Groovy Joins Apache
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 13 March 2015

The Groovy JVM programming language is being submitted to the Apache Software Foundation following a number of major changes to the way the language is supported.  

 

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The changes started with Pivotal ending its sponsorship of the language, see Groovy And Grails Lose Sponsor; next came news that Groovy project manager Guillaume Laforge had moved to Restlet, where he “to help accelerate the evolution of API tools”, according to a post about his appointment on the Restlet blog. The move means Laforge will have less time to devote to Groovy, though he and the Restlet team say he will be continuing to contribute to the project.

Writing about the move on his own blog Laforge says that the move was partially motivated by a desire to reassure the Groovy community that the project is here for the long term, regardless of any funding from particular sponsoring organizations or any changes to the team of committers over time.

Laforge says the team had discussions representatives of various foundations, including the Eclipse Foundation, the Software Conservancy foundation and decided on the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) because it:

“is the one that appears to be the best candidate considering our constraints and our philosophy.”

In view of this, the developers submitted a proposal for incubation, which has now been accepted. Welcoming Groovy to the Apache Incubator, ASF Vice Chairman Greg Stein said.

"Groovy has a diverse and active community that will find 'The Apache Way' of meritocratic development a perfect complement to their existing recognition of the value and benefits of the Apache License, under which their code is released. The ASF's proven framework will offer Groovy the organizational, legal, financial, and infrastructure support needed to continue to be available to its established user base and millions of developers worldwide."

While Laforge is one of the stars of the Groovy developers, the language has many more community developers supporting, as is evidenced in an interesting analysis Who is Groovy? by Cédric Champeau. Looking at the entire history of the project since its inception in 2003 he reveals that there have been around 11,500 commits from over a hundred contributors. In the top 10 list of contributors, Champeau, who joined the project in 2011 in a sponsored (i.e. paid for) capacity and has been the foremost committer since then, lies in third place with 1526 commits. Guillaume Laforge comes 5th in the list with 709 commits and James Strachan, Groovy's creator is in 4th place with 1031. Jochen Theodorou, who joined the project in 2004 and quickly became its technical lead and has been sponsored since 2007 comes in second with 1562 commits and the top slot is occupied by Paul King who has made 2653 commits since 2006 in an unpaid capacity and is described by Champeau as "the person who saved Groovy" for being its most active contributor and writing a lot of its APIs.

The point that Champeau hopes to make by his analysis of commits is that the end of sponsorship doesn't have to mean the end of the project and he concludes his post saying:

 Groovy is ready for a rebirth under the Apache umbrella!

 

 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 13 March 2015 )