Last week at the Emerging Tech Conference I dropped my card in the fishbowl at the Manning Publications table to win a free eBook. Turns out I actually won! This morning in my e-mail I found a free eBook copy of Groovy in Action. I haven’t read any of it yet, but I would like to thank Manning for the book, and I will definitely write up a review when I’ve had some time to read though it.

Until then, if you’re interested, Groovy is a scripting language that runs in the Java Virtual Machine. Until the Emerging Tech Conference I really was not all that interested in Groovy, but then I saw a presentation on Grails, a Ruby-on-Rails like application framework that uses Groovy instead of Ruby. The neat thing about Grails is that it’s really just a wrapper around a Spring Framework back-end, including a Hibernate-based persistence layer. I still need a chance to play with the whole stack, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do because it offers a lot of the neat things about RoR without learning an entirely new language and set of libraries. So far the only downfall I see is that like RoR, Grails really doesn’t run on a shared (read cheap) hosting setup, so if you want to put a Grails app into production you probably need a Java App Server, which typically costs quite a bit more the PHP hosting.