Mar 21, 2013

March Meeting Retrospective

Thanks everyone who attended the last Memphis JUG meeting.

Once again we were hosted by Southwest Tennessee Community college and treated to dinner courtesy of VACO Technologies. If you're looking for work be sure to let Diane Tabulog from VACO know. You can find her contact info at

We had two talks this month: a lightning talk, "Intro to Processing" by Bryan Glazer, and our main talk, "Groovy By Example"  by Chris Roberts.

Bryan's talk covered the basics of Processing, an open source programming language and integrated development environment. Processing has a strong focus on graphical output and is designed to be a good introduction to programming for artists and designers. It is build on Java and Processing.js allows you to seamlessly include processing projects on HTML 5 web pages.

Chris's talk dove deep into the Groovy programming language, a dynamic language on the JVM, all in a quest to find fun words to type. Starting with a simple 'Hello World', we quickly started talking about what a closure was with profiling code. Along the way we saw that Groovy was backed by standard Java objects, while still giving us first order functions. We also learned about Groovy's spread dot operator, named parameters, and a special syntax for passing anonymous functions as the final parameter to another function. 

Then, we dove into Chris's more complex examples to discover if there are words more fun to type that 'lollipop' and 'databases'. We did some array and graph arithmetic, discovered the 'it' keyword for single argument function literals, and found that the algorithm had a fatal flaw. Chris finished his talk by giving a more conventional example of a database backed web application with automated testing. We caught a interesting collapsed ternary operator piece of syntactic sugar while taking the meeting into overtime.

We have open slots for speakers at future meetings, so let us know if you'd like to give a talk of any length.