Andrey Hihlovskiy

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

Tag Archives: groovy

Gretty Plugin 0.0.5 is out

Gretty Plugin 0.0.5 is out and soon will be in maven central.

Gretty Plugin home:


Gretty Plugin is now on Maven Central

I published Gretty Plugin to maven central, coordinates: org.akhikhl.gretty:gretty-plugin:0.0.4.
Project home:

Gretty Plugin is actually gradle plugin for running web-applications under jetty 8.1.8 and servlet API 3.0.1.

groovy script for running jetty server

The following script starts jetty server and opens the folder, specified on command line, for http access (read-only):

#!/usr/bin/env groovy

@Grab(group='org.eclipse.jetty', module='jetty-webapp', version='8.1.8.v20121106')
@Grab(group='org.eclipse.jetty', module='jetty-server', version='8.1.8.v20121106', transitive=false)
@Grab(group='org.eclipse.jetty', module='jetty-servlet', version='8.1.8.v20121106', transitive=false)

import org.eclipse.jetty.server.Server
import org.eclipse.jetty.servlet.*
import groovy.servlet.*

def publishedFolder = args ? args[0] : '.'

def server = new Server(8080)
def context = new ServletContextHandler(server, '/', ServletContextHandler.SESSIONS)
def webappContext = new org.eclipse.jetty.webapp.WebAppContext(publishedFolder, '/jetty')
println 'Jetty server started. Press Ctrl+C to stop.'


  1. Save this script to file “jetty.groovy”
  2. Invoke on command-line:
    groovy jetty.groovy /path/to/some/folder"
  3. Enter address in web-browser:

Expected result: you see the content of the folder “/path/to/some/folder” in the web-browser.

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'
    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:


the program executes “proper” case.

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 $y"
  case isLessThan(y):
    println "$x is less than $y"
    println "$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:

Groovy language, spaceship operator

x <=> y

Useful in comparisons:

  • returns -1 if x is smaller than y
  • return 0 if x equals to y
  • returns 1 if x is greater than y.

Isn’t it sweet?

Groovy DSL == thermonuclear way of writing XML

import groovy.xml.MarkupBuilder

String createEAD(Closure closure) {
  def writer = new StringWriter()
  def xml = new MarkupBuilder(writer)
  xml.mkp.xmlDeclaration(version: '1.0', encoding: 'UTF-8')
  xml.'ead:ead'('xmlns:ead': 'urn:isbn:1-931666-22-9') {
    closure.delegate = new Object() {
      def text(Map attrs, content) {
        def a = attrs.keySet().find { it in ['bold', 'italic', 'underline'] }
        if(a && attrs[a]) {
          xml.'ead:emph' render: a, {
            text attrs.findAll({ it.key != a }), content
        } else
          text content
      def text(content) {
        if(content instanceof String)
          xml.mkp.yield content
        else if(content instanceof Closure)
  return writer.toString()

println createEAD {
  text bold: true, italic: true, {
    text 'Hello, '
    text underline: true, 'world!'

expected output:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<ead:ead xmlns:ead='urn:isbn:1-931666-22-9'>
  <ead:emph render='bold'>
    <ead:emph render='italic'>Hello, 
      <ead:emph render='underline'>world!</ead:emph>

Partial interface implementation in groovy

interface X {
  void a()
  void b()

class XAdapter implements X {
  void a() { println 'default implementation of a' }
  void b() { println 'default implementation of b' }

def o = [
  a: { println 'overridden implementation of a' }
] as XAdapter


will output:

overridden implementation of a
default implementation of b

Fun with groovy files

The following one-liner can copy very large files without running out of memory:

new File("test").withInputStream { new File("test2") << it }

Just tested it in groovy console – 1 GB file is copied in 5 seconds, memory consumption stays low.
The copy is binary, i.e. it copies bytes, not chars.
One particularity: left-shift operator rather appends than overwrites. If you need to overwrite the file, first need to delete it.

Fun with groovy maps and function call syntax

A function having a Map as first parameter:

void doIt(Map attrs, Object content) {
  println attrs
  println content

supports equally valid call syntax variations:

// "classical" call syntax, known from java world
doIt([color: 'red', type: 'fruit'], 'hello!')

// parentheses can be omitted
doIt [color: 'red', type: 'fruit'], 'hello!'

// even square brackets for map can be omitted
doIt color: 'red', type: 'fruit', 'hello!'

// order of map properties does not matter,
// map properties can be intermixed with unnamed parameters.

doIt color: 'red', 'hello!', type: 'fruit'

doIt 'hello!', type: 'fruit', color: 'red'

this effectively allows to implement named parameters in groovy.