This blog has been appallingly quiet over the last few weeks, and there’s a simple reason for that: I’m hard at work on “Grails In Action” for Manning. This is my first book project, and I’m working with Peter Ledbrook from G2One (Grails Core committer, GWT Plugin, JSecurity plugin, Profiling plugin) on producing a real “in the trenches” guide to developing Grails applications from scratch.

So What’s in?

Quite a lot. Section One gives you the standard tour: a quickstart primer on Grails, a brushup on Groovy, and we throw together a quick and dirty sample so that Java programmers new to Grails can get a taste of some of the joys that await them.

Section Two we develop some rock solid basics on all the core sections of the technology (but even seasoned guys will probably want to dip into this section from time to time - for example to get up to speed on content negotiation practicalities, the legacy mapping DSL stuff, controller scoping and some other corner cases that you need to know when you need to know). Of course there is complete covering of testing and mocking and all that other agile-y stuff you’ll want to know about.

Section Three we roll into Web2.0 goodness. All the standards are in there: full text search, feeds, charting, reporting, and javascript hocus pocus. We also get into a good coverage of plugin development from the trenches with all the common scenarios you’re likely to run into. You’ll also learn the ins and outs of the Security plugins (Peter wrote the JSecurity plugin!), and get ideas on doing a Web2.0 makeover on your current apps. And you want your app to be a platform, right? So we’ll be giving first class coverage to REST architectures, and you’ll learn enough JSON to get yourself into trouble.

Section Four we get down and dirty with enterprise concerns. In here we fine a complete practitioners guide to deployment lifecycle issues (including per-environment strategies, monitoring and profiling), and probably the most complete coverage of enterprise stuff with Grails that you’re likely to come across (JMX, EJB3, JMS, JNDI and probably a little portlets by then). First class treatment of re-using Spring and Hibernate legacy mappings (along with re-using your current Java code) also should get a Guernsey.

And the demo app?

During the course of the book we’ll work through developing a basic Twitter clone with tons of bells and whistles. We’ll be handling all the basics you’d expect - from the Ajax gear, to the image handling, workflows, feeds, email integration and all that jazz. And then in the enterprise section, we’ll get our hands dirty with MoM (Messaging Oriented Middleware) via JMS, learn a little JMX, a pinch of EJB3, a taste of clustering, have some remoting discussions and have a whole lot of fun doing it.

And when?

Trickier to say, but schedule says sometime just after Christmas. We’re only just getting toward our first milestones (1/3 milestone), so it’s a long way home - and a lot is going to happen in the Grails world between now and then. Stay tuned for updates.

Geez. No wonder I’m tired. I’m really excited about the plan, but now it’s all about executing on it! But it’s going to be a fun book to work on, if nothing else! Gotta go… deadlines are creeping up…

Will keep you all posted…