Andrey Hihlovskiy

Professional blog on groovy, gradle, Java, Javascript and other stuff.

Monthly Archives: September 2013

groovy switch: nasty bug

I found nasty error in Groovy compiler. Consider the following code:

byte b = 1
switch(b) {
  case 0..9:
    println 'it is between 0 and 9'
    break
  default:
    println 'it is something else'
}

It executes ‘default’ part, not the part with 0..9, which is not what a programmer would typically expect.
The reason behind it should be related to type conversion between “byte” and “int” types. With the following workaround:

switch((int)b)

the program executes “proper” case.

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groovy: switch statement and closure comprehension – nice for DSL

It is rather easy to extend groovy switch statement with our own DSL:

def isGreaterThan(a, b) { a > b }

def isGreaterThan(b) {
  return { a -> isGreaterThan(a, b) }
}

def isLessThan(a, b) { a < b }

def isLessThan(b) {
  return { a -> isLessThan(a, b) }
}

def x = 5
def y = 6

switch(x) {
  case isGreaterThan(y):
    println "$x is greater than $y"
    break
  case isLessThan(y):
    println "$x is less than $y"
    break
  default:
    println "$x equals $y"
}

The trick here is that single-argument versions of IsGreaterThan, IsLessThan return closures. Switch-statement “understands” closures: it passes it’s argument (x in our case) as a parameter to the closure and expects boolean result being returned from the closure.Same thing can be done via function currying, but it looks not so nice, as with function overload.

By the way, DSL stands for “Domain Specific Language”. See more information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain-specific_language