Jython v.s. Groovy

August 31, 2008 § 4 Comments

A commenter reminds me on Groovy (It was mentioned as part of Grails). His comment makes me curious on what’s the latest on Groovy and how it is stacking up to Jython.

Groovy’s differences vs Python is subtle. In fact, Groovy is way more similar to Ruby.

Couple of Groovy Syntax that looks like Ruby:

  • Groovy: d.collect { k, v -> k+1 }  
    • Ruby: d.collect {|k,v| k + 1 }
  • Groovy: rng = 1..3    
    • Ruby: rng = 1..3
  • Groovy: (1..3).each { i -> println i }   
    • Ruby: [1..3].each { |x| print x }
  • Groovy: def function_name(x) { return x; }  
    • Ruby: def function_name(x); return x end

Both Groovy and Jython do very good job in minimizing JAVA’s complexity. Groovy is more familiar to JAVA programmer than Jython but not by much since its syntax is Ruby-ish.

Now, next question is: Can I use existing JAVA packages from inside Groovy or Jython?

  • Groovy import statement is similar to JAVA. That’s how it can access other JAVA packages.
  • Jython access other JAVA packages via Python import statement (e.g. from java.util import Random) while also having access to Python standard packages (e.g. sys or os).

Comparing Groovy vs Jython is like comparing Ruby vs Python. Both are easy to read and comfortable to programmers. 

Using either one is a time-saver when developing in JAVA. Definitely use either one if you are dynamic language kind-of-guy and forced to develop in JAVA.


Quick Facts on Groovy:

  • It’s a dynamic language written on top of JVM (JAVA is a compile to byte-code language, just like CPython).
  • Its syntax is indeed very similar to Python and Ruby.
  • It has GroovyConsole.
  • It was created around 2003-2004.
  • It was created to overcome JAVA’s overly verbose syntax.

Quick Facts on Jython:

  • It’s Python implemented on top of JVM.
  • Jython is compiled to JAVA byte-code level.
  • It has Python Interpreter Console.
  • Jython release number is consistent with CPython release number (The latest stable is 2.2).
  • Because the latest stable is 2.2, Jython does not support Python’s decorator.
  • It was created in 1997.
  • It was created to overcome JAVA’s overly verbose syntax.
Installing Jython:
  • Download
  • Run this command: java -jar jython_installer-2.2.1.jar
Installing Groovy:
UPDATE (09/03/2008):
Interesting that a number of people pointed out how I write JAVA. What’s wrong with writing JAVA? I supposed I could search and replace it into Java/java. Mentally I like to make a distinction between java language vs the coffee or the island, because java logo is all caps. Am I missing out something? does JAVA stands for something?

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§ 4 Responses to Jython v.s. Groovy

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