Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy birthday Griffon, your are the sultan of Swing !

Today Griffon is one year old ! For those who don' t know what is griffon here is my short blurb about this new framework :

Griffon can be considered as a clone of the grails framework, except that instead of rendering html pages on a web browser it renders a Swing application.

So all these Groovy scritps that you made but that requires a lot of interactions , inputs from the user can now be wrapped in Griffon. You don' t have anymore to type incredible long command lines to include all you parameters, even a non-IT guy can use your scripts !!!

In my opinion, griffon will firstly helps developers teams who wants to increase their productivity and to prove this I have a personal experience that I will share with you now :
I'm currently working for a customer who build educational games for children, it's written in Flex. They are a using a custom MVC framework that is quite robust and efficient but each time you start developing a new game (we build 2 games on a 3 week iteration) you have to writes about 10 actionscript classses/MXML components that all requires to implements specific interfaces, create resources bundle, CSS files etc ... Well before you can really start working on the core functionality of the game you spend at least a half day to get the skeleton right (forget to implements some methods, syntax errors etc ...) !

So I rapidly start thinking about a code generator application that could do all this stuff for my team.
These were my requirements :
- Access easily the local file system (create the files in your workspace)
- Using a simple template engine
- A friendly user interface

The same week I started my mission I discovered Griffon and it was the perfect candidate for my requirements : Swing app for the UI, Groovy templates and I have a lot of experience with the grails framework. I built the application in less than a day and show this to my project leader , he was very impressed : starting a new game project was now a matter of a few seconds instead of a half day of work ! About more than 300% productivity gain !

We are using this griffon app for each new game we start and everybody in the team is very happy to focus on the core functionality and not setting up the skeleton !

So everybody who loves groovy/grails and use it inside teams for support purpose (analyzing/extracting logs patterns), code generation etc .. I really recommend you to take a look at griffon !

Happy birthday Griffon !


  1. I have to try this after this enthusiastic blog ;-)

  2. Yes I'm sure you can use griffon in the Spil team, even Ruud could use it !

  3. Interesting. Is the idea to run Griffon apps locally like desktop apps? If so, do I need to run it in a webserver, or can I just create a standalone application?

  4. It will always be a standalone application, it's a swing application

  5. As a matter of fact you can run Griffon applications in 3 different modes: standalone, applet, webstart. All to little or no cost to you in terms of configuration :-)

    Griffon does simplify working with Swing and building desktop apps.