Programming is a Groovy Activity: An Introduction to Groovy, the Symbiotic Partner of Java

Thursday 8 April 2010, 6.00pm

The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2 7HA. The nearest underground stations are Covent Garden and Charing Cross.

Dr Russel Winder

Until recently dynamic programming languages and static programming languages were considered worlds apart; you either programmed with a static language (C++, Java, Fortran, Haskell, OCaml) or a dynamic language (Groovy, Python, Ruby, Lisp). Increasingly modern systems are constructed and/or evolved using mixtures of static and dynamic. From its inception in 2003, Groovy has been designed as a dynamic programming language that worked together with the static Java: Groovy was designed to be symbiotic with Java.

This session will introduce Groovy and show that if you are developing JVM-based systems using Java, you will thoroughly enjoy introducing Groovy into those systems.

Gradle will almost certainly make an appearance as an example showing that dynamic programming languages make great tools for describing build. Ant and Maven have taken this on board and are introducing Groovy front ends for build description to replace the XML currently used.

GPars will almost certainly be introduced as well: GPars is a Groovy-based system for describing parallel computations. After all with the Multicore Revolution every computer is now a parallel computer. Thus every program is now a parallel program.

Biographical note:
Dr Winder was originally a theoretical particle physicist but decided in 1980 that being a UNIX systems programmer was more fun. However, academia continued to call and he moved to UCL to lecture in programming, software engineering and human-computer interaction, and do research on parallel programming languages and socio-technical aspects of software development. After 13 years at UCL, Russel moved to KCL to be Professor of Computing Science. Having revamped the teaching programme, continued the research on parallel programming languages, and started research programmes in health informatics, it was time for new challenges so he left KCL to become CTO of OneEighty Software Ltd, a company using novel virtual machine approaches to embedded systems. Unfortunately, the money ran out for this start-up before the orders flooded in and so it had to fold. Since then, Russel has been a consultant, analyst, trainer (Java SE, Java ME, Groovy and Python) and author ("Developing Java Software" third edition, and "Python for Rookies"). The recent rise of multicore processors means that parallelism has finally arrived (after 30 years of being the coming technology), so Russel with two colleagues started a new consultancy practice (Concertant LLP) undertaking consultancy, analysis and management work in all areas of parallelism and concurrency. Russel is centrally involved with the development of the Groovy programming language and the GPars framework, is author of the Gant Ant task scripting framework, and contributes to the Gradle and SCons build frameworks.

Free, but to gain admission please e-mail your name to our Membership Secretary, Dr Frank Martin at

View the slides for this event (PDF - 151 KB)

Groovy source files (ZIP - 4.88 KB)