Groovy Goodness: Using The Call Operator ()

In Groovy we can add a method named call to a class and then invoke the method without using the name call. We would simply just type the parentheses and optional arguments on an object instance. Groovy calls this the call operator: (). This can be especially useful in for example a DSL written with Groovy. We can add multiple call methods to our class each with different arguments. The correct method is invoked at runtime based on the arguments.

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Groovy Goodness: Creating Root JSON Array With JsonBuilder

To create JSON output with Groovy is easy using JsonBuilder and StreamingJsonBuilder. In the samples mentioned in the links we create a JSON object with a key and values. But what if we want to create JSON with a root JSON array using JsonBuilder or StreamingJsonBuilder? It turns out to be very simple by passing a list of values using the constructor or using the implicit method call.

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Groovy Goodness: Uncapitalize Strings

Since Groovy 2.4.8 we can use the uncapitalize method on CharSequence objects. The capitalize method was already available for a long time, but now we have the opposite as well.

In the following example we see that the uncapitalize method only replaces the first letter of a String value to lower case:

Written with Groovy 2.4.8.

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Groovy Goodness: Identity Closure

In functional programming we have the concept of an identity function. An identity function returns the same result as the input of the function. Groovy has a lot of functional paradigms including a identity function. Of course in Groovy’s case it is an identity closure. It is defined as a constant in the Closure class: Closure.IDENTITY. If we use this closure we get the same result as the argument we provide.

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Groovy Goodness: Interrupted Sleeping

Groovy adds a lot of useful methods to the Java JDK classes. One of them is the sleep method that is added to all objects. With the sleep method we can add a pause to our code. The sleep method accepts a sleep time in milli seconds. The implementation of the method will always wait for he given amount of milli seconds even if interrupted. But we can add a closure as extra argument, which is invoked when the sleep method is interrupted. We should return true for the closure to really interrupt, otherwise we use false.

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Groovy Goodness: Direct Field Access In (Super) Classes

When we use the property syntax of Groovy to get the value for a property, Groovy will actually try to invoke a get method for that property if it is available. So for example if we have the statement actually user.getName() is invoked. If we want to reference a property field directly, so bypassing the get method, we must place an @ in front of the property field name. In the previous example we would write user.@name to get the field value directly. The same rules apply for setting a value for a property with the Groovy syntax. If we write = 'mrhaki' then actually user.setName('mrhaki') is invoked. We can use the @ prefix also to set a value without invoking the set method for that property. So in our example it would be user.@name = 'mrhaki' and the setName method is not used.

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Spicy Spring: Using Groovy Configuration As PropertySource

We have many ways to provide configuration properties to a Spring (Boot) application. We can add our own custom configuration properties format. For example we can use Groovy’s ConfigObject object to set configuration properties. We need to read a configuration file using ConfigSlurper and make it available as a property source for Spring. We need to implement two classes and add configuration file to support a Groovy configuration file in a Spring application.

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Groovy Goodness: Customise Log AST Annotations

Adding logging support to a class in Groovy is easy. We can choose to add SLF4J, Log4j, Log4j2, Apache Commons or Java Util Logging to our class. The default implementation of the Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) transformation is to add a log field of the correct type. As category name the complete class name (including the package) is used. We can change the name of the field with the value attribute. To alter the category name we use the attribute category.

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Groovy Goodness: Represent Map As String

Groovy adds to Map objects the toMapString method. With this method we can have a String representation of our Map. We can specify an argument for the maximum width of the generated String. Groovy will make sure at least the key/value pairs are added as a pair, before adding three dots (...) if the maximum size is exceeded.

As mentioned in a previous post we can use the toListString method to represent a List as a String:

Written with Groovy 2.4.7.

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