STS and Grails development

After long, long time I have back to eclipse as a main IDE for Grails development. There are two reason to do that. First, my license on IntelliJ was token (end of project == end of license), and before I give lots of $ for my own copy of JetBrains product, I want to test an alternative solutions. Second, I wanted to test Spring Source work (honestly!).

What I have remembered from my last contact with Eclipse + Grails combination was pain. Not even pain but PAIN. But, almost 2 years ago there wasn't to much alternatives. Yes, there was IntelliJ but even my beloved IDE wasn't perfect.

But now, everything changed. Grails became popular framework, Spring buy it and rush began in IDE development.  So how its looking now with STS and Grails? 

We got new project explorer view with nice separations of project elements (controllers, services, domains and so one). What is nice, STS will handle plugins and dependencies and display its source in explorer too. Even more - it will handle project that base on plugin oriented architecture. Sweet.

Other nice feature will appear when you press Alt+Ctrl+Shift+G (ok, one finger left). Its Grails console, with autocomplete (just write "ins" and press Ctrl + Space) similar to console used in Roo/STS integration.

What most important, code autocomplete  is working.  We can navigate through project classes structure, plugins and dependencies.

So is everything shiny? Unfortunately  no - in my case there were some problems with import visibility: even if class was correctly reflected, and autocompletion shows methods (even dynamic, yupi!) eclipse shows nasty error in line where import statement was. Fortunately "clean project" allows to correct this problem.  

Another problem was with inner classes. For class like this:

  1.  
  2. class Role {
  3. static class Type {
  4. static final ADMIN = 'ROLE_ADMIN'
  5. static final PLAYER = 'ROLE_PLAYER'
  6. }
  7. }
  8.  

STS will not see ADMIN and PLAYER fields.

So, what opinion I give to Spring Soruce IDE? Not bad. I will stick to it for now. Definitely I am able to work with Grails project without headache. There are still problems, but not critical. IDE is still evolving and I am sure that in near future it will be great tool. But to be hones, IntelliJ at this moment is just better.

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