I would assume almost everyone who builds or maintains a larger web application project will want perfect tooling and debugging facilities for their project. With the good reputation Grails has, I was expecting tooling and debugging to be just that: perfect.
Yet, when taking a closer look, debugging a GSP template might be more difficult and inconvenient than it should be.
In my current case, I forgot a closing parenthesis in an expression. The GSP page which I just started had 12 lines, but the error message which occured at run time had no hint to where I had the error! Instead, it showed me the line number and column of a precompiled file I don’t even know how it was created! The Exception started like this:
2010-02-19 16:01:05,868 [http-8090-1] ERROR pages.GroovyPagesTemplateEngine - Compilation error compiling GSP [home_cey_dev_p4_sandbox_..._content_createPopup_gsp]:startup failed, home_cey_dev_p4_sandbox_..._content_createPopup_gsp: 25: expecting ')', found '}' @ line 25, column 327.
Line 25… really? As I said, I was editing a 12 line file.
Error messages like this are not helpful at all. This is a huge “minus” for Grails in my opinion!