May 04, 2004
Bray on Jython

Groovy is, uh, groovy, but I still don't see what it brings to the game that Jython doesn't already have. Except, that is, for the Java-like syntax - and since I prefer Python's syntax to Java's, that's not really an advantage. ;-)

I must admit that I was a little concerned that Groovy, flavour of the month that it is, might totally eclipse Jython. Well, I'm glad to see that this isn't happening. If anything, Groovy has refocused people's attention on dynamic languages in general, to Jython's benefit. There've been lots of new high profile Jython articles recently, and now we find Tim Bray, Sun's most famous new employee, bigging up Jython, too.

Alan picked out a good summary: "Itís faster to write software in dynamic languages, and the (real) benefits you get from an anally type-sensitive compiler can be had more cheaply with modern testing disciplines. But the theory doesnít matter, because the action is in the practice, and a whole lot of programmers out there have noticed that, in practice, they can get the job done quicker in Perl or Python or Ruby or whatever". This is pretty much exactly what Bruce Eckel has said already: Eckel on typing Java and Python.

But Bray does add "The best thing for the Java ecosystem would be for both Jython and Groovy to move along, grow and prosper; thereís plenty of room in here". Quite right.

Posted to Java by Simon Brunning at May 04, 2004 01:55 PM
Comments

Erm, Groovy can do Ruby-style closures, which IIRC can't be done exactly with Python

Posted by: Sam Newman on May 4, 2004 03:03 PM

You *can* do closures in Python[1], or so I am given to understand. You can do *anything* in Python! I use classes, though - they seem to fit my brain better.

[1] http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/67666

Posted by: Simon Brunning on May 4, 2004 03:36 PM

I think the key thing is that if you need continuations you can use Groovy, but there is plenty of room for Jython as well.

Having looked at closures (several times) I still can't find a situation where their use would improve my code in either readability, simplicity or maintability and the increase in speed (where there may be one) is somewhat marginal.

But then, that's just me, YMMV.

Posted by: Andy Todd on May 4, 2004 10:13 PM

Where did continuations slip into the conversation, Andy? Or did you mean closures again?

Posted by: Simon Brunning on May 5, 2004 01:50 PM

closure's in groovy are lambda's in jython. at a high level, the advantage of groovy is that the intent is to allow you to program using a dynamic language on top of the jvm and java class libraries. jython's intent is to allow python scripts to run on top of the jvm. so where jython has to choose between making it easier to mirror java vs. make it conform to python, it will always choose the latter. that said, time will tell how much weight that carries. in the immediate term, it means that the JCP was an appropriate place for groovy to be standardised.

Posted by: fletch on May 5, 2004 03:33 PM

Jython also allows you to "program using a dynamic language on top of the jvm", and also gives you fill access to the Java class library. It's not only used by Python people wanting to run their python scripts on a JVM - see Anthony Eden[1], who came to Jython for its dynamism.

[1] http://www.jroller.com/page/aeden

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