This week in Discobot (45.2011)

Another night of coding, another update on the Discobot project! For those unfamiliar with the Discobot project: it’s the project name for running Groovy on Android. We (Marcin Erdmann and Erik Pragt) are working towards an easy to use framework to run the newest version of Groovy on the newest version of Android. Currently, we’re not there yet, but we will demonstrate our progress at the next Groovy and Grails Exchange in London.

A small update though on our current progress, since it has been a while since our last update, and we’ve gotten a few requests to update you all. To start with: the project is still very alive, and we are working hard to create a streamlined environment for developing Groovy Android applications, including Gradle support, with some tasks to easily deploy your Groovy application on the Android emulator.

The last couple of weeks we’ve been struggling to work with the dynamics provided by Groovy. Groovy works a bit different compared to the standard Java runtime in Android. A small example:

This code dynamically creates a class at runtime. We have to make the Android environment aware of these classes, which is done by the DiscobotClassloader. This is quite tricky to accomplish, but the good news is, that after some days and nights of coding, it works now. Basic Groovy code, like

was already working for quite some time, but now we support a great deal of the features provided by Groovy already at the moment. Even though we haven’t measured yet how far we are exactly in terms of features, but we’re on the right way.

What we’ll do now though, is to create an Android application which will run all Groovy unit tests. We’ve done it before, and around 30% of the unit tests worked on the Android emulator. Now, with the support for dynamically generating classes, which was one of the biggest problem, we should get far above this 30%. So, please bear with us and we’ll keep update you on the progress we’ll make.

6 replies
  1. javaguy44
    javaguy44 says:

    Great effort guys! Count me as someone else who is really looking forward to writing in Groovy for Android apps…

    • Erik Pragt
      Erik Pragt says:

      Hi Robert,

      Unfortunately not. We sort of lost interest in the project, and are busy with other things. If you want to contribute, checkout the discobot source on GitHub. The code is (mostly) working, and you should be able to run the GroovyConsole on your phone, if you want.

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