Scripting languages on the JVM

Since I while I’m a fiery fan of Groovy, but as usually you hear form some persons, oh Scala is cool, or Ruby or Python or, or, or. So I wanted to know whether I have developed a certain bias towards Groovy or there is some good reason behind this intuitive selection. So I have in the last time made some effort to look into other scripting languages especially on the JVM. I had some exposure to scripting languages before, first REXX in my old days on VM/CMS or Phython/Jython as one of the first object-oriented scripting languages, Tcl/Tk or of course Unix shell including awk/sed etc.

My personal conclusion to the hype about Scala e.g. is for the time being, that it is a very very large language system which is probably very hard to learn, harder than Groovy and honestly I dislike somehow some of the syntactical elements of Scala, which are somehow just different from the Java/Groovy conventions without some obviously good reason. I’m a fan of functional programming, did some real Lisp on Emacs in my old days at the University of Stuttgart. But the mix of functional and procedural programming paradigms in Scala are somewhat not as cool and urging as in Groovy IMHO. Scala seams to be something of all but nothing really right. For example, take Clojure, a purely Lisp-style functional scripting language. Pure and nice, less braces than Lisp but still somehow simple to learn, a beauty in comparision to Scala. Or the closures in Groovy, really really nice to use, so superior in my eyes.

And Groovy has the absolute top advantage that its Syntax is so close to Java’s and you can quasi 100% integrate Groovy into and onto Java, mix and match. That is exactly what one needs if looking for a application extension and scripting language, no other candidate can do this in the way Groovy does. Inherit from a Java class or vice versa, inject methods from Groovy into existing Java classes to make then feel Groovy, really really cool!

That is why we do in MIDAS provide a API in Groovy on top of our Java GUI. I am working though additionally on a Clojure API wrapper, just for fun though.