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28 April 2011, 12:58

Groovy 1.8 final is released

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Groovy Logo Following four betas and four release candidates, the Groovy development team has announced the arrival of the latest and current stable branch of Groovy, version 1.8. Groovy is an open source dynamic scripting language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

In the release announcement, Groovy project manager Guillaume Laforge says that Groovy 1.8 is "packed with tons of new features and enhancements". These new features include Domain-Specific Language authoring capabilities such as easier command chaining. There are also additional compile-time meta-programming features such as new AST transformations, which add annotations designed to reduce the amount of common code that needs to be written. These annotations include @Log, @Field, @AutoClone, @AutoExternalizable, @ThreadInterrupt, @TimedInterrupt, @ConditionalInterrupt, @ToString, @EqualsAndHandCode, @TupleConstructor (and @Canonical which combines the last three annotations), @InheritConstructors, @WithReadLock and @WithWriteLock.

Groovy has always supported XML as part of the language and Groovy 1.8 brings built-in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) support which allows for simple reading and building of JSON representations and comes complete with a pretty printer for easier reading when debugging. The JDK7 diamond operator is also supported; it is being adopting before JDK7 is actually released. The diamond operator makes generics easier to use by allowing:

List<List<String>> myList=new ArrayList<>();

This avoids the programmer having to specify the <List<String>> definition on either side of the definition. The developers say that the Groovy 1.9 will be more aligned with JDK 7 features such as the Project Coin enhancements.

Other changes include runtime performance improvements (faster integer operations and direct method calls), closure enhancements (the ability to use closures as parameters for annotations), the bundling of the GPars parallel and concurrency library with the Groovy distribution and numerous enhancements throughout the language.

According to the project's roadmap, the first beta for version 1.9 of Groovy is expected to arrive in May, followed by two more betas in June and September. Two release candidates will follow in October, after which the final version is scheduled to be released in November.

Further information about the latest stable version can be found in the release notes. Groovy 1.8 is available to download from and is licensed under version 2.0 of the Apache licence.

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