Sunday, February 8, 2009

OpenSolaris Workstation Step 3

OpenSolaris BibleI installed a new video card so I could set up dual monitors. It works great. I made sure to get a card with an Nvidia chip set since I knew the Nvidia driver utility was already installed in OpenSolaris 2008.11. Once I got everything configured just the way I liked, I wanted to see what real development would feel like with the new setup. I downloaded Grails 1.1 Beta 3 and extracted the download in my home directory. Then I set the GRAILS_HOME environment variable to that folder.
ed@opensolaris:~$ export GRAILS_HOME=~/grails-1.1-beta3
That is easier to type than /export/home/ed/grails-1.1-beta3. JAVA_HOME hadn’t been set so that was next.
ed@opensolaris:~$ export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java
Then I totally screwed up my PATH. I didn’t know how to reference the existing path in the new path and basically wiped out the entire path when I tried to add on GRAILS_HOME/bin. If someone can educate me I’d appreciate a comment. It was easy to figure out I did something wrong because printenv didn’t work at all when I tried to check my new path. Once I redid PATH and added ~/grails-1.1-beta3/bin I crossed my fingers and typed grails in a terminal window.
ed@opensolaris:~$ grails
Welcome to Grails 1.1-beta3 -
Licensed under Apache Standard License 2.0
Grails home is set to: /export/home/ed/grails-1.1-beta3

No script name specified. Use 'grails help' for more info or 'grails interactive
' to enter interactive mode
In NetBeans 6.5 I set the Grails_Home under Tools > Options > Groovy then I began a new project and selected Groovy, Grails Application. Now everything really is groovy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Grails Training

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers on winning Superbowl XLIII. I lost a bet on the game. The Cardinal's "Feather Curtain" just didn't hold up. Regardless, it was an exciting game and you know there had to be great preparation and training for these players, like in any professional sport. Programmers on the other hand, do not always get lucrative contracts, sponsors or their own line of sneakers...but they still have to train. I recently attended a 3-day training class, "Introduction to Groovy, Grails and AJAX", hosted by Smokejumper IT's Robert Fischer. The outline of the class was as follows:

Day 1:
Installing Groovy and Grails, GroovyConsole, Classes, Properties, Methods, Closures, MVC, Structure of Grails, Configuring Grails.
Day 2:
Controllers, Views, Taglibs, Parameters, the Flash, Session, Domain Objects, Domain Objects in Controllers, Command Objects, Services.
Day 3:
Rendering non-view responses, RemoteField, RemoteFunction, RemoteLink, FormRemote, Custom AJAX via Prototype, AJAX Plugins.

This was a much-needed introduction to Groovy and Grails, especially for me since I'm a beginner to the framework. I was able to get questions answered and have access to Robert's depth of knowledge on the subject. I learned about the Grails configuration, ranges, iterators, closures, lists, maps, Grails MVC and testing. Robert also demonstrated use of the many available Grails plugins to enhance your development needs.

Whenever I'm learning a new technology, I'm grateful just to find a good book on the subject. Having Grails training available where you can learn the right way quickly is very exciting. I'm already looking ahead for the next class. Smokejumper IT has other classes scheduled on Grails Object Relational Mapping (GORM), Domain-Specific Languages, Plugins, etc. They are also available in other cities throughout the country. Details can be found at