getc. group leaders.

I've always said that the best feature of Groovy and Grails is the community. User groups are a big part of that. So if you're not already involved in a G2Group, get plugged in. You'll be glad you did.