Posts Tagged ‘ Languages ’

Running Groovy natively without the JVM

Two days ago I was hacking away at some Ruby scripts and thought it would be nice if I could write them in Groovy (not necessarily useful, just nice).

Of course, for small scripts that honour the UNIX philosophy, that would be a terrible idea. These scripts should start instantly and have minimal overheads.

What changes would be needed to allow Groovy to compete with languages like Perl, Python, TCL, Ruby or plain old shell scripts in this space?

* Better performance / reduced overheads (cpu, memory, start-up time).
* Simple install (src tarball, RPM, dpkg, windows installer, OS-X whatever).
* No JVM required.
* Ability to use Groovy to access less Javaish libraries (POSIXy style stuff, MFC, .NET).
* Ability to use Groovy (and Java) objects from other languages (C, C++, Perl, Python, Ruby, .NET, etc)

As an experiment, I’ve created a subproject of Groovy (groovy-native) that aims to address these issues.

Take a peek at where I’m going with this.

So far:

* Created a stripped down native runtime library (
* Compiled a .groovy file to a native executable (linked with libgroovy).
* Created a native C++ app that calls interops with Groovy objects.