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8 Minute Grails Contact Manager

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On Friday I gave an Intro to Grails preso in which I built a contact manager application.  The presentation was 90 minutes long.  To demonstrate how much of that time was actually spent coding I whipped up this video where I build the same app but in 8 minutes.

If you want to know more about Grails and are in the Dallas / Fort Worth, TX area I'd love to see you attend my free Getting Started with Grails Workshop on December 11th.

You can find the code from my demo on github at


8 Minute Grails Contact Manager from Steve Good on Vimeo.


Published at DZone with permission of Steve Good, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Cristian Vasile... replied on Thu, 2011/03/24 - 2:55pm

When will people get it that it's not about how fast you deliver version 0.1?


The real questions are:

    - can you maintain that speed throughout the project's life?

    - when you are a few months into the project, is it taking longer and longer to add even trivial features?

    - are you introducing 3 bugs for each bug that you fix?

    - etc.


People posting articles like "create a blog in 50 lines of code" or "8 minute Grails contact manager" should be forced to maintain their own code for a few years...


And don't get me started with "it's applicable to small projects". I didn't see that kind of project yet.

Steve Holmes replied on Thu, 2011/03/24 - 6:09pm in response to: Cristian Vasile Mocanu

I have to disagree. I think the ability to deliver a 0.1 quickly is very important to get in front of your clients so that they can give immediate feedback. But to answer your other questions with my experience: You couldn't possibly deliver each iteration in 8 minutes, however Grails will allow you to deliver your iterations quicker than other java alternatives. A few months into the project your grails project will continue being much easier to maintain due to built in conventions. Hopefully you have enough tests to prevent the bugs. Testing in Groovy is far easier than in Java and Grails has pretty good test support built in at least as compared to other Java frameworks. -etc. is also in Grails favor. It's applicable to small and large projects.

Paulo Alves Pereira replied on Fri, 2011/03/25 - 6:02am in response to: Cristian Vasile Mocanu

In my very humble opinion it is very important to speed up version 0.1 . If that proof-of-concept is able to have some of the features (even if some may be very raw) you can be sure to be on the right track. But more than being a way to impress the clients or show-off some nice scaffolding capabilities, Grails allows us to have constant feedback. It's kind of following directions, not with a map on our hands but with a GPS device who shows us our current position.

Cristian Vasile... replied on Fri, 2011/03/25 - 11:30am

Let me rephrase: "When will people get it that it's not only about how fast you deliver version 0.1?"

Does this sound familliar? "I can write code in language <insert-latest-hype-here> faster than in Java and with a lot less code". I have nothing against that IF it doesn't hurt readability.

People keep concentrating on how fast they can write code, many times without caring how readable that code is. Knowing you are going to spend 80-90% of your time reading and trying to understand existing code, we should concentrate on writing code that is easy to read even if it takes more time to write the first time.

If you don't agree, just google "technical debt". It might be OK to go into debt, but you should pay it as soon as possible to minimize the amount of interest that you pay (not to mention that you shouldn't live with broken windows -

In other words, if you had to write nasty code to get it out fast, you should refactor that code as soon as possible.

Khent Johnson replied on Thu, 2011/09/01 - 8:38am in response to: Cristian Vasile Mocanu

I agree with some of your thoughts there Cristian. I am also more on readability when it comes to coding. For me, the shorter the codes you write the more readable it is. Another thing I like with your ideas is that writing code that is easy to read even if it takes more time to write the first time because it really speaks the truth. Great ideas! Reputation Advocate

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